Call for American Cheese Month Photos!
ACS is building a digital album of photographs from American Cheese Month events, and we need your photos!
Please email your images (with credits) and we'll add our favorites to the digital album, which will be shared on the ACS website. Photos may also be selected for future use in American Cheese Month print and electronic materials.
ACM Cheese Class at Cheese Culture, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Each year, ACS, in conjunction with the American Cheese Education Foundation and the John Crompton Memorial Scholarship Fund, awards full and partial scholarships to cheesemakers, retailers, students, and local chefs to attend our Annual Conference & Competition. Recipients may receive a travel stipend, hotel accommodations in the conference host city, and a free conference registration.
Applications for cheesemaker, chef, student, and retailer scholarships will be posted on the ACS website by October 31. We encourage you to apply early: applications are due by March 31, 2012.
ACS is delighted to announce that Rebecca Sherman Orozco has been promoted to the position of Marketing & Communications Director. Those of you who have been lucky enough to work with Rebecca know that she is a wonderful asset to ACS, and a strong partner for the artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese industry. Congratulations, Rebecca!
ACS will also be welcoming a new staff member soon in the coming months with the addition of an Administrative & Marketing Assistant.
Congratulations to Nancy Peplar!
Nancy Peplar from Nancy's Cheese Shop in Toronto, ON is the winner of a complimentary 2012 ACS Conference registration. Her name was drawn randomly from among the respondents to our 2011 ACS Conference Evaluation.
Thanks to everyone who completed the evaluation -- you provided ACS with valuable feedback that will be used to improve your conference experience in the future.
ACS recently asked for submissions of cheese haikus in celebration of American Cheese Month. The top haikus, voted by ACS staff, are below. All of the great entries are posted here for your enjoyment.
Cows, weep not for me!
Though thy milk now sings my Bleus,
Mold, thou art my friend.
Chesterton nailed it
Though poetry elides Cheese
dairy makes magic.
The arrival of fall means the end of the farmers' market season in many parts of the country. These recipes are a great way to enjoy the last of summer's bounty!
Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Camembert Sandwich
Recipe by Sharon Halkovics, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Boulder, CO
-4 to 6 slices bacon
-1 Tbsp mayonnaise
-1 tsp Dijon mustard
-4 slices country-style buttermilk bread
-Several leaves crisp lettuce
-1 large tomato, sliced
-Salt & pepper to taste
-1 small wedge Camembert-style cheese, ripe & sliced
Pan fry the bacon until crisp and drain off excess fat. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Toast bread slices. Once toasted and warm, arrange several slices of Camembert on top slices and allow to melt slightly...(read full recipe here).
Chicken Thighs with Arugula Salad & Parmesan
Recipe by Deb Wells, Murray's Cheese Shop in King Soopers, Leetsdale Road, Denver, CO
-2 lb chicken thighs
-4 TB red wine vinegar, divided
-4 TB ex. virgin olive oil, divided
-1 clove minced garlic
-1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
-Freshly ground pepper
-1 stem chopped rosemary
-1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
-� cup Parmesan-style cheese (like Sarvecchio)
-6 cups fresh arugula
-6 dried figs, rehydrated and chopped
Five hours before serving:
Create marinade by whisking together 2 tsp. each of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Add minced garlic, rosemary, fresh thyme, � tsp. kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Coat each chicken thigh; refrigerate in covered container for four hours...(read full recipe here).
|October Brings Celebrations & Exciting News
As October signals cooler weather and a slowing of activity for many cheesemakers, I am thrilled that American Cheese Month (ACM) has arrived to bring new energy and excitement to our cheese community. We've just passed the halfway point for ACM, and I'm thrilled to report that there are more than 80 different events on our calendar in 30 cities ranging from Portland, OR to Miami, FL. This packed event calendar is a testament to your enthusiasm and support for the North American cheese industry.
Although we're excited about every activity on the ACM calendar, I would like to call out a few innovative programs that are setting a high standard for all of us, and offer great models for years to come:
- Cheese lovers in Chicago are enjoying a packed calendar of American Cheese Month events, including the American Cheese Plate Benefit: a collaboration between Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and Chicago restaurants to offer artisan cheese plates. 5% of cheese plate proceeds will be donated to the ACEF.
- The Cheese Survival Kit, created by Formaticum and Brooklyn Slate Co., offers foodies the essentials needed to plate, pair, store, and enjoy cheese - all made by local artisans. $5 of every sale supports the ACEF.
Along with ACM, October brings even more exciting news, with the launch of the Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals (CECP). The application period for the CECP is now open! If you're thinking about taking the exam in Raleigh, NC this summer, visit our website to review the eligibility criteria, or to apply. You can also join our ongoing Facebook discussion to ask questions, share comments, and network with others who are planning to take the exam.
Thanks for all that you're doing to support American cheese this month!
Peace, Love and Cheese,
If You Build It...
