Tim Gaddis, popularly known as Tim The Cheeseman, is a tweeting, blogging, socially capable cheese aficionado. For the past 8-years, he’s cut his cheese over at Star Provisions. During such time, he has firmly entrenched Star’s cheese shop as the premier cheese shop in Atlanta. If that alone isn’t prof of his mastery, maybe this is: though I’m no scientist, I firmly believe that Gaddis is responsible for at least 11.34% of my total body weight. Over the years, as I’ve secretly tested him with ninja like anonymity, the Cheeseman has continually displayed a true understanding of coagulation, pressing, molds, rinds, lactic acid, and the like.
As chances would have it, Gaddis is one of 40 competitors set to slug it out in the 2011 Cheesemonger Invitational (website), a true world series of cheesy. I’m not kidding, competitors are actually coming from all over the world (Ausies and Irishmen alike), so the term “world series” isn’t a misnomer *cough – looking at you Major League Baseball – cough.* As luck would have it, fans of these cheesemongers have the chance to effect the outcome of said competition and you can get the full details after the jump!
So the second annual Cheesemonger Invitational takes place on Friday July 8th, 2011 in Long Island, NY. For those of you in the area, I strongly suggest you get tickets ($25/pop) as it’s an all you can eat beer drinking extravaganza. The invitational consists of four challenges (taste test, cutting and wrapping, platting, and paring). Those with the most points at the end of each round move on, those that do not “pack their graters and go,” to borrow from some TV show you may watch. By all accounts, this is like a bocuse D’or of cheese competitions with dramatic showmanship impacting the race to the top.
In addition to cash green money, there are a slew of prizes being doled out on the competitors and first place gets themself a cool thousand to play with and one heck of a goodie bag. Where we the eaters can help is by “liking” our favorite competitor between now and kick off.
The Maître Fromager with the most votes at the start of the competition will get some bonus points and an early lead. I’m not sure how many points they will actually get but you can vote for your favorite person over on the competitors page.
Tim’s (pictured right) has got more than just a fighter’s chance to win the title of fan favorite as he’s already racking up the votes; but, the competition is stiff. Though I’m not familiar with the full list of participants, I’m very familiar with several of them (or at least where they work). Tripp Nichols works at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA. I have no familiarity with Tripp personally, but I am über familiar with Formaggio. It’s a part-time barbecue pit and full time gourmet shop that I’ve mentioned before and visited more times than I can count. Formaggio + Foodie Buddha = a love fest of serious levels.
Then there’s Carlos Souffront from Zingerman’s Delicatessen in A2. Now if Tim is responsible for 11.34% of my body weight, Souffront, known as the Fon-Dude, and his team are probably responsible for about 7.82%. Why so low? Well, my body was a lot better at putting things in their place way back then. I spent four-years beating the crap out of the hinges on Zingerman’s doors during my pre- “I-have-a-food-blog-therefor-you-should-bow-to-me-and-all-my-awesomeness” days. I still harass them via phone semi-annually and Souffront, who wouldn’t know me from Adam, has done his share to keep Mama Buddha happy with cheeses, latkas, and a whole bunch of goodies.
Then there are people like Jana Werner from The Pasta Shop (website) in Berkley, CA and Zeke Ferguson from Di Bruno Bros. (website) in Philadelphia. I have no idea about Werner, but I do know about The Pasta Shop, who I got quasi familiar with during my brief flirtation with da Bears in the 90s. Ferguson I’m no better with, but Di Bruno Bros is a frequent stop for me in the City of Brotherly Love.
Tim’s not the only cow in the pasture, but with a little bit of creativity and elbow grease, Atlanta’s cheese king will have a few things in tow when he returns from New York. I can tell you this – if he does win – he’s certainly worthy of the title and will have bested some top notch competition.