Cypress Grove Cheesemonger Champion Contest | culture: the word on cheese
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Cypress Grove Cheesemonger Champion Contest

Cypress Grove Cheesemonger Champion logo: Think you can make the cut?

Calling all awesome cheesemongers: Cypress Grove Chevre and culture are pairing up to sponsor a cheesemonger at this winter’s Cheesemonger Invitational in San Francisco, California. This is an epic battle of monger versus monger, featuring blind taste tests, cutting and wrapping assessments, pairing challenges, and more!

While mongers across the nation crave the glory of proving their cheese chops to the masses, many are unable to attend due to pesky constraints such as the cost of getting to and staying in San Francisco for the duration of the contest. This is where we come in. The monger who wins Cypress Grove’s Cheesemonger Champion competition, will receive FULL SPONSORSHIP to the Cheesemonger Invitational. Sponsorship includes airfare to and from San Francisco, hotel accommodations, CMI entry fee, and a daily stipend for the duration of the trip; This could mean thousands of dollars towards achieving cheese glory at the CMI.

We have narrowed our #CheeseChamp choices down to the final three. Voting ended on December 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST. We’ll be announcing the winner on Monday, January 5. Happy New Year!

Cheesemonger Liz Nerud

She deserves to win because: “[The CMI] requires expertise, stamina and imagination. I would be deeply honored and proud to represent Cypress Grove as its Cheesemonger Champion.”

In 1998 Liz Nerud was began working in the catering department of Lunds, but was was very pleased to soon be promoted and start training in Specialty Cheese. It has been a marvelous journey! Learning Cheese is like learning a language. First you learn a few nouns, then some verbs, throw in a few adjectives and pretty soon you can speak a whole sentence, a paragraph, and even write a brilliant essay about Comte. (Which was a critic’s darling, but rejected by the Academy.) With Cheese there is always more vocabulary to acquire, more tales to tell.

Cheesemonger James Danforth

He deserves to win because: “I can, and will, rock this competition because – as you may have gathered – I am probably the most humble cheese legend you haven’t heard of yet.”

James Danforth began his career as a cheesemonger with Whole Foods Market in San Francisco, Cali. Now in Northern Colorado working for King Soopers’, James preaches the word of the curd to any and everyone who will listen. Several of his assistant cheesemongers have moved on to be run their own cheese destinations both with Whole Foods and King Soopers. Currently James runs one of the most successful cheese island in Northern Colorado for King Soopers’ He is passionate, competitive, fun, and an all-around Curd Nerd. 

Cheesemonger Melissa Wood

She deserves to win because: “Competing in the Cheesemonger Invitational would be a dream opportunity to expand my knowledge and lead by example for Kroger associates and the cheese public at large.”

Melissa Wood joined the Kroger/ Murray partnership during it’s initial launch in 2008. She used her 20-plus years of cooking experience to develope best practices and train associates on pairing, cooking with, how to handle, sales and promotions, history and creation, and merchandising of cheese. Melissa has created products with cheese that are sold in Kroger cheese shops company wide.

Fine Print:
The Cheesemonger Invitational is limited to mongers who have at least 1 year of experience and who are currently employed as a cheesemonger. To be eligible for sponsorship, mongers must reside within the continental US. Sponsorship includes airfare to and from San Francisco, hotel accommodations, daily stipend for the duration of the trip, and entry fee for the Cheesemonger Invitational contest.