The 2015 American Cheese Society Conference was in Providence, Rhode Island this year (the 32nd annual conference). NECS almost always has a sponsor’s table , so we can meet cheese makers and retailers, attend sessions and participate in fun activities. If you haven’t been to one of these fabulous conferences, check out next year’s in Des Moines, Iowa and stop by our table to say “hey!”
Our table in the lobby of the Providence Convention Center
This was one of many activities planned for the first night. It involved walking from one pub to another to sample cheeses. It was a great opportunity for us to see some of Providence.
This is a wildly popular session where members are invited to take the microphone and speak their minds.
Meet the Cheese Makers
In this event, cheese makers from all around North America hand out samples and answer questions about their cheeses.
Suspense hangs in the air when the winning entries of the ACS Competition (the most prestigious in North America) are about to be revealed. As the winners are announced, a rowdy audience, claps and cheers for their fellow cheese makers. This year, one of the winners danced with glee across the stage! A California delegation always waves their flags and whoops it up when their state claims another ribbon.
The Festival of Cheeses
This is always the most exciting event of the conference, where volunteers bring out most of the entries in the competition and for three hours, members of the ACS and people from the area who have purchased tickets, taste and compare the entries. Every year, Ricki, who was one of the original founders of the ACS, immediately zeroes in on a few of the most fabulous cheeses and brings samples of them to the rest of us with great excitement. She seems to have a radar for the cheese treasures (or maybe she just knows exactly what we’ll love).
The festival is an amazing opportunity – to taste the best of the best in every category. (There are always a few days after the conference when we swear we’ll never eat cheese again, but that doesn’t last long!)