The community of Armstrong will once again be home to everything cheese as they host the fourth annual ‘Cheese…It’s A Natural’ event Saturday at Centennial Hall.
This year the popular event will again feature two opportunities for cheese lovers to enjoy the taste of artisan cheese produced here in the North Okanagan as well as from other areas of B.C.
Beginning at 10 a.m., cheesemakers, artisan food producers and small-batch wineries will provide samples and information.
“Those attending will pick up a ‘cheese pass’ which will allow one complimentary tasting from each exhibitor until 2 p.m.,” said event spokesperson Patti Noonan, executive director of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.
“Products will also be available for purchase just in case you find a cheese you can’t live without.”
The daytime event is free of charge – donations of a non-perishable item for the ‘Feed the Valley’ program, in support of the Armstrong Food Bank, will be accepted.
During the event, cheese poet David Beaudoin will host a ‘Cheese 101’ seminar.
Registration for the seminar will begin at 10 a.m. and be limited.
Beaudoin built a successful business with a product known as Squeaky Cheese, as well as leading and operating one of the oldest cheese factories in B.C. Now working as a cheese expert and consultant with the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Beaudoin will educate and entertain with his great knowledge and profound passion for cheese.
North Okanagan cheese producers Bella Stella, Terroir Cheese, The Village Cheese Co. and Grass Root Dairies will share the spotlight with Mt. Lehman Cheese from Abbotsford and Poplar Grove Cheese from Penticton – all proud supporters of 100 per cent Canadian milk products.
Artisan food producers including Chocoliro Finest Chocolate, Okanagan Rawsome, Bread at Uschi’s, Rogers Foods and White Lake Organics will join Edge of the Earth Vineyard, Recline Ridge Winery, Waterside Winery, Monte Creek Ranch Winery, St. Hubertus Estate Winery and Honeymoon Meadery offering samples of what the North Okanagan has to offer.
Think you are the ‘big cheese’? Don’t miss the ‘Cheese ball ‘and ‘Grilled Cheese’ competitions.
Amateur cheese ball entries will be accepted from 10 – 11 a.m. with judging at 11 a.m. The amateur grilled cheese competition will begin at 11 a.m.
“Winners of both the amateur and ‘Great Grilled Cheese Restaurant Challenge’ will be crowned ‘The Big Cheese’ at 11:45 a.m. with bragging rights for an entire year,” said Noonan.
Displays will include the North Okanagan Shuswap Barn Quilt Trail and Armstrong Age-Friendly. Vignettes including footage of the Great Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival and recipes demos courtesy of ‘All You Need is Cheese’ will be available for viewing in Centennial Theatre.
At 7 p.m., the doors of Centennial Hall will reopen and ticket holders will enjoy the ambience created by Renee and the Wild Sage Events team and have the opportunity to learn more about cheese from the cheese makers during an evening of ‘Spirited Cheese Tasting.’
The ticketed event will feature seven carefully selected tastings, that showcase cheese proudly featuring the ‘100 per cent Canadian milk designation as well as local produce and artisan products.
Heidi Jordan of The Wild Oak Café & Community Market has worked closely with Beaudoin to ensure every bite will highlight delicious artisan cheese.
Complementing the tastings will be wines produced by Okanagan wineries, including those present at the daytime event.
Advance tickets are $25; tickets at the door $35. Tickets are available at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce office, Chocoliro Finest Chocolate and The Wild Oak Café & Community Market.
This event is made possible by: Dairy Farmers of Canada, The Morning Star and Wild Sage Events, Nor-Val Event Rentals and the Armstrong Regional Co-operative in addition to the volunteers and ‘slow food’ producers.
For more information on the event or to participate as a ‘slow food’ producer, contact the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.