Jul 28 2012

vermont cheesemakers’ festival

The Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival is the culmination of all of my favorite things, so it’s no surprise that I had been looking forward to it for months. As I’ve blabbered on about in the past, I absolutely love Vermont, particularly Burlington and nearby Shelburne Farms. I adore cheese, especially Vermont cheese. And don’t let the name of the festival fool you – with chocolate, beer, wine, spirits, and more, all from Vermont, there was much more than just cheese here. Need I say more?

Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival 2012

I’ve seen fliers for the event over the last couple of years, but we’ve never made the trip up from Boston to go. This year, however, my wonderful husband got tickets more than a month in advance as an anniversary gift. My friends and coworkers have heard of nothing else lately but my trip to Shelburne, Vermont for the festival so that when I got back to work the question on everyone’s lips was, “how was that cheese thing?”

Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival 2012 - Jasper Hill

In a word? Amazing. If I had three words, I would say amazing and sooo crowded. Ok, that’s four, but really, we were sardines in there, shuffling through, trying to maneuver lines to get to the delicious cheeses. I heard several disgruntled comments from people who have attended in previous years that the organizers sold too many tickets this year. This was our first time, so I can’t say if there were more people than in the past, but I will say that it was a little intense for us, especially with the high temperatures and lack of AC. It especially irked me because I was hoping to get some good photos of my favorite finds and getting photos ended up being low on the priority list because getting good food, staying out of the way, and trying to stay cool were high on the list.

Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival 2012

Continue reading

Share

Jul 27 2011

celebrity chef showdown: chef waxman vs. chef santos

 Tomatoes and Chef at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge

It’s been almost exactly a year since I started this blog and if you had told me then that I would get to meet Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto because of Pixelated Crumb, I never would have believed you. When I first heard about the opportunity to be a judge at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge in Dedham, MA I was certainly excited about the idea, but was somewhat reluctant to do it. I have so much respect and admiration for this culinary great who is not only one of the country’s best chefs, but a totally laid back and just generally great guy (I deduced these personality traits from watching Top Chef Masters Seasons 1 and 2 and you know that reality TV never lies). I was hesitant to judge the event because I was convinced that such a job should be left only to the heavy hitters such as Ruth Reichl or Brad Johnson. Joseph talked some sense into me and pointed out that I was over-thinking things and that this would be a fun, laid back event. Besides, when in my life would I ever get to taste and judge Chef Waxman’s food? The next day I was talking to the Cadillac PR rep and signing up to get my critique on.

Tomatoes and Chef at the Cadillac Culinary Challenge

By now you must be wondering who Chef Waxman was up against since clearly he wasn’t competing against himself! Cadillac is doing a series of these challenges in 14 cities pairing a celebrity chef with a local well known, highly regarded chef. Chef Jason Santos, who became a bit of a celebrity chef himself by making it to the finals of Hell’s Kitchen last year, was more than up to the challenge to compete against Chef Waxman. Chef Santos, formally of Gargoyles on the Square, just opened Blue Inc. (named for his blue hair) in the financial district less than two weeks ago and has already gotten rave reviews (actually, I haven’t seen any official reviews yet, but Yelpers sure like it!).

Chef Jonathan Waxman and Thai Eggplants

Continue reading

Share