The smiling-cow tie worn by Grand Champion Jean Morin breaks up TV personalities Anne-Marie Withenshaw and Ben Mulroney at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Gala of Champions.
It was an unforgettable evening for cheesemaker Jean Morin, his brother, Dominic, and associate cheesemaker Dany Grimard.
Louis d’Or, the extraordinary cheese they make at Fromagerie du Presbytère, was declared Grand Champion—the best of the best—at the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix last night.
Additionally, in an unprecedented awards sweep, Louis d’Or was named champion in three different categories:
- Firm cheese
- Farmstead cheese
- Organic cheese
On top of that, their fabulous Bleu d’Élizabeth was selected champion in the blue-cheese category!
Clearly, Jean Morin was the happiest and proudest cheese producer in Canada last night as the Gala of Champions unfolded at Palais Royale in Toronto, scene of a lavish awards ceremony cum cheese-tasting organized by Dairy Farmers of Canada, sponsors of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.
Dominic Morin, Dany Grimard and Jean Morin are flanked by Phil Bélanger, Grand Prix jury chair, and Ben Mulroney, TV personality and co-MC at the Gala of Champions.
In his acceptance speech, Jean was quick to give credit to his brother, Dominic, who looks after their herd of cows, and to Dany Grimard, who runs the make room in the former rectory that serves as the creamery across the street from their farm in Sainte-Élizabeth-de-Warwick two hours east of Montréal.
Jean and Dominic are fourth-generation dairy farmers who have found amazing success as first-generation cheese producers in a few short years. What’s the secret of their success?
“Happy, healthy cows,” Jean says. “It all starts with the milk, and the care we show the cheese as we make it.”
Appropriately, smiling cows adorned the tie Jean wore to the awards gala.
Quadruple-award-winner Louis dOr from Fromagerie du Presbytère.
Phil Bélanger, chair of the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Jury and president of the New Brunswick Chapter of La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, had this to say about Louis d’Or:
“The milky richness of this cheese is a tribute to the organic milk with which it is made. The cheese has a smooth texture, warm nutty and floral notes in aroma and taste. Inspired by the traditional cheesemaking know-how from the Jura region, the cheesemaker created an amazing cheese.”
Louis d’Or is truly a magnificent cheese, with fine, complex flavours, eloquently expressed after nine months of ripening. The Louis d’Or cheese gets its name from the Louis d’Or Farm, which produces the organic milk used to make it. The name of the cheese also refers to the French currency of the same name used under the reign of Louis XIII in 1640.
The first opportunity for the public to taste Grand Prix winners in one place—and meet the makers such as Jean Morin—will be at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival on June 4-5 in Picton in Prince Edward County, Ontario’s newest wine region and fastest-growing culinary destination.
At the Festival, cheese expert and author Gurth Pretty, one of the Grand Prix judges, will lead a tutored tasting on cheese of Western Canada. Grand Prix champion Margaret Peters-Morris will conduct a demonstration of cheesemaking at home.
Here is the complete list of 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix winners, with asterisks indicating those already committed to taking part in The Great Canadian Cheese Festival:
Soft cheese with bloomy rind:
Washed-rind soft and semi-soft cheese:
Flavoured cheese with added non-particulate flavouring:
Flavoured cheese with added particulate solids and flavouring:
Old and extra old cheddar:
Aged Cheddar (1-3 years):
Aged Cheddar (4 years +):
The Canadian Cheese Grand Prix is a competition sponsored and hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada, celebrating the high quality and proud tradition of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian cow’s milk.
For the 2011 competition, a record-breaking total of 203 cheeses from six provinces was submitted for judging in the competition.
A panel of Canada’s top cheese experts spent two days in Montréal rigorously tasting and evaluating the best cow-milk cheeses this country has to offer as they narrowed the field down to 51 cheeses in 17 categories.
Georgs Kolesnikovs, cheesehead-in-chief at CheeseLover.ca, couldn’t believe his ears when Jean Morin mentioned him and the upcoming Great Canadian Cheese Festival in his acceptance remarks.
Filed under: Arla Foods, Awards, Black River Cheese, Cheese business, Cow cheese, Cows Creamery, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Fromagerie Blackburn, Fromagerie du Presbytère, Fromagerie La Suisse Normandie, Fromagerie Perron, Glengarry Fine Cheese, Great Canadian Cheese Festival, Gurth Pretty, International Cheese, Le Belle de Jersey, Le Bleu d'Élizabeth, Louis d'Or, Mont Jacob, Natural Pastures Cheese | 2 Comments »