As I said in my last post, I popped into Cheesefest on the weekend. The two day event has been on since 2005, but this year was my first. We decided to head along on the Sunday, a day when we could get dad on board to drive so that Vic could happily drink. Sunday turned out to have gorgeous weather, which was perfect for the event. We found a park not too far away, and made our way down.
Wine was first on the list, so we headed to the Coriole stall to pick up a bottle. I can’t quite remember which red we grabbed, but we headed off with glasses in hand to start trying the cheeses. Woodside Cheese Wrights was our first tasting, and it seemed fitting considering Kris Lloyd is both the head of Woodside Cheese and the founder of Cheesefest. I came face to face with their Monet for the first time. This was the absolutely stunning cheese, that if you read my last post you’ll see we took home. I also loved their Duet, with a mix of goat’s milk and cow’s milk, and I believe the Figaro was the other cheese we took home.
After Woodside we headed off along the line to try cheeses from a load of other vendors/stalls. I couldn’t even list them all, instead head over to the Cheesefest website and take a list of their list of food stalls. They list all the cheese stalls, as well as other people selling food. You do pay to get into Cheesefest, but every single cheese stall was offering tastings, as were all the wine stalls we passed. You don’t realise till you finish how much cheese you actