The world's greatest cheese competition stinks up Long Island City (in a good way)
Enthusiasts may well remember Friday night as the Woodstock of Cheese: But instead of pot smoke, the humid air was heavy with the smell of warm raclette, while a gray-haired bohemian man canvassed the crowd with samples of goat cheese from unmarked baggies. It was the 2nd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational, and the main draw was 40 cheesemongers from around the world competing to see who could most deftly taste, cut, and plate cheese.
Adam Moskowitz, a third-generation cheese importer and logistician, hosted the event at his cold storage facility in Long Island City. “Cheesemongers are not like waiters or waitresses or bartenders,” he said. “These people are profoundly more passionate. They've thrown themselves into the ethos of dairy and milk and cheese culture...I think cheesemongers are rock stars.”
The crowd, mostly young and tattooed, reflected Moskowitz's vision. In the end New York mongers held their own – Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers placed third and Poul Price of Consider Bardwell's NYC outpost came in at number two – but it was Portland's Steve Jones who became the milky monarch. And everyone was a winner around 1 a.m., when Moskowitz declared the rest of the beer on him.—Jeremy Berger