Oregon-inspired culinary events, including a farmer’s market-style artisan food, beer and wine festival, will kick off with the “Meet the Cheesemakers and Winemakers Dinner” at the Oregon Cheese Festival during the third weekend in March. For tickets go to http://oregoncheesemakersdinner.bpt.me/
To commence the festival, a sumptuous meal introducing guests to participating guild cheesemakers will be held Friday night at the Inn at the Commons in Medford, Oregon on March 18 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. The dinner is held for the benefit of the non-profit 501 (c) (6) Oregon Cheesemakers Guild. Each course will spotlight a cheese made by one of the festival’s artisans, paired with a local wine or beer. The special guest and Master of Ceremonies for the dinner will be Gordon Edgar, author of both “Cheesemonger: a Life on the Wedge” and “Cheddar.” Edgar is the Head Cheesemonger for the San Francisco Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and has been a leader within the specialty cheese industry for more than 20 years. He is widely celebrated for his friendly, down-to-earth approach to the art and science of cheese.
Saturday, March 19 – Festival
At the festival on Saturday March 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., thousands of visitors will sample cow, goat and sheep cheese from Oregon creameries, including Pholia Farm, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Oregon State University, Ochoa Creamery, Tillamook County Creamery, Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Fern’s Edge Goat Dairy, Oak Leaf Creamery, Rivers Edge Chevre, Briar Rose Creamery, Face Rock Creamery, Portland Creamery, Rogue Creamery, and many others.
The Oregon Cheese Festival will be open to the public Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rogue Creamery, 311 North Front St. (Hwy. 99), Central Point, Oregon. Held under two large tents, 15,000 square feet of space, at Rogue Creamery’s Central Point facility, the twelfth annual festival will invite guests to shake hands with cheesemakers and other artisans. There will also be baby cows on site to showcase the beginnings of great milk producers! Activities will also be provided for children including games, activity sheets, coloring, face painting and more. “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,” says David Gremmels, President of Rogue Creamery. “It’s a way to truly be connected with the source of the cheese being presented.”
Southern Oregon and other local culinary artisans and beverage providers who are expected to participate include Lillie Belle Farms, Gary West Meats, Applegate Valley Artisan Breads, Ledger David Cellars, South Stage Cellars, Serra Vineyards, Caprice Vineyards, Willamette Valley Vineyards, David Hill Winery, La Brasseur Vineyard, 30 Brix Winery, Wandering Aengus Ciders, Hot Lips Soda, Clear Creek Distillery, Bend Distillery, Wild River Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing and Rogue Ales. Samples and /or sales will be offered at each booth.
A $15 entry fee includes tastings and demonstrations; tickets purchased at the door will be $20. Entry tickets can be purchased in advance at http://oregoncheeseguild.org/event/12th-annual-oregon-cheese-festival/ . In addition, a $10 wine, beer and spirit tasting fee is available and includes a commemorative glass with the Oregon Cheese Guild logo. For more information, visit the Oregon Cheese Guild website at www.oregoncheeseguild.org, call Rogue Creamery at 866.396.4704, or visit www.roguecreamery.com. The festival would not be possible without the generous support of the city of Central Point, Travel Medford, and the Dairy Farmers of Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department, USA Pear Bureau, Rogue Ales, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, Culture magazine, Cheese Connoisseur magazine, and the members of the Oregon Cheese Guild.