How exciting it is to watch you -- our ACS members -- advance the American cheese industry through your passion, creativity, and hard work. American Cheese Month is being built by each of you as you plan events, develop programs, and create unique products and offerings this month. At the same time, you are advancing our industry by showing your support and enthusiasm for the newly launched Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals. Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural exam to be offered next year in Raleigh, NC, and cheese professionals from all facets of the industry are signing up to secure a seat for the exam and be a part of our first ever class of ACS Certified Cheese Professionals. The energy you bring to your work is evident in the momentum you bring to ACS and our initiatives. I hope you are as excited as I am to be a part of such a dynamic group, at such an important time -- when consumers are appreciating the quality of American cheeses, and cheese professionals are being more fully recognized for their unique knowledge and skills.
Later this month, you will receive a notice to renew your ACS membership for 2012. I hope you will renew your commitment to the American cheese community by joining us as a member for another year. You won't want to miss out on all the great resources, networking and educational opportunities, events, discounts, and professional advancement that come with ACS membership. Can't wait? Get a jump on things by contacting Stephanie in the ACS office to renew today at 720-328-2788 x300.
Happy American Cheese Month,
The Application Period for the Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals is Now Open!
ACS is pleased to announce that the first Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals (CECP) will be offered in 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The CECP was created by ACS to encourage improved standards of comprehensive knowledge and service in the cheese industry. The exam will evaluate candidates' understanding of core competencies common to the specialty cheese industry.
Cheese industry professionals who pass the CECP will earn the distinguished title of ACS Certified Cheese Professional (ACS CCP). The designation of ACS CCP is a mark of professional excellence, indicating that an individual has acquired the level of knowledge and expertise that is demanded throughout the cheese industry.
Applications are now being accepted for the first CECP, which will be offered in Raleigh, NC, immediately prior to the 29th Annual ACS Conference & Competition. The Conference will be held August 1-4, 2012.
The application fee is $35. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements outlined on the ACS website will subsequently be invited to register for the exam at the rate of $500 for ACS members, and $650 for non-members.
The deadline for submitting an application to take the CECP is March 31, 2012. Submit your application soon to secure your spot -- spaces are limited.
If you have questions about the CECP, please join our Facebook discussion.
A member of the ACS staff will respond to your post as quickly as possible.
ACS Launches American Cheese Month at GABF
Kelly McNamara from Caves of Faribault sampling cheese at GABF.
ACS staff and dedicated volunteers kicked off American Cheese Month at the 30th Annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF). The event welcomed 50,000 beer-and-cheese-loving individuals to the Colorado Convention Center. ACS showcased more than 50 cheeses and accompaniments, paired regional cheeses and beers, and had the unique opportunity to speak about North America's artisan and specialty cheeses to 150 members of the press at the Brewers Association's Media Luncheon. We also hosted a beer and cheese pairing class for Brewers Association members, led by Michael Landis from ANCO Fine Cheese.
An album of photos from GABF can be found on our Facebook page. Thanks to all of the members who participated in the event -- we're already looking forward to next year!
Upcoming American Cheese Month Events
We've crossed the halfway mark for American Cheese Month, but there's still plenty of time left to celebrate. We're pleased to highlight upcoming events in different regions of the country, via the link below. We hope this serves as a useful guide for anyone looking to join in the fun!
American Cheese Month in the News
American Cheese Month has received great coverage by media outlets around the country. Visit the Media Room on our website for a full listing of coverage, or see below for some of our favorite stories.
News from the Judging & Competition Committee
I'd like to start by thanking all of our members who participated in the 27th Annual Judging & Competition. This year saw a record number of entries despite the fact that the Competition was held outside of the country for the first time in ACS history. We are glad so many of you could be a part of this unique experience with us.
As many of you know, the ACS Judging & Competition is making a transition in leadership this year. For the past seven years, David Grotenstein has been the committee chairman; and after having served as the vice-chair for the last year, I'm excited and honored to be the incoming chair for the 2012 ACS Judging & Competition. As the Judging & Competition Committee starts its preparation for the 2012 Competition in Raleigh, I would like to reflect on the growth of the Competition over the years.
In 2011, the Montreal Competition had 1676 entries and was the largest Judging & Competition in North America. In ten years, the number of entries has grown by 1301. If the growth of the competition continues, we could see 1900 entries in 2012, as predicted by Bill Wendorff.
The interesting collection of data you see above explains two trends in ACS awards from 2005 through 2011: the percentage of awards by the number of companies entering the competition and the percentage of awards by the total number of entries. According to the data, 60% of the companies entering the competition have won an award in each of the past six years. Also, the number of awards as a percent of entries is not going up even though the number of awards has increased due to additional categories and ties for 2nd and 3rd place. A big thank you to Richard Silverston for providing this interesting analysis.
The Judging & Competition Committee views the Competition as a valuable tool for cheesemakers. Not only have we experienced a growth in the number of entries, we've also seen a tremendous improvement in American artisan cheese across the industry. We look forward to watching you and your businesses continue to grow!
Judging & Competition Chair
ACS Programs & Operations Director
|Connect to ACS
Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (#cheesesociety or #AmCheeseMonth), LinkedIn, or our member networking site, CheeseWire. Get the latest updates from the cheese community, connect with fellow cheesemakers, retailers and enthusiasts, and tell us what's happening in your world.