Artisan Cheese Night Market returns to Toronto on June 6

EARLYBIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Canada’s only Artisan Cheese Night Market is a unique sampling show where you try before you buy, located in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market Complex, one day only, Thursday, June 6.

  • Try and buy the best artisan and farmstead cheeses in Canada
  • Meet cheesemakers from coast to coast
  • Try and buy artisan foods, charcuterie, chocolate and more
  • Sample Ontario wine, craft beer and cider, and spirits
  • Purchase and enjoy tasty eats from specialty food vendors
  • Live entertainment will keep the celebration going all night long.

SAVE $10 per ticket until March 31. Regular admission is $40.00 per person. Until the end of March, earlybirds pay only $30.00. Click on the Eventbrite button to begin your order and SAVE! Once you’re on the Eventbrite page, enter the discount code EARLYBIRD30 before starting your ticket order.

Eventbrite - Canada's Artisan Cheese Night Market 2019

 

 

Order your ticket right away as the event will sell out. To avoid overcrowding, the Night Market runs in three three-hour sessions, 12 noon to 3:00 p.m., 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Strictly 19+.

 

Many of Quebec’s outstanding cheesemakers will be represented at this year’s Artisan Cheese Night Market in Toronto, appearing under the Amour & Tradition umbrella of Fromages CDA, a leading distributor of fine cheeses.

Your ticket covers sampling of award-winning Canadian cheese, charcuterie, chocolate,  artisan foods, olive oil, plus Ontario wine, craft beer and cider, and spirits. That’s correct, sampling is included in the price of admission. PLUS: Also included is an insulated souvenir tote bag for your purchases.

Order tickets in advance online, avoid having to line up to buy a ticket at the event and quickly access all the deliciousness via the Night Market’s Express Entrance.

Click here for information on attending as a group, having more fun and saving money!

Stonetown Artisan Cheese of St. Mary’s, Ontario, will be sampling and selling its many delicious cheeses inspired by centuries of cheesemaking in Switzerland.

HOW TO GET TO ST. LAWRENCE MARKET

For the Artisan Cheese Night Market, historic St. Lawrence Market’s Temporary North Hall at 125 The Esplanade will transform into a celebration of the best in Canadian cheese and other deliciousness.

Using public transit to get to St. Lawrence Market is a snap. Union Station, with GO, Via Rail and TTC subway stops, is an 11-minute walk. The Yonge subway stop at King is a 12-minute walk. The Market is mere minutes from TTC streetcar stops at Jarvis on the King and Queen lines. There also is a Jarvis bus that stops steps from the Market.

Taxi and Uber will get you there even quicker.

If you’re coming by car, designate a driver for a safe trip home as there will sampling of alcoholic beverages at the Night Market, if you’re so inclined. There will also be a cash bar.

In its debut in 2018, Canada’s only Artisan Cheese Night Market was a sell-out success—and a huge hit with cheese lovers.

If you’re driving, best place to park is the Green P parking garage with entrances at south end of Church Street and south end of Market Street:

Carpark 43 ~ St. Lawrence Garage ~ 2 Church Street
Also enter from Market Street just south of St. Lawrence Market
Rate: $2.50 / Half Hour
Capacity: 2,008 spaces (Yes, 2,008!)
Payment Options: Auto Express Pay Stations, Credit Card at Entry & Exit, Customer Assistance Booth
Accepted Forms of Payment: Bills, Coins, Charge (Visa / Mastercard / American Express Only)

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS

Available at all price levels within walking distance of St. Lawrence Market.

ORDER YOUR TICKETS TODAY AND SAVE $$$!

SAVE $10 per ticket until March 31. Regular admission is $40.00 per person. Until the end of March, earlybirds pay only $30.00. Click on the Eventbrite button to begin your order and SAVE! Once you’re on the Eventbrite page, enter the discount code EARLYBIRD30 before starting your ticket order.

Eventbrite - Canada's Artisan Cheese Night Market 2019

Canada’s only Artisan Cheese Night Market is produced by Cheese Lover Productions Inc. which also produces Canadian Cheese Awards and The Great Canadian Cheese Festival. In 2018, Artisan Cheese Night Market was first held in conjunction with Canadian Cheese Awards. Given the enthusiastic response from cheese lovers, the Night Market returns in 2019 as a stand-alone event.

