Recently I was assigned to a new project at work and each Friday I have a conference call with the project director to review the status of the project. Since this is a Friday call we usually take a few minutes to talk about our week-end plans. This has grown into a sharing of events happening in the triangle area as well as discussing restaurants, food trucks, markets, etc. One of the things to come from our discussion was meeting face-to-face at a RTP 180 event. Both of us agreed it was an awesome event and will be attending more RTP 180 events in the future. It was during one of these calls that Much Ado about Cheese came up. My colleague had gone to the first Cheese Festival and thought it was fantastic. Knowing The Traveler enjoyed good cheese, I took this information to The Friends and we agreed to make plans to attend.
American Meltdown’s second annual cheese festival “Much Ado about Cheese” was held in the Cotton Room in Durham. Last year’s festival at the Cookery had been such an overwhelming success this year’s event was moved to a larger venue. Much Ado about Cheese provided the attendees an opportunity to taste and explore what North Carolina has to offer in its awesome world of cheese. Free samples from some of the best cheese in the area highlight this celebration of fromage. Wine and beer were available for purchase. If you were still hungry after sampling all the cheeses the American Meltdown food truck was selling their tasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Porchetta and R Burger food trucks were also on hand.
We arrived early and the promoters graciously let us come in to take pictures and wait comfortably on the cushy sofas. While we were waiting, we met new friends Drew and Noelle and had a great discussion around food, food trucks and customer service. When the event opened, we all headed to the vendor’s tables to taste the cheesy delights offered. The Friends started out together tasting and talking about our favorites but as the crowd grew we became separated. We each plunged ahead to continue tasting. Coming from opposite directions The Traveler and I did meet up again at the same table and decided we would both purchase the Quatro Berry Chevre from Once Upon a Meadow. The Traveler continued her way and I mine to continue sampling and taking pictures.
At times the flow of participants was almost at a standstill due to the linear arrangement of the tables and the proximity of the bar to the line of tables. Maybe a different layout would lend itself to more mingling and a better flow. Eventually we all ended up in the entrance area and took a few minutes to compare our purchases. Bad Boy and I had Cheese Louise! a goat cheese and Tomme Sweet Tomme, a raw milk aged cheese from Paradox Farm and a Vermont Artisan Racletee from the cheese department of Weaver Street Markets in our bag. The Traveler had purchased a cheese Weaver Street Market was offering and a chimichurri blend by Piemonte Farm. Although we didn’t purchase something from each vendor here is a list for this year’s festival.
- Weaver Street Markets (Cheese Department)
- Goat Lady Dairy
- Piemonte Farm
- Prodigal Farm
- Chapel Hill Creamery
- Six Forks Cheese Shop
- Guglhupf Bakery
- Once upon a Meadow Farm
- Paradox Farm Creamery
- Durham Cooperative Market
We agreed this was a great event spotlighting local farms and cheese makers. The Friends give Much Ado about Cheese 2 thumbs up (total of 6 thumbs up) and plan to attend next year’s Cheese Festival. – Belle