Cypress Grove Chevre and culture are pairing up to sponsor a cheesemonger at this summer’s Cheesemonger Invitational in Brooklyn, New York. This is an epic battle of monger versus monger, featuring blind taste tests, cutting and wrapping assessments, pairing challenges, and more!
We have chosen the THREE FINALISTS for our Send Your Monger Packing competition! These three cheesemongers are competing to win FULL SPONSORSHIP to the Cheesemonger Invitational, including airfare to and from New York, hotel accommodations, CMI entry fee, and a daily stipend for the duration of the trip. Want to see your favorite cheesemonger head to the Big Apple and compete for cheese glory? Vote today!
The Final Three
Amanda Puckett – Whole Foods Market – Tallahassee, Fla.
Amanda has been a cheesemonger for six years, four of which have been spent at Whole Foods Market. Amanda was part of the inaugural American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional Program in 2012. Over the past six years, cheese has gone from a great mystery full of different flavors, textures, and smells, and has become a passion to her. Amanda has never attended the CMI and is excited to compete this year to prove what she knows and what she can do.
Jordan Edwards – Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread, and Wine – Chicago, Ill.
Jordan grew up in Chicago and until he began working in restaurants at the age of fourteen had only experienced cheese as it came from the welfare food bank. He worked his way up from dishwasher to executive chef and was on a culinary path until the restaurant he worked at abruptly shut down when the owner pawned the stove and frier to pay off gambling debts. Understandably discouraged, he found a job with Pastoral delivering cheese to restaurants. With every delivery he made a point to learn about the cheeses he was dropping off. After six months in delivery, Jordan’s car was stolen! Fortunately, Pastoral’s owners had become impressed with him and offered him a position behind the cheese counter, and now he can’t imagine doing anything else. Jordan has never completed in the CMI and is excited for the chance to attend for the first time.
Bryan Peyton Bland – Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread, and Wine – Chicago, Ill.
Almost 4 years ago, Peyton stumbled into the world of specialty cheese from a career in architecture. It was a happy accident that started with making sandwiches for Pastoral Artisan in Chicago, Ill. It was during this time that he was first struck by the history, the story, and the people behind each cheese he found behind Pastoral’s counter. Today, Peyton manages Bar Pastoral’s cheese program where he curates the cheese selection, educates the staff, builds cheese plates for diners, and develops wine and beer pairings for those plates. Peyton competed in the 3rd & 4th annual Cheesemonger Invitationals in New York and took 3rd place overall in the 2012 competition. He looks forward to the opportunity to attend again in 2014 and to take home the number one spot.