 

Best Bites: Ten most memorable Canadian cheeses of 2018

It’s time to bring the curtain down on another year and to recall the memorable Canadian cheese tasted during 2018—with the help of friends in fromage.

Plus an outstanding butter, one of several grass-fed butters that have appeared on the market this year.

Vanessa Simmons, cheese sommelier at Savvy Company and Savvy Cool Curds, the first artisan cheese-of-the-month club featuring hard-to-come-by cheese made across Canada, selected five very different cheeses:

Hatley Road – Fromagerie La Station, Compton, Québec

Hatley has been showing beautifully in 2018 on cheeseboards as a rich, full flavour washed-rind cheese made with organic farmstead milk. A blend of milky, fruity and nutty flavours balanced with salt. As far as award winners go, it’s not hard to see why!

Fleuron – Fromagerie de la Table Ronde, Sainte-Sophie, Québec

A natural, rustic, salt and pepper looking rind covers this elegant, tall column-shaped organic cow’s milk blue cheese. Inside hides a soft, often oozy, pale ivory paste with slate-grey veining, concentrated closer to the centre of the cheese. Earthy, woody and fungal aromas blend nicely with vegetal, creamy and slight salty flavours, making it the perfect mid-range blue for tasting pleasure.

Figaro – Glengarry Fine Cheese, Lancaster, Ontario

Ever since I started in the Canadian cheese industry, Figaro has made and remained on my Top 10 list.  Yeasty and rich, lactic, full of creamy, tangy flavour, it’s always a crowd-pleaser, disappearing in minutes!

Cranberry Chèvre – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario 

Cranberry Chèvre is nothing short of “wow” as a perfect blend of both sweet and savoury flavours where fruity goodness meets tarty tang rounded off by the mild spicy hint of cinnamon. As a final step in making the cheese, plump cranberries are hand-rolled onto the fresh chèvre logs to ensure full coverage and less damage to the fruit—guaranteeing a gorgeous display for your holiday cheese board.

Maggie’s Cheese Ball – Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères, Saint-Sixte, Québec

This holiday treasure is only available locally, and seasonally at Christmas time—made with love by Maggie Paradis. A blend of her local cow, goat and sheep milk cheeses, it’s a savoury sensation rolled in crushed pecans, rich and velvety in texture and sharp with a mild onion flavour.

Here are two picks from Jackie Armet, cheese co-ordinator at Canadian Cheese Awards and The Great Canadian Cheese Festival:

Grey Owl – Fromagerie Le Détour, Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, Québec

At every meeting of the Awards and Cheese Festival organizing committee, I’m asked to bring a selection of Canadian cheeses for us to graze on while planning our cheese events. One cheese that stopped the discussion was Grey Owl. It was in perfect condition, with its beautiful contrast in paste and rind, and a dazzling flavour of lemon and tang in your month. It took us 20 minutes to get back to our meeting. It is cheese that always starts a conversation.

Mountainoak Farmstead 2-year Aged Gouda – Mountainoak Cheese, New Hamburg, Ontario

Everyone needs a go-to cheese. With a texture like parmesan, the subtle crunch, quality milk and consistency, you can’t help snacking on this cheese. Well done, Mountainoak!

For Janice Beaton of Janice Beaton Cheese Partners, there is only a single highlight:

Big Momma – Monforte Dairy, Stratford, Ontario

Hands down for me this year’s Best Bite was Big Momma, from Ruth Khlasen and Monforte Dairy. It blew me away. Perhaps I had the good fortune of tasting from a sublime piece—lucky me! The combination of pillowy, creamy smooth texture and the outstanding flavour of water buffalo milk, it t was all sweetness and light. With a good measure of enduring flavour underpinning the whole experience: gently lactic and subtly earthy. Wowza! It’s been a while since I’ve been transported when cheese hits my palate. Big Momma took me there!

Whenever we visit La Belle Province, we seek out outstanding cheese that we cannot find in Ontario, fromage that is provincially licensed and thus not available outside Québec. At Yannick Fromagerie, in the Vieux Limoilou neighbourhood of Québec City, Nathalie Filion, introduced us to one such cheese:

Kénogami – Fromagerie Lehmann, Hébertville, Québec

Kénogami, a soft washed-rind beauty made by Fromagerie Lehmann with thermized milk from Brown Swiss cows in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. It presents a wonderful soft, herbal aroma and tastes of cream, butter and nut.

