Meet PEI’s award-winning cheesemaker in Toronto and Waterloo

Armand Bernard of Cows Creamery in a cheesy photo among lobster pots.

Prince Edward Island’s award-winning cheesemaker, Armand Bernard of Cows Creamery, is hosting “Meet the Cheesemaker” sampling events in Toronto and Waterloo on March 8 to 11.  Bernard is the artisan behind award-winning cheeses like Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar and Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar is produced according to a traditional recipe from the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland.  In 2011, it won its category the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix and the American Cheese Society Competition.

Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar is aged for two years and is made from Prince Edward Island cow’s milk.  In 2009, it won its class in the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.

When and Where:

Thursday, March 8: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens, 60 Carlton Street, Toronto.

Friday, March 9: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nature’s Emporium, 16655 Yonge Street, Newmarket, Ontario.

Saturday, March 10: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Vincenzo’s, 150 Caroline Street South, Waterloo, Ontario.

Sunday, March 11: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at McEwan, 38 Karl Fraser Road, Toronto.

Cows Creamery cheeses are distributed in Ontario by Glen Echo Fine Foods.

Cheese fuels passion to organize a better Festival

Here are the cheeseheads who work behind the scenes to make The Great Canadian Cheese Festival happen. From the left, Lin Chong, registration co-ordinator, Jackie Armet, cheese co-ordinator, Becky Lamb, volunteer co-ordinator, Terry Chong, operations manager, Karin Desveaux, executive director, Peta Shelton, Prince Edward County liaison officer, Ivy Knight, cheese gala co-ordinator, and Rebecca Crosgrey, event co-ordinator and assistant to Georgs Kolesnikovs, founder and director.

When they worked up an appetite during a recent planning session, here’s the cheese they dove into for lunch:

Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese: Hard and Semi-Hard, two impressive cheeses, the first like a Gruyere, the second like a Gouda, produced by Shep Ysselstein, a young chessemaker, in southwestern Ontario.

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser: Tomme du Haut-Richelieu, a lovely washed-rind, goat-milk cheese from one of Quebec’s artisan-cheese pioneers.

Brillat-Savarin: A luscious triple-cream Brie with a truffle from France was devoured with much smacking of the lips.

Fromagerie Le Détour: The distinctive Grey Owl—with its dark ash rind—is sweet, tangy and creamy, a terrific example of the high standard of goat-milk-cheese production in Quebec.

Fromagerie de l’Abbaye Saint-Benoît: Bleu Bénédictin, a Canadian classic made under the supervision of Benedictine monks in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Époisses Berthaut: An extraordinary washed-rind cow’s milk cheese with a natural red tint from Burgundy in France is too powerful for some, worshiped by others. Ours came to us courtesy of Glen Echo Fine Foods.

Fan mail, comments and ideas will reach the Festival event staff via cheeseheads @ cheeselover.ca.

Paris wins most-memorable-moment-in-cheese contest

The Eiffel Tower in Paris at night as viewed from the Pont Alexandre III Bridge

A 20th wedding anniversary in Paris that featured much enjoyment of cheese has been judged the winner in our search for the most memorable moments in cheese in 2011.

Julie Grec of Kitchener, Ontario, wins the first-place prize of a half-kilo of Époisses Berthaut, courtesy of Glen Echo Fine Foods, a leading distributor of fine cheeses and gourmet foods.

Two runners-up—Matt Hanselmann and Paul Dearborn—each will receive 250 grams of Époisses Berthaut, courtesy of Glen Echo Fine Foods.

Chef Michael Howell of Tempest in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, was awarded an honourable mention by the judges, members of the organizing committee of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

The winning entries will be posted here next week.

Creamy and powerful, Époisses Berthaut is an extraordinary cheese from Burgundy in France. It’s a washed-rind cow’s milk cheese with a natural red tint and it’s own rich and penetrating aroma to which it owes its renown. The mouth waters at the mere thought . .

Click here and here to read more about Époisses Berthaut.

Époisses Berthaut is distributed by Glen Echo Fine Foods and available at the following Ontario locations while supplies last:

About Cheese
483 Church Street, Toronto

Alan’s Butcher Shop
122 Athol Street, Whitby

Burbs Bistro & Bar
1900 Dixie Road North, Pickering

Caren’s Wine & Cheese Bar
158 Cumberland Street, Toronto

Herma’s Gift Shop
5316 Hwy. 28, R.R. #2, Port Hope

La Salumeria
2021 Yonge Street, Toronto

Nancy’s Cheese
260 Dupont, Toronto

Pusateri’s
1539 Avenue Road, Toronto

The Art of Cheese
925 Kingston Road, Toronto

The Cheesestore
510 Michigan Avenue, Point Edward

The Milky Whey
118 Ontario Street, Stratford

The Passionate Cooks
68 Brock Street West, Uxbridge

Vincenzo’s Fine Foods
150 Caroline Street South, Waterloo

Contest: Most memorable cheese of 2011

What was your most memorable moment in cheese in 2011?

What cheese blew away your taste buds? What was your cheesiest experience in the past year? What cheese did you come to love? Which cheesemonger did you come to cherish? When you think of cheese, what was the highlight of 2011?

It’s a new contest for cheese lovers that starts today!

Click here to submit your memorable moment. Contest closes December 31. Entries will be judged by members of the organizing committee for the 2012 Great Canadian Cheese Festival. Winners will be announced here on January 5 and published soon thereafter.

The first-place prize will be a half-kilo of Époisses Berthaut, courtesy of Glen Echo Fine Foods. Two runners-up each will receive 250 grams of Époisses Berthaut, courtesy of Glen Echo Fine Foods.

The first 25 entries will each receive a complimentary ticket to the Artisan Cheese & Fine Food Fair that takes place on June 2 and 3 during The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Creamy and powerful, Époisses Berthaut is an extraordinary cheese from Burgundy in France. It’s a washed-rind cow’s milk cheese with a natural red tint and it’s own rich and penetrating aroma to which it owes its renown. The mouth waters at the mere thought . .

Click here and here to read more about Époisses Berthaut.

Époisses Berthaut is distributed by Glen Echo Fine Foods and available at the following Ontario locations while supplies last:

About Cheese
483 Church Street, Toronto

Alan’s Butcher Shop
122 Athol Street, Whitby

Burbs Bistro & Bar
1900 Dixie Road North, Pickering

Caren’s Wine & Cheese Bar
158 Cumberland Street, Toronto

Herma’s Gift Shop
5316 Hwy. 28, R.R. #2, Port Hope

La Salumeria
2021 Yonge Street, Toronto

Nancy’s Cheese
260 Dupont, Toronto

Pusateri’s
1539 Avenue Road, Toronto

The Art of Cheese
925 Kingston Road, Toronto

The Cheesestore
510 Michigan Avenue, Point Edward

The Milky Whey
118 Ontario Street, Stratford

The Passionate Cooks
68 Brock Street West, Uxbridge

Vincenzo’s Fine Foods
150 Caroline Street South, Waterloo

*Anyone can enter the contest but prizes will be awarded only to residents of Canada.