Sunday, April 25, 2010


You guys, I have to tell you what I was invited to do on Thursday night. It's like I died and went to heaven. You know that episode of Friends where Pheobe accidentally finds Monica's soul mate (only it's not Chandler) and the two bond over a love of cheese? So much so that they each agree it would be ideal to move into a house made of cheese? (If not, click here.)

Well, I'm not moving into a cheese house, but I did the next best thing. I went to a gourmet cheese dinner. The entire meal was centered around God's second greatest gift to the world: CHEESE!

It all started Wednesday night while I was setting up for my big event and in stress up to my eyebrows. I was actually standing still for a moment when a coworker strolled up and invited me to attend this dinner with him. I don't think he knew that I was such a cheeseoholic (or that I could use a fun night) but BOY did he learn.

So Thursday night, we headed to Loew's Vanderbilt Plaza, a fancy hotel here in town, where we partook in the Clark Wolf Cheese Dinner: a four-course cheese-laden menu prepared by the hotel's executive chef with commentary on each course from Clark Wolf, a restaurant/food consultant and author of American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan and Farmhouse Cheeses, Who Makes Them and Where to Find Them. And yes, we each got to take home a signed copy.

Wondering how many ways any chef could possibly serve that much cheese? Here's the breakdown.

We started off with a "cheese maker festival" reception featuring cheese from local farms. The cheesemaker himself was there to tell us about his product, which we sampled generously, along with some delicious Pinot Noir. Don't worry, there was other stuff there too. And in a related story, guess who like to eat olives now? Particularly kalamata olives? Yum.

Once it was time for dinner, not only did I find we were seated at the head table, but that we were also sitting with the author himself, Mr. Wolf (aka the big cheese - hahahaha). For the first course we were brought three cheeses: Bellweather Farms Fromage Blanc, Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk and Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog along with some walnuts, figs and dried apricots to get all this cheese down with. Mr. Wolf explained why he chose those cheeses for us to sample and where and how they came into production. My favorite was the Humboldt Fog. It had grape leave ashes in it and was creamy like a goat cheese - so delicious. Not as appealing was the Cowgirl Red Hawk. Even with walnuts and a bottomless glass of Syrah.

For the second course, we got to choose between beef tenderloin with Roth Kase Gruyère and Tennessee morel ragout; roasted all-natural rosemary chicken, with Marin French Petite Crème and jus lie; or seared Carolina grouper, with Vermont Creamery feta, fire-roasted tomato coulis. They also served some side dishes family style, such as green beans and potatoes au gratin. My beef was delicious and word around the table was that the grouper was stellar as well.

The next course was fried green tomatoes with arugula, smoked mozzarella and drizzled with an apple cider vinaigrette. Having never been a big tomato fan, I only nibbled on this dish but it was still good.

And to top off the meal - sweet cornmeal cakes, brown butter and ricotta ice cream with bourbon glaze. De. Lish.

I know what you're wondering: A) why I didn't take a picture of any of this; B) how I managed to go this long without bringing it up; and C) if I've pooped since eating all that cheese. Regarding a photo, it would have been inappropriate (maybe not entirely but I didn't want to embarrass my date); as for B, I have been too SWAMPED with other things to even think about blogging (starting with a 70-hour work week this week); and as for the last question, don't worry about me. My body is long since used to the amount of cheese I put into it. The good news is, now I am burning it all off!


  1. I love, love, love FRIENDS too!! I could probably rival your FRIENDS trivia knowledge. :) Great post!

  2. Is this guy in a relationship... cause he needs to be now... I think he may be your soul mate :)

  3. I was worried about the digestion thing, so thank you for easing my fears. LOL. I love cheese too, but it doesn't love me.

  4. Great post! What a delicious experience. If you ever need/want a buddy to go cheese tastin' with, you have my number! As for a recommendation, eat here ASAP... and order the cheese plate as an appetizer! AH-mazing. I get it every time I go. 2die4.

  5. I never said HE liked cheese. He was just invited to this thing and decided to take me with him. Which was a great decision.


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