ACS 2009, The Tour, The Conference, The Competition, The Fun!

The American Cheese Society 2009 conference is now over, but it will be remembered around here forever!

Pure Luck Display At Whole Foods
Pure Luck’s display at the Whole Foods flagship store in Austin, TX

The American Cheese Society conference started long before Wednesday morning for us at Pure Luck. We were hard at work preparing to be hosts for our friends and peers. Amelia was speaking with the media during her short breaks from cheesemaking. Among those were The Chronicle for their article on The American Cheese Society and The Austin American Statesman’s article “Masters of Cheese”.

On Wednesday, as we were waiting for the tour bus of cheesemakers, cheesemongers, and foodies to arrive, some of us frantically made last minute polishing touches to the dairy. Meanwhile, Amelia was with Julie Moody of KUT, the local public radio station giving an interview.

Then it happened, the bus pulled up and we got to work. I use the term “work” lightly because this tour was a blast! Gitana showed some of the group around the pasture to meet the girls, Amelia showed some others how we make our cheese, and I had the wonderful job of showing off our humble milking parlor and demonstrating the milking process. Many of the group decided to try their hand at milking a goat on their own! After the main tour we all enjoyed some cheese, ice cold water from Richard’s Rainwater, and local Texas brews from Real Ale. Thank you everyone for choosing to come out, and thank you to our friends and family for helping us make this tour such a success!

Later on Wednesday night was Meet the Cheesemaker. I went and setup our table with some Hopelessly Bleu, Feta with olive oil and fresh rosemary, and some Basket Molded Chevre. It was a lot of fun to chat with everyone on a level that was a little less hectic than the Festival of Cheese.

Ben with his friends from Central Market
Ben with his friends from Central Market

Over the next couple of days we ate cheese… some more cheese… and a little more cheese. I scratched the surface on the knowledge out there about cheese cultures, learned a bit on raw milk cheeses, milk characteristics, and mingled with my friends and soon to be friends in the cheese world.

Friday night was the awards ceremony that everyone had been anxiously waiting for. Pure Luck’s Hopelessly Bleu won 1st in it’s category, the Basket Molded Chevre also won a 1st in it’s category, and the Feta won a 3rd! We were overjoyed! Amelia was positively glowing.

Amelia picking up the Blue for the Bleu
Amelia picks up the Blue for the Bleu!

Announcing the 1st for the Hopelessly Bleu
Announcment of the 1st for the Hopelessly Bleu

Announcment of the Basket Molded Chevre 1st Place
Announcment of the Basket Molded Chevre 1st Place

The next day, Amelia was on the panel for the Texas Terroir session. This session was a pairing and information session on Texas cheeses and beers. Amelia did such a wonderful job, and everyone had a great time! Austin’s own food blog Austin Farm to Table did a complete writeup on the Texas Terroir session.

Amelia on the Texas Terroir panel
Amelia on the Texas Terroir panel

On the The Festival of Cheese! This event is beyond amazing! Imagine standing in a room with about 1300 cheeses all presented and prepared for you to eat. That’s right, an entire grand ballroom in the Hilton with almost every square foot crammed with cheese! It took a little wandering around but I finally found some of ours.

Hopelessly Bleu at the Festival of Cheese
Hopelessly Bleu at the Festival of Cheese

While enjoying the cheeses with our friends and family, I got a chance to share some of my story with Rachel Silverman who writes for The Wall Street Journal’s site Speakeasy.

But wait, there’s more! The day after our adventure in cheese, Amelia went out to the Whole Foods flagship store for an interview with News 8 Austin!

Amelia getting ready to be on the local news
Amelia getting ready to be on the local news

Now the shoutouts: Thank you so much to our friends Cathy Strange, Sara Hill, Sheana Davis, Paula Lambert, Chip McElroy, Tim Schwartz, Cathy Cochran-Lewis, Stuart Veldhuizen, Des Dunn, Anne Jones, Greg Flores, Gordon Edgar, Hope, Claire, Ryan, Gitana, Peter, the Dripping Springs Babbler, Mimi Pam, and many others I probably forgot to mention that helped and supported us through this convention! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

One last note. Pure Luck is now on Facebook, so please become a fan of Pure Luck Farm and Dairy on Facebook!

American Cheese Society Comes to Austin: Cheese in the Heart of Texas

This year’s annual American Cheese Society conference is coming to Texas for the first time! It will be held from August 5th through the 9th at the Hilton Downtown.

Each year this conference brings together cheesemakers, cheese enthusiasts, food writers, and retailers to meet about the thing they love most…cheese! With classes like “Politics of American Cheese”, “Raw Milk Cheese from Farm to Table”, and “Characteristics of Milk” there is heaps of tasty information to aquire.

This year Pure Luck is excited to give a tour to a group of ACS members and show them what it takes for a small operation like us to make award winning farmstead cheese. We will find a way to beat the heat and roll out the welcome mat our peers.

Also at the conference, Amelia will be on the panel for “Texas Terroir” where she will explore the pairings of local Texas cheeses and microbrews with Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Company, Tim Schwartz of Real Ale Brewing Company and Chip McElroy of Live Oak Brewing Company. This class is always a fun event, and this year will not disappoint!

All of us at Pure Luck are looking forward to this event, and are very excited! Bring on the cheese!

ACS: Cheese in the Heart of Texas

Pure Luck Mentioned in SAVEUR Magazine!

Our Ste. Maure was one of the lucky Texas cheeses to be mentioned in the Texas edition of SAVEUR Magazine!

In the June/July 2009 issue, there is a giant article called Twenty-Four Reasons Why We Love Texas. Number 6 is Cheese Revolution.

…Creamy and slightly ripened, this French-style goat cheese has a tang that evokes a cross between fresh chèvre and Roquefort.

Thanks, SAVEUR!


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