ACS Providence 2015 Day 1

And we’re off!

Following a warm walk up to the convention center we sat down to a Vermont Pancake Breakfast (sponsored by the VT Cheese Council) with made to order pancakes and VT maple syrup “shots” on the table. We sat with a pair of guys from The Loan Grazer Creamery in Minneapolis, MF (yes! right in the City) and talked string cheese.

The keynote speaker for the conference was Mark Canlis is a Seattle restaurateur who is NOT a cheese maker (one of the first points he made) but who wanted us to step back from the “rules” of food and cheese making and take a look at the concept and history of “hospitality.” Canlis believes passionately that he is in the business of relationships and trust and that it’s important for all of us to ask us AND our employees “Who are you becoming?” and “Who do you want to become?” And it’s only through this kind of awareness of our true goals that we can succeed in business and in life. In the midst of his talk he staged a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament that illustrated the power of support and positive belief in Others (which ties into the history of Hospitality) for both you that other person.
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ACS Providence 2105 Day 0

It’s arrival day at the 32nd annual American Cheese Society Conference, this year back on the East Coast in Providence, RI. The current mayor, Jorge o. Elorza welcomed us to “America’s Favorite City” (according to Travel + Leisure Magazine) in the front pages of our conference book.

I arrived mid-afternoon after a relatively traffic-free drive south, and I am all set up in an AirBnB at the south end of downtown which will allow me 15 minutes walking each way to help burn off the cheese calories.


We met up with a few of the other MCG members who are attending the conference this year at the Providence Coal Fired Pizza Co. for some excellent slices and few glasses of suds. We are able to meet a long lost Guilder, Louella Hill, at the restaurant who is now a board member of the California Artisan Cheese Guild and has just published a book called Kitchen Creamery. She was helping the Narragansett Creamery with their cheese display as part of the ACS conference “Pub Crawl” which apparently included the PCFP Co. on their map, as we eventually saw many ACS badges appearing around the necks of patrons.

The few “oldsters” (Caitlin, Jesse, and I) dispensed wisdom and advice during dinner, while the youngsters soaked it all in. I hope they are ready for their 7:45am breakfast and then keynote tomorrow morning!

Guild Grant for ACS Competition Entries in 2015

The Maine Cheese Guild announces that we will offer to cover the cost of every Maine Cheese Guild member’s first ACS Competition entry for 2015. We know from past experience that the more Maine cheeses that are entered into the largest cheese competition in North America, the more Maine cheeses will win awards and illustrate the quality of cheese being made and sold in Maine.

In addition, the Maine Cheese Guild will organize a group shipment of ALL Guild entries to the ACS Competition and will subsidize up to $500 of the cost for that, splitting any additional costs among those who participate. Details on this will be sent to everyone who participates in the First Entry Reimbursement as the shipping date approaches in July.

Reimbursement for your first ACS Competition Entry is simple: enter at least one cheese in the ACS competition. Each entry is $60 and you must enter before May 9th (there is a one-week late entry period, but the Guild will reimburse for only the regular entry fee on your first entry); you must be an ACS member to participate, and you will need to be prepared to upload a picture/scan of your current local license certificate when you enter the competition on-line. When you receive your email receipt, forward that email with your mailing address to our treasurer, Mary Belding–

(littlefallsfarmcheeseATgmailDOTcom using the @ and . symbols where upper-case)

–and she will send you a check for your first entry fee.

Good Luck!