The Lehmann family is very conscientious about the care they provide both to their animals and to their pasture. The farm uses no GMOs, no pesticides and no chemical fertilizer. They rely on a variety of wild plants to feed the small herd in the summer and in the winter they feed them hay and grain produced on the farm.

Curé-Hébert – Fromagerie l’Autre Versant, Hébertville, Québec

There is something special about the climate and the soil in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region as the final outstanding cheese of the 2018 Top 10 comes from a fromagerie a few kilometres from Fromagerie Lehmann.

Curé-Hébert is semi-soft, washed-rind farm cheese made with raw milk drawn from the Fromagerie l’Autre Versant’s herd of Ayrshire cows. Its orange-brown rind is partially covered by a fluffy white coat. Curé-Hébert features a mild aroma of cream, butter, mushroom and a hint of sweetness (honey or caramel). It tastes very slightly rustic and sweet.

Andy Shay, a long-time friend in fromage who recently moved from Sobeys Ontario to oversee cheese and charcuterie at Jan K Overweel Ltd., threw us a curve, albeit a welcome one:

Can-Dairy founders Mitch Yurkiw and Drew McIver.

Actually, mine is not cheese, but butter, and a tiny amount of cheese. Emerald Grasslands sets a new benchmark in the fast-growing Canadian butter category. Clarksburg-based Can-Dairy founders Mitch Yurkiw and Drew McIver are trying to make the world a better place, one delicious pat of butter at a time!

They contract milk only with Jersey cow farmers, known for their extra thick and yellow cream. But these are not just ordinary Jersey cows, they are certified grass fed on regenerative (sustainable) organic farms. With this amazing milk, Emerald Grasslands churns, a more gentle process on the fat structure, the butter and produces 84% MF butter—perfect for baking pastries.  For their salted version they sourced hand-harvested sea salt from Vancouver Island Salt Company, near Courtenay, British Columbia.

The result of all this care in sourcing and production is a mind-blowing, super-creamy butter that is rich and with floral notes, a rusticity of cows and just the right hint of salt. Truly. the way to make the most of an artisan crusty bread.  We rarely have a chance to taste the wonders of Echire or Isigny St. Mere, but now, maybe that is OK.

Rich and Drew are next using some of their milk for making Cheddar. I had the chance to taste an early prototype and as a guy who buys Iles aux Grues 2-year cheddar by the 40 lb block, I can tell you we should all hope to see this cheese in a store one day soon!

—Georgs Kolesnikovs, cheese-head-in-chief at CheeseLover.ca, is the founder of Canadian Cheese Awards and The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

Louis d’Or: Canadian Cheese of the Year 2018

Louis d’Or, made by Jean Morin of Fromagerie Presbytere, is the 2018 Cheese of the Year.

Louis d’Or, an outstanding Alpine-style cheese made by Jean Morin of Fromagerie du Presbytère in Sainte-Élizabeth-de-Warwick, Québec, was named the 2018 Cheese of the Year in the biennial Canadian Cheese Awards, the biggest cheese judging and competition in the country.

The 2018 Canadian Cheese Awards program, which started at University of Guelph, Food Science Department, with the judging of 375 submitted cheeses in late February, culminated June 6 with a presentation ceremony and tasting gala at historic St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.

Loblaw Companies is Marque Sponsor of Awards while Dairy Farmers of Canada is Principal Partner, Cow Milk Cheese.

