Monday, February 4, 2008

Cheese, please

The second annual Hudson Valley Cheese Festival takes place from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in Hudson and will benefit Columbia County Bounty, an organization working to support the county's local farmers and food communities.

Years ago, I coordinated a magazine’s tasting review panel for regional cheeses. As I traveled through the Hudson Valley sourcing products for the event, I was amazed at the variety of locally produced cheeses I was finding. Our expert tasters were professors at the Culinary Institute of America -- all folks with expert palates, international backgrounds and with great insight about the world of food. The consensus that afternoon was that the Hudson Valley was producing some high-quality cheese products. So here’s a chance to taste many of them at the same time!

The upcoming Columbia County event is featuring some exceptional cheeses from local producers such as Coach Farm in Pine Plains, Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in Ancramdale, Old Chatham Sheepherders in Chatham, and Hawthorne Valley Farms in Ghent. The Olde Hudson gourmet shop will also be there to showcase international cheeses. Food will be prepared by local restaurants including DA/BA, Gigi Trattoria, Local 111, Mexican Radio, Red Dot, Swoon, The Red Barn, and Vico Restaurant & Bar. AND a fine selection of wines and beer from the Chatham Brewery will complement the regional delicacies. (The event also includes a silent auction and every guest will go home with a gift bag filled with all manner of goodies from the sponsors and exhibitors.)

Sound like a delicious way to spend an afternoon. And Hudson -- with all its galleries, antiques shops and boutiques -- is just such a fun little city to explore.

Tickets: $40 per person. Capacity 200 (RSVP soon -- they expect to sell out!)
Contact: Columbia Bounty County: 518-828-4417
Verdigris Art & Tea: 518-828-3139

More info here.

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