Early Bird Conference Registration Opens May 5!
'Early Bird' registration for the 2014 ACS Conference & Competition in Sacramento will open on Monday, May 5. Mark your calendar to ensure that you can take advantage of the lowest registration rates.
Conference sponsors at the $1,000 level or above can register even earlier, starting on April 29. Contact ACS to learn more about sponsorship.
Visit our website
for registration rates and conference updates, including a schedule of this year's educational program.
April Showers Bring...Edible Flowers!
With the changing seasons, now is the perfect time to take advantage of a delicious spring crop: edible flowers. Check out a guide to selecting and cooking with edible flowers, and try your hand at the recipes below.
Fig and Lavender Goat Cheese Galettes (pictured above)
Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms
Arugula Pesto with Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi
Upcoming Cheese Events
May 9-11, 2014
May 25-29, 2014
Bagni di Lucca, Italy
June 25-29, 2014
Randolph Center, VT
Find more events, and post your own cheese events, on the ACS Event Calendar.
What's In A Name?
Ashley from MouCo Cheese Company
MouCo Cheese Co. selected the name "Ashley" for their cheese because they wanted something that would reflect what the cheese is: Co-owner Robert Poland says, "Since it is an ash cured rind, we came up with a variety of fun names, of which Ashley won out."
Retail Discounts for ACS Members
ACS members enjoy discounts on great cheeses at participating retailers via the ACS Retail Discount Program! This program allows you to receive discounts of 10-20% simply by presenting a valid ACS membership card at check-out. Click the map below for a full list of participating retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
Cheese in the News
Dear Fellow ACS Members,
I hope everyone is finally experiencing spring and all that comes with it! Farmers' markets are starting up; kids, lambs, and calves are born; and fresh cheese is starting to hit the market. After the winter that has been, it is a very welcome development!
As with our industry as a whole, there is a great deal happening at ACS right now. Here's an overview:
Preparations for the ACS Conference in Sacramento are coming together, and The Golden State is putting together an amazing program for ACS members. Mark your calendar for July 29-August 1. We have changed the conference schedule so that it ends on Friday this year, giving everyone the opportunity for sightseeing and visits around the region. There are great places to visit in Sacramento's backyard, and wonderful things to do and eat in the SAC itself! Thanks to the Conference Planning Committee and the ACS staff for their hard work to make this an amazing event.
Our committees are very busy working on a number of deliverables that you will learn about at Conference, which is one more reason to make sure that you're there. In the meantime, here are some highlights:
The Certification Committee is doing a phenomenal job of preparing for a record-breaking exam in Sacramento, with more than 250 of our industry's best and brightest studying to achieve the prestigious ACS CCP™ designation. Special thanks to the committee, led by Max McCalman and our board liaison Pat Ford!
The Membership Committee, led by board chair and committee chair Christine Hyatt, is taking a fresh look at how we serve our membership, including the possibility of additional or modified classifications of membership to address the morphing needs of our industry and this association. The Best Practices effort for cheesemakers is also progressing on time, and we are very pleased to share it with you this summer as yet another benefit of membership.
The Executive Committee is traveling to Denver this weekend, to ACS headquarters, for a deep-dive meeting on forward-looking projects with our staff. We will continue to look at the many ways we can grow offerings and create benefits. If there are benefits that you would like to see us offer, send your thoughts to Nora Weiser!
Another piece of great news is that Jess Perrie, the first recipient of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DZTA), recently traveled on the first-ever scholarship trip to Spain's Basque region to learn about cheesemaking in the Pyrenees! The bonus for all of us is that as part of winning the DZTA, she has the opportunity to share what she learned at the ACS Conference in Sacramento. Everyone wins, and we get to celebrate the vision and legacy of one of our industry's brightest lights, living on through this wonderful program. Wish to be considered for the 2014 DZTA? Applications are now being accepted. Learn more on the DZTA website.
There's much more to share, but we'll save some news for next time! Please keep an eye out for our board elections in the coming weeks. On behalf of the board, I want to thank all who are slated for the upcoming election, as well as others who expressed interest. Our cup runneth over, and the best part is that regardless of outcome, there are opportunities for everyone to contribute and make a difference.
