What happens when the best cheesemongers from around the country are put in one room? These questions are unequivocally answered at the annual Cheese Monger Invitational. We are honored and so excited that our head Cheesemonger, John, has been invited to compete for the third year in a row! This competition showcases both cheese and those who learn the art of cheese, transforming mongering into a competition. The mongers are spotlighted in a unique competition that showcases their technical skills, encyclopedic knowledge, and passionate salesmanship.
The competition days are a true test of what it takes to be a craftsman of cheese including a multiple-choice exam, blind tasting challenge, cut and wrap challenge, a smell station where mongers identify cheese by smell (not limited to very pungent aromas), and a sales challenge based on how well the mongers sell cheese meeting the needs of the customer. The last challenge before the final is the most creative in the competition. The mongers have three stages: drink pairing, cheese board, and perfect bites. With this portion, the mongers are preassigned cheeses to use in the different categories. The goal of this challenge is to be as creative as possible and create something delicious for the judges. John is hoping that his prior knowledge from the past two competitions, experiences from his ten years as a cheesemonger, and practice at the shop will elevate him to a top-five placement. This year, he wants his display to reflect who he is as a person, blending his passion for cheese with his love for Dungeons and Dragons. Each of his pairings will be transformed into an encounter including:
While the competition side of the CMI is undoubtedly a great time, learning from, meeting, and building a community with other cheesemongers is the true spirit of the event and why we love attending each year. Wish John luck and stay tuned for live updates on our IG stories!