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Celebration of all things cheese this weekend

Great Canadian Cheese Festival GeorgsCanada’s biggest cheese show unfolds in Picton this weekend highlighting the tastes, sights, makers and cooking and eating advice.

Visitors to the sixth annual two-day event will taste award-winning artisan and farmstead cheeses from coast-to-coast, meet and mingle with many of the nation’s best cheesemakers and artisan food producers and learn about cheese in seminars, demonstration and special festival events.

“Our mission has not changed from day one – to promote Canadian artisan and farmstead cheese from coast to coast,” said founder Georgs Kolesnikovs. “We’re thrilled this year to be able to present the biggest selection of award-winning cheese available anywhere in Canada. In all, we’ll have 500 foods and drinks at this year’s festival.”

Twenty three category winners at the recent Canadian Cheese Awards – including the Canadian Cheese of the Year, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, will be in the spotlight along with close to 40 cheese producers, including the creme de la creme of Quebec sharing their passion, their stories, and their cheeses.

A special County beer, wine and cider mini tour has been organized for Friday, June 3 from 1-5:30 p.m. The tour starts at the Crystal Palace and continues to Barley Days, Waupoos Estates Winery and Clafeld Fruit Winery and Market.

Saturday’s evening will be filled with cheese as the Raclette Rave dance party will highlight Raclette – a Swiss/French dish made with melted cheese, small potatoes, cornichons, pickled onions and cured meat. Age of majority event.

Cheese-Festival-2016New this year is a free admission Road to the Royal Chef Challenge event Sunday starting at 1 p.m. in the Prince Edward Community Centre.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has selected The Great Canadian Cheese Festival to host the first in a series of competitions across Ontario that will see chefs create dishes using local ingredients revealed only at the start of the contest.
Three County chefs, Chef Matthew DeMille of Drake Devonshire, Chef Amanda Nichol, of Black Sheep Cannery and Chef Elliot Reynolds of Angeline’s will go head-to-head in two rounds of 30 minutes to create both an entrée and dessert using “secret ingredients” provided to them at the beginning of the competition. Spoiler Alert: One of the ingredients will be CHEESE!

Thanks to St. Albert Cheese Co-op, the first 1,000 ticket holders admitted on Saturday, June 4, will enjoy a free sample package of freshly made cheese curds. The first 1,000 ticket holders on Sunday, June 5, will enjoy a free freshly grilled cheese sandwich made by chefs competing the Grilled Cheese Chowdown.

Visit The Great Canadian Cheese Festival website for complete details and tickets to all the events. http://cheesefestival.ca/tickets/

Local residents can use promotional code LOCAL20 to receive a 20 per-cent discount on admission.
Included in price of admission: a chance to meet and talk with cheesemakers from coast to coast, cheese seminars, artisan foods galore, fine wine, craft beer, crisp cider, in total 500 foods and beverages on offer, plus a souvenir tote and glass, live music, dairy farm animals, food court and FREE parking. With the discount, admission is $40, seniors $36. Children under 15 admitted free when with an adult.

Enter the promotional code LOCAL20 before placing your ticket order at http://cheesefestival.ca/tickets/ . If you plan to purchase tickets at the door, present this article or show it on your phone. Show hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with ticket sales at the main entrance in the Curling Club on Picton Fairgrounds.

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