Cheese Fair Dishes It Up
By Wine Press Staff
On March 14, thousands of cheese-loving enthusiasts will indulge at the fifth annual Oregon Cheese Festival to commemorate the coagulated culinary creation. At Rogue Creamery in Central Point, guests can peruse the fest’s food/wine artisan marketplace.
“The farmer’s market format will present an interactive experience between makers and visitors, giving everyone an opportunity to talk about the product, the process and learn each individual cheesemaker’s story,” said David Gremmels, co-owner of Rogue Creamery. “It’s a way to truly be connected with the source of the cheese being presented.”
To commence the festival, a sumptuous dinner introducing guests to participating artisans, will be held at the historic U.S. Hotel Ballroom at the Jacksonville Inn, March 13, 6:15 to 9 p.m. The dinner will benefit the nonprofit Oregon Cheese Guild.
“The event will give the public a chance to have an intimate conversation with the experts at an elegant dinner prepared by Chef Platon Mantheakis and his culinary team,” Gremmels said.
Each course will spotlight a cheese made by one of the festival’s artisans paired with a local wine. Throughout the meal, celebrated cheese columnist and author Janet Fletcher will act as emcee and join the winemakers and cheesemakers in discussing the showcase dishes. Fletcher and Kate Arding, founder of Culture Magazine, will lead festival-goers through Oregon cheese and wine sensory experiences during the next day’s marketplace event.
On Saturday, visitors can sample cow, sheep and goat cheese from Oregon and Northern California creameries, including Fraga Farm, Juniper Grove Farm, Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Oregon Gourmet Cheeses, Silver Falls Creamery, Siskiyou Crest Dairy, Tillamook County Creamery, Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Fern’s Edge Dairy, Rivers Edge Chevre, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Cypress Grove, Vella Cheese, Rogue Creamery and many others.
Other culinary artisans who are expected to participate include: Lillie Belle Farms, Dagoba Organic Chocolate, Gary West Meats, Rising Sun Farms, Applegate Valley Artisan Breads, Butte Creek Mill, Pennington Farms, Slagle Creek Vineyards, Paschal Winery, Madrone Mountain Vineyard, EdenVale Winery, Valley View Winery, Agate Ridge Vineyard, Daisy Creek Vineyard, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, Deux Chats Bakery, Dry Soda, Cascade Peak Spirits and Rogue Ales.
The festival is made possible through the support of the City of Central Point, the Medford Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Dairy Farmers of Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department and the members of Oregon Cheese Guild. ◊
Oregon Cheese Festival
Location: Rogue Creamery, 311 N. Front Street, Central Point
Date: Friday, March 13 (dinner); Saturday, March 14 (tasting)
Time: 6:15 to 9 p.m. (dinner); 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (tasting)
Tickets: $5 (tasting); $70 (dinner)
Information: 866-396-4704; www.roguecreamery.com