Wishing you a great spring season, and I hope you'll start making plans to join us this summer in California. 'Early Bird' registration opens May 5!
No Better Time Than the Present
My 10-year-old son is working on a school project for which he must answer a question of interest to him. He chose the following question: "Does time exist?" He is creating a flow chart with yes or no questions, each of which leads the user to the ultimate answer to the question. I admit, I don't fully understand relativity or quantum mechanics...but I do appreciate what he is trying to do: convince everyone that time doesn't exist. As a 10-year-old, he has little interest in "clock time" or other man-made constructs to quantify time. His premise is that fundamentally, "the universe must be timeless
Fascinating? Yes. Good for getting out the door in morning? No.
With the hectic conference season arriving here at ACS, I've been thinking a lot lately about time. If something doesn't exist, how can I keep running out of it? And how do so many deadlines keep creeping up? And how can one be late for anything? I find it incredibly hard to look at the big picture of universal time as nonexistent, when it seems like there are never enough hours in each day to complete everything I need to do.
In the end, the lesson I've taken from this school project is that we all create our own constructs of time, and what we choose to do to fill it. I've also learned how little we think deeply in daily life, instead taking for granted that things are largely as they seem. We experience time in a linear fashion, so we create key points along that line to allow us to understand our progress. Stepping back and thinking of time in this abstract way makes it easier to let go of many irrelevant, passing concerns.
Maybe for his next project, I'll ask him how to age a cheese for sixty days in a universe without time.
ACS Needs You! Volunteer in Sacramento
The ACS Conference & Competition is just a few months away, and we need your help to make our 31st annual event a success!
ACS is seeking volunteers to assist with shifts in Sacramento, CA from Thurs, July 24 through Sat, August 2. Opportunities include helping with Judging & Competition entry receiving and the movement of cheeses for judging; prep of cheeses for educational sessions and events like the Festival of Cheese and Cheese Sale; assistance with on-site registration; and more!
To show our appreciation, ACS will offer volunteers:
- Complimentary ticket to the Festival of Cheese on Friday, August 1, where you can sample 1,700+ competition cheeses and specialty foods ($55 value).
- Official volunteer t-shirt available only to volunteers!
- Complimentary meal whenever your shift coincides with an ACS Conference scheduled meal time.
- For volunteers assisting with the Judging & Competition during an 8+ hour shift, one complimentary ticket to the Awards Ceremony & Reception on Thurs, July 31 ($55 value)
Register online, and find the opportunity that's right for you:
Note: if you volunteered for ACS in 2012 or 2013 using the Shiftboard site, you will need to re-register via the site in order to volunteer in 2014
Featured Cheese: Hudson Flower
By Marcella Wright, ACS CCP™
Disclaimer: As many of you know, I am a Murray's Cheese Set-Up Specialist for Kroger. However, the following profile is my own and neither Murray's nor Kroger influenced it in any way.
Every once in a while, a cheese comes along that is so special words can't do it justice... this is one of those cheeses.
Hudson Flower begins life at Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in New York's Hudson Valley. In 1993, Tom and Nancy Clark bought 600 acres of grassy fields in Old Chatham, New York to fulfill Tom's childhood dream to raise a flock of sheep. Today, their farm is the largest sheep dairy farm in the United States. Tom and Nancy are involved in every aspect of the operation from tending the fields to cheesemaking...[continue]
Retailer Profile: Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill
Lucy's Whey recently opened a new store, Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill, on the Upper East Side, in addition to their original shop in Chelsea Market. Lucy's Whey Carnegie Hill carries around 100 cheeses at a time. "We emphasize American artisanal cheese because our roots are in American cheese," says Amy Thompson, "but with a larger cheese case than our earlier shops, we decided to expand our selection to highlight some European cheeses as well."
The shop is proud to be carrying some cheeses from Peter Dixon's new operation, Parish Hill Creamery. "We are currently featuring the Humble Herdsman, a plump semi-firm cheese washed in hard cider that Peter makes himself," says Amy. They also have West West Blue, a stunning Gorgonzola-style cheese with beautiful pepperiness. Another cheese that customers can't get enough of is Oma from Von Trapp Farmstead/Cellars at Jasper Hill...[continue]
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