Complete list of winners by categories:

CHEESE OF THE YEAR/FROMAGE D’EXCEPTION

BEST FRESH CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE FRAIS

BEST FRESH PASTA FILATA CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À PÂTE FILÉE

 BEST SEMI-SOFT CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À PÂTE  SEMI-FILÉE

BEST FETA/CHEESE IN BRINE/MEILLEUR FETA/FROMAGE EN SAUMURE

  • Krinos Traditional Feta – Krinos, Vaughan, Ontario

BEST FETA/CHEESE IN BRINE/MEILLEUR FETA/FROMAGE EN SAUMURE

—Private Brands Division—

BEST FIRM CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À PÂTE FERME

BEST FIRM CHEESE WITH HOLES (Swiss-style)/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À PÂTE FERME AVEC OUVERTURES

BEST WASHED RIND CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À CROÛTE LAVÉE

BEST MIXED RIND CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À CROÛTE MIXTE

BEST MIXED RIND CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À CROÛTE MIXTE

—Private Brands Division—

BEST BLOOMY RIND CHEESE/MEILLEUR PÂTE MOLLE À CROÛTE FLEURIE

BEST BLOOMY RIND CHEESE/MEILLEUR PÂTE MOLLE À CROÛTE FLEURIE

—Private Brands Division—

BEST LACTIC RIPENED CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE LACTIQUE À CROÛTE FLEURIE

BEST MILD & MEDIUM CHEDDAR (aged up to 9 months)/ MEILLEUR CHEDDAR DOUX & MOYEN (maximum de 9 mois d’affinage) 

BEST OLD CHEDDAR (aged from 9 to 18 months)/MEILLEUR CHEDDAR FORT (entre 9 et 18 mois d’affinage)

BEST AGED CHEDDAR (aged more than 18 months)/MEILLEUR CHEDDAR VIEILLI (plus de 18 mois d’affinage)

  • Cows Creamery 3 Year Old CheddarCows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

BEST GOUDA CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE GOUDA

BEST BLUE CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À PÂTE PERSILLÉE

BEST FLAVOURED CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE AROMATISÉ

BEST FLAVOURED FRESH CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE FRAIS AROMATISÉS

  • Chevrai Roasted Garlic Soft Fresh Goat Cheese – Woolwich Dairy, Orangeville, Ontario

BEST FLAVOURED FRESH CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE FRAIS AROMATISÉS

—Private Brands Division—

BEST SMOKED CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE FUMÉ

  • Appletree Smoked Cheddar – Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

BEST GRILLING CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE À GRILLER

  • Queso Fresco – Sabana, Oakville, Ontario

BEST COW’S MILK CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE VACHE

  • Cows Creamery 3 Year Old Cheddar – Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

BEST GOAT’S MILK CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE CHÈVRE

BEST SHEEP’S MILK CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE BREBIS

BEST WATER BUFFALO MILK CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE BUFFLONNE

BEST BLENDED-MILK CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT MIXTE

BEST FARMSTEAD CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE FERMIER

BEST ORGANIC CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE BIOLOGIQUE

BEST RAW-MILK CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT CRU

BEST NEW CHEESE (Introduced to market during 2017) MEILLEUR NOUVEAU FROMAGE (Mis en marché en 2017)

BEST B.C. CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LA COLOMBIE BRITANNIQUE

BEST WEST CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE L’OUEST (Alberta, Saskatchewan et Manitoba)

BEST ONTARIO CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE L’ONTARIO

BEST QUEBEC CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DU QUÉBEC

BEST ATLANTIC CANADA CHEESE/MEILLEUR FROMAGE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES

  • Cows Creamery 3 Year Old Cheddar – Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Biggest cheese competition in Canada

Judging by a jury of 14 cheese experts took place at University of Guelph, Department of Food Science, in February. A total of 117 finalists were selected from the 375 cheeses entered by producers from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

The 2018 Canadian Cheese of the Year and champions in 33 categories were announced at the Awards Ceremony on June 6 at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto followed by an Awards Tasting Gala. The next day, winners were featured at Canadian Cheese Expo for the trade followed by Canada’s first Artisan Cheese Night Market open to the public.

Fifty-six of the 117 nominations went to 22 Québec cheese producers led by Fromagerie La Station, 7 finalists, Laterie Charlevoix, 6, and Fromagerie du Presbystere, 5.

Sixty-one of the 117 nominations went to 23 producers in English-Canada, led by Cows, 12 finalists, Glengarry Fine Cheese, 5, and Amalgamated Dairies, Cross Wind Farm and Mountainoak Cheese, 4 each.

Canadian Cheese Awards is the only pan-Canadian cheese competition open to all milks used in cheesemaking—cow, goat, sheep and water buffalo—with only pure natural cheese accepted for judging. That means no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and no modified milk ingredients.

