The first Cheesemonger's Invitational was held in Queens last Saturday. It felt like a culinary early 90's rave throwback, in part because it was Saturday and I was with hundreds of people in a remote warehouse. Also it was hosted by a former DJ (Adam Moskowitz), one of the judges was a former DJ (Jason Hinds) and at least one cheesemonger is a current DJ (our own Carlos Souffront). Plus there was music — from a DJ. (DJs seem to infest the cheese business like bike people do coffee.)
Ann Arbor did represent. I counted three of the nine cheesemongers with A2 connections. Anthea from Bi-Rite worked at Zingerman's. Matt from Rubiner's went to school in Ann Arbor. And Carlos is Zingerman's current and longstanding ace cheesemonger.
The competition ranged from cutting pieces to weight without a scale to identifying cheeses by taste. Congratulations to our man Carlos who pulled off third place.