Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso
A sampling of one of the diverse selections of locally made artisan cheeses available during the upcoming Great Northeast Cheese Fest at Flushing Town Hall on December 5.

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Local turophiles have a new reason to rejoice. New York Epicurean Events’ first ever Great Northeast Cheese Fest will bring over 60 regional varieties of cheese to Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Artisanal cheese makers including Vulto Creamery, The Maiden’s Creamery, Beecher’s Handmade, The Cotton Hill Creamery and Bovina Valley Farm Creamery will be on hand to showcase their creations. Guests will have the opportunity to meet with creamery owners and cheese mongers while sampling from a wide range of sweet and nutty to sharp and savory cheeses.

Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro in Woodside, Michelin-starred Chef Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Steakhouse and Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery and Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co. will headline the event. The chefs will prepare special dishes using the locally made cheeses.

“We see The Great Northeast Cheese Fest as a bridge between the region’s makers of fine cheeses and the borough’s culinary culture,” explained acclaimed food writer and New York Epicurean Events Vice President Joe DiStefano. “The festival is going to bring so much wonderful cheese to an area that was once farmland itself, so really it’s a homecoming.”

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The frommage festival will also feature wine, craft beer and cocktail pairings crafted to compliment the cheeses. Descendant Cider Co., located on Flushing Ave. in Maspeth, will also be on hand with samples of their hand-pressed, small batch ciders made exclusively from New York State apples. Awestruck Premium Hard Cider, Rooftop Reds and Point of the Bluff Winery will also provide potables.

Chef Judy Lai of Queens-based bakeshop Silk Cakes will be showcasing her cheesecakes, while Chef Rudolf Merlin of Creme Bakery will use artisanal cheeses to create French pastry.

Notable writer and cheese connoisseur Max McCalman will answer guests’ questions in conjunction with the debut his new cheese and wine pairing app. Copies of McCalman’s books will also be available for sale at the event. The festival will also feature special demonstrations and workshops, including a primer on how to prepare the perfect holiday cheese plate. Cheeses will also be available to purchase directly from the creameries.

An all-inclusive $60 ticket will grant guests unlimited cheese sampling and beverage pairings, as well as tastings from the featured chefs. A limited number of $150 VIP tickets are also available, which will allow guests exclusive early access to the festival as well as culinary demonstrations and discussions with Max McCalman.

Tickets for The Great Northeast Cheese Fest can be purchased here.

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