“We aim to honour and celebrate 100% pure natural cheese that has achieved technical excellence and exhibits the highest aesthetic qualities,” says Georgs Kolesnikovs, Awards Chairman.

The biennial Canadian Cheese Awards is produced by Cheese Lover Productions with the support of Loblaw Companies as Marquee Sponsor and Dairy Farmers of Canada as Principal Partner, Cow Milk Cheese.

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Ontario, is on hiatus in 2018 to allow resources to be devoted to the launch of Artisan Cheese Night Market and related events.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar: Canadian Cheese of the Year 2016

Baluchon: Canadian Cheese of the Year 2014

Video Wednesday: Brief history of cheese

Cows Creamery leads nominees for Canada’s cheese Oscars

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar: 2016 Canadian Cheese of the Year. Will it win again in 2018?

Cows Creamery of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has a record-setting 12 nominations for its cheeses in the 2018 Canadian Cheese Awards, the biggest cheese judging and competition in the country. Two years ago, Cows Creamery won Canadian Cheese of the Year honours with its Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar.

Avonlea is again a contender for the prestigious award but competition is stiff from cheesemakers in Québec and Ontario.

Judging by a jury of 14 cheese experts took place at University of Guelph, Department of Food Science. A total of 117 finalists were selected from the 375 cheeses entered by producers from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

The 2018 Canadian Cheese of the Year and champions in 33 categories will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on June 6 at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto followed by an Awards Tasting Gala. The next day, winners will be featured at Canadian Cheese Expo for the trade followed by Canada’s first Artisan Cheese Night Market open to the public.

Information on the program and tickets is available at CheeseAwards.ca.

A complete list of finalists can be seen and downloaded as a Word document here: http://www.cheeseawards.ca/finalistsfinalistes2018/

Judging of 375 cheeses under way at University of Guelph, Food Science Department. Photo by Kenneth Armstrong of GuelphToday.com.

Fifty-six of the 117 nominations went to 22 Québec cheese producers led by Fromagerie La Station, 7 finalists, Laterie Charlevoix, 6, and Fromagerie du Presbystere, 5.

Sixty-one of the 117 nominations went to 23 producers in English-Canada, led by Cows, 12 finalists, Glengarry Fine Cheese, 5, and Amalgamated Dairies, Cross Wind Farm and Mountainoak Cheese, 4 each.

Canadian Cheese Awards is the only pan-Canadian cheese competition open to all milks used in cheesemaking—cow, goat, sheep and water buffalo—with only pure natural cheese accepted for judging. That means no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and no modified milk ingredients.

“We aim to honour and celebrate 100% pure natural cheese that has achieved technical excellence and exhibits the highest aesthetic qualities,” says Georgs Kolesnikovs, Awards Chairman.

The biennial Canadian Cheese Awards is produced by Cheese Lover Productions with the support of Loblaw Companies as Marquee Sponsor and Dairy Farmers of Canada as Principal Partner, Cow Milk Cheese.

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Ontario, is on hiatus in 2018 to allow resources to be devoted to the launch of Artisan Cheese Night Market and related events.

For additional information, mailto:awards@cheeselover.ca or telephone 1.866.865.2628.

 

How many nominees for Cheese of the Year have you tasted?

Le Baluchon: 2014 Cheese of the Year. This year, it’s nominated for Best Organic Cheese.

Here you have them, the 117 finalists in the 2018 Canadian Cheese Awards competition, the biggest independent judging of cheese in Canada.

Winners and all finalists will be introduced to the public at Canada’s first-ever Artisan Cheese Night Market on June 7 at historic St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.

MAIN CATEGORIES (19) CATÉGORIES PRINCIPALES

FRESH CHEESE – FROMAGE FRAIS

FRESH PASTA FILATA CHEESE – FROMAGE À PÂTE FILÉE

SEMI-SOFT CHEESE – FROMAGE À PÂTE  SEMI-FILÉE

FETA/CHEESE IN BRINE – Feta / FROMAGE EN SAUMURE

FIRM CHEESE –  FROMAGE À PÂTE FERME

FIRM CHEESE WITH HOLES (Swiss-style) – FROMAGE À PÂTE FERME AVEC OUVERTURES

WASHED RIND CHEESE – FROMAGE À CROÛTE LAVÉE

MIXED RIND CHEESE – FROMAGE À CROÛTE MIXTE

BLOOMY RIND CHEESE – PÂTE MOLLE À CROÛTE FLEURIE

LACTIC RIPENED CHEESE – Fromage Lactique à croûte fleurie

MILD & MEDIUM CHEDDAR (aged up to 9 months) – CHEDDAR DOUX & MOYEN (maximum de 9 mois d’affinage)

