Room to Grow for Local Cheesemakers: Announcing a Competition for all local cheese talent
"The goal is to award a Pittsburgh Cheesemaker's Grant annually," said Virginia Phillips, a co-founder of Slow Food Pittsburgh."This year a $2500 Cheesemaker's Grant will be given to the local professional who makes the best case for receiving great training."
"Western Pennsylvania has the pastureland, the milk animals and a nucleus of cheesemakers that offer potential for this area to sustain our working rural landscape and to build our own nationally recognized artisanal cheese tradition,"said Leah Smith of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
The pace could improve if Pittsburgh-area cheesemakers had opportunities to rub shoulders with the country's top artisan cheesemakers. "The truth is that most small-scale cheesemakers have little time--and less money--to sign on for skill-building and inspirational experiences or other intensive training sessions away from the farm," said Susan Barclay, co-leader of Slow Food Pittsburgh.
Invited to judge will be the chef proprietors of the participating restaurants, Trevett Hooper of Legume, Kevin Sousa of Salt, Keith Fuller of Route 174, and Brian Pekarcik of Spoon. Also judging will be Big Burrito Group executive chef Bill Fuller; a cheesemonger from Lucy's Whey artisan cheese shop in Manhattan; a Pennsylvania cheesemaker who has won national honors; and representatives from Slow Food Pittsburgh and PASA.