CheeseFest: A celebration of cheese

CheeseFest – the annual weekend celebration of fine cheese and fine company – returns for its ninth year in late October with more than 60 stalls of food and drink.

CheeseFest Director Kris Lloyd (Woodside Cheese Wrights Head Cheesemaker and The Adelaide Review columnist) says she’s always aimed for the annual celebration of cheese to be this state’s “most sophisticated food event”. Back for its ninth year, Lloyd believes the South Australian public have supported CheeseFest due to the fact that the annual festival has gone to great lengths to “uphold our integrity regarding origin and products permitted at the festival both in food and wine”. “We bring the regions into the city across the board with wine, food and cheese,” she says. But Lloyd explains that the Rymill Park event (held on Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26) is not a traditional food and wine festival. “We turn away so many food stalls that want to be involved; it is a celebration of cheese first and foremost and it has remained that way. We believe that is what’s unique about CheeseFest.” For the 2014 incarnation, SA restaurants including Street ADL, Grace the Establishment and The Brasserie will serve their wares, and a special marquee event for this year’s CheeseFest is the Premium Pavilion Six-Course Degustation, prepared by Nigel Rich (The Elbow Room), Brendan Bell (King’s Head) and Stewart Wesson (Flinders St Project) will bring the foodies out in force. Artisan cheeemakers including Alexandria Cheese Co, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Pty Ltd, Barossa Valley Cheese Company and Shaw River Buffalo Cheese will be present with stalls. The degustation, as well as the Mozzarella Bar and the King Island Cheese Train are new additions to this year’s event. Lloyd wants these elements to illustrate the “diversity of cheese” and hopes people will appreciate the work of the cheesemaker. “Cheese is one of those foods that holds its own,” she explains. “It can be served alone – think about it, a piece of cheese can be eaten complete and neat; have you ever been hungry and just taken a slice of cheese alone and been satisfied? I bet the answer is yes! – or with accompaniments, or cooked in special dishes. Then there are the painted cows, featuring the art of Andrew Baines and Ruby Chew as well as that of Lloyd. “I have always wanted to bring a thread of art into CheeseFest,” Lloyd says. “I love and support the visual arts and paint a bit myself – nothing of note I might add! “I think it’s fun and I like to have a bit of fun with this event. It is a lot of work and to have an element of cows popping up around Adelaide just levels everything out for me, it is also a mark of acknowledgment for the farmers that the artisans source their milk from. Good milk means good cheese and I am aware that all the SA cheesemakers deal with local dairies. We pay fair prices to all of our dairy farmers and have been instrumental in resurrecting dairies that ceased operation after the deregulation of milk prices. That is such a pleasing result!” CheeseFest Rymill Park
 Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26

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