OLD CHEDDAR (aged from 9 to 18 months) – CHEDDAR FORT (entre 9 et 18 mois d’affinage)

AGED CHEDDAR (aged more than 18 months) – CHEDDAR VIEILLI (plus de 18 mois d’affinage)

  • Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Cows Creamery 3 Year Old Cheddar— Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Cows Creamery 2 Year Old Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

GOUDA CHEESE – FROMAGE GOUDA

BLUE CHEESE – FROMAGE À PÂTE PERSILLÉE

FLAVOURED CHEESE – FROMAGE AROMATISÉ

FLAVOURED FRESH CHEESE – FROMAGES FRAIS AROMATISÉS

SMOKED CHEESE – FROMAGE FUMÉ

GRILLING CHEESE – FROMAGE À GRILLER

SPECIAL AWARDS (9) PRIX SPÉCIAUX

BEST COW’S MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE VACHE

BEST GOAT’S MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE CHÈVRE

BEST SHEEP’S MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE BREBIS

BEST WATER BUFFALO MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE BUFFLONNE

BEST BLENDED-MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT MIXTE

BEST FARMSTEAD CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE FERMIER

BEST ORGANIC CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE BIOLOGIQUE

BEST RAW-MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT CRU

BEST NEW CHEESE (introduced to market during 2017) – MEILLEUR NOUVEAU FROMAGE (Mis en marché en 2017)

  • Cows Creamery 2 Year Old Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Cows Creamery 3 Year Old Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Mountainoak Farmstead 3 Year Old — Mountainoak Cheese, New Hamburg, Ontario

REGIONAL AWARDS (5) PRIX RÉGIONAUX

BEST B.C. CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LA COLOMBIE BRITANNIQUE

BEST WEST CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE L’OUEST (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

BEST ONTARIO CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE L’ONTARIO

BEST QUEBEC CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DU QUÉBEC

BEST ATLANTIC CANADA CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES

  • Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Cows Creamery Appletree Smoked Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Cows Creamery 3 Year Old Cheddar — Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Cheese is listed alphabetically within each category or award. Where more than three finalists are shown, there were many entries and close scores. The Cheese of the Year was selected after several rounds of blind tastings of the best cheeses from the above 19 main categories.

For the 2018 competition, judging on technical aspects and aesthetics took place February 22 and 23 at University of Guelph, Department of Food Science, with evaluation of cheese headed by Dr. Arthur Hill, Chair and Professor, Food Science.

The Awards Ceremony takes place June 6 in Toronto at historic St. Lawrence Market. The presentation of winners will be followed by an Awards Tasting Gala open to trade, media, and special guests. The following day, June 7, the inaugural Canadian Cheese Expo trade show for cheese industry, hospitality industry, chefs, media, food writers and bloggers takes place in the afternoon with the first-ever Artisan Cheese Night Market in the evening, open to the public.

The Canadian Cheese of the Year receives a prize of $5,000, thanks to Loblaw Companies, to support a marketing campaign to exploit being named the best cheese in Canada. Champions in each cheese category and provincial or regional champions will also be selected.

In 2018, a special prize of $5,000 for marketing also will be presented to the winner of the Best Cow’s Milk Cheese Award thanks to Dairy Farmers of Canada, our Principal Partner, Cow Milk Cheese.

It is the biggest cheese competition in Canada and the first open to all milks used in cheese making—cow, goat, sheep and water buffalo—with only pure natural cheese accepted for judging. That means with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and no modified milk ingredients.

Canadian Cheese Awards is produced by Cheese Lover Productions which also operates The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Ontario. The Cheese Festival is on hiatus in 2018 to allow resources to be devoted to the launch of Artisan Cheese Night Market and related events.

For additional information, mailto:awards@cheeselover.ca or telephone 1.866.865.2628.

