Our day began with an early morning walk down Rue Bleury to get to the Palais by 7am so that Kevin could get tickets for Thursday’s limited seating tasting events, and I could get some coffee. CHECK. We were a bit early to be seated for breakfast in the auditorium, but they were already serving croissant, eggs, fried meat, and potato squares in the hallway outside, so we helped ourselves. We were joined by a cheery salesman from the outfit that imports Coombes Cheddar from England here for his first ACS conference from his base in Chicago. I mentioned that Alison and I had visited Salisbury, England recently and his face lit up: “That’s very near where I grew up!” Just by chance, in my notebook, I still had a few labels of the meat pies we bought at the Salisbury farmers market when we were visiting: Bridport Gourmet Pies (Dorset Fidget, and Pork & Blue Vinney Pie) and he did a double-take: “My goodness, these are from my hometown!” So, you never know what you’ll run into at an ACS convention, as long as you keep introducing yourself.
Once we headed into the auditorium we were spotted by a part of the Maine crew, and we joined their table. We discovered that the tables added a selection of cheeses from that morning’s sponsor (the Vermont Dairy Council) to breakfast, so I happily sampled through that, though I remembered I had to be careful and pace myself. Unfortunately, Caitlin had not had the same thought — “I’m already cheesed out!” she said to Brad at one point as she contemplated another dab of the Winnemere.