Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference 2013

Mac & Cheese Contest, Tastings, Wine & Beer, Feb. 24

Top artisan cheese makers — and their fans — converge for the Tenth Annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference Feb. 23-28, 2013.

Focused on the blossoming farmstead cheese movement as well as urban cheese makers from Seattle, Milwaukee and New York, the event spans five days and includes a Winter Artisan Cheese Fair in San Francisco on Saturday and a second Cheese Fair in Sonoma on Sunday, Feb. 24.  The Sunday event includes a mac and cheese cook-off (which I’ll be judging!) as well as tastings of sheep, cow and goat cheeses, wines, brews and guest chefs at Mac Arthur Place from 1-4pm. Tickets are $40, 21+. Details online.

The remaining days of the conference are focused on cheese seminars and networking sessions including a one-day ZingTrain session from Ari Weinzweig of the nationally-recognized food purveyor, Zingerman’s. Speakers include Gabe Vella of Vella Cheese Company, Carleen Weiruch of Weiruch Creamery, Gordon Edgar of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, food writer Janet Fletcher, Sondra Bernstein of the girl and the fig and Lynn Stray of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese.

The inimitable Sheana Davis (also a cheesemaker and owner of Sonoma’s Epicurean Connection) hosts the event.