Kennedy boys to serve their father’s famed braised-beef poutine at #TGCCF

Chef Jamie Kennedy elevates poutine to a fine-dining experience.

When your father is one of Canada’s most renowned chefs, a passion for food and an appreciation for the restaurant industry come naturally. Nile and Jackson Kennedy grew up around the celebrated kitchens of their father, chef Jamie Kennedy, Canada’s first celebrity chef and a pioneer of the local food movement. But being the chef’s sons earned them no special treatment, as they worked their way through various positions within Kennedy’s restaurants.

“We’ve been working with my dad for a really long time now,” said Nile, 22. “We started by going to events and doing small jobs to just get a sense of what he did.”

Nile got his start in the family business at age 17, working in coat check during private events at the Gardiner Museum, where Jamie Kennedy then ran the venue’s fine dining restaurant and catered on-site weddings and other special events.

From there, Nile worked his way up to become an event server at the Gardiner and then an a la carte server at Kennedy’s Gilead Café, the chef’s last Toronto restaurant, which closed its doors in 2015.

Nile and Jackson Kennedy will serve J.K. Fries in addition to braised-beef poutine at #TGCCF.

Working in his father’s restaurants taught Nile a great deal about the industry and allowed him to spend plenty of quality time with his dad outside the house.

“Working with my Dad has always been great,” said Nile, “It wasn’t really like a typical working relationship. We would be cracking jokes with each other, and it was really positive. I’ve learned a lot working with him.”

For the past two summers, Nile and his brother Jackson, 26, have operated J.K. Fries, a mobile French fry kitchen they run at events and farmers’ markets around Toronto. J.K. Fries offers Chef Kennedy’s signature double-fried French fries, made with local Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh thyme and sea salt. The fries are always made entirely on site, for the freshest, crispiest snack possible.

This summer, J.K. Fries is setting up shop in Prince Edward County, offering its famous fries at events in the region all season long. For Nile and Jackson, this means a break from city life, and a chance to slow down and take a well-deserved break at the Kennedy farm in the County.

“This summer will still be about work, but we also wanted to take a step back, get out of the city and go to our farm,” Nile explained of the move. “We’ll work up there, and also take up any projects and hobbies we’ve really wanted to do. It’s an exploratory summer in that sense and we’ve both been excited about it for a long time.”

Chef Jamie Kennedy works his magic in the converted barn on his farm in Prince Edward County.

The brothers are looking to discover new interests outside the restaurant business, including learning to craft handmade utility knives using wood and metal found around the family farm. With the help of YouTube, they plan to teach themselves to build a forge and try their hands at knife making during their down time.

The Kennedy brothers will bring a special version of the J.K. Fries stand to The Great Canadian Cheese Festival on June 3-4, with a braised-beef poutine, an artful take on the iconic, indulgent dish that his father made famous when he became the first Canadian chef to introduce poutine on a fine-dining menu.

“It’s an elevated version of the classic Quebecois poutine,” Nile explains. “We use braised, tender beef in a thick, salty, flavourful gravy and in place of cheese curds we’re using an aged cheddar from Monforte Dairy, who make a really nice cow’s milk cheddar.”

The Kennedy boys will be serving up the braised-beef poutine and the fries at the Festival’s Artisan Food Court on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Meanwhile, Jamie Kennedy is hosting a fabulous feast at his Prince Edward County Farm on Saturday evening as part of his popular Summer Dinner Series. Award-winning cheesemakers Jean Morin and Marie-Chantal Houde will be among the lucky 55 guests—with their fromage featured on the cheese plate.

Jackson Kennedy tosses double-fried French fries, made with local Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh thyme and sea salt.

When he’s not slinging their much-loved poutine dishes to hungry festival-goers, Nile is eager to explore what’s new at this year’s Festival. He’s attended the past few years both to work and to observe.

“What’s great about the Cheese Festival, especially with all these local producers coming, people can taste all these amazing cheeses and it gives them ideas about what’s possible,” Nile said.

“More and more these days, people are interested in sourcing locally, but they might not realize how much is available and how many varieties are available so close to home. The Festival is great for that.”

—Phoebe Powell, senior roving reporter at CheeseLover.ca, is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her last blog post was on La Moutonnière: Happy sheep make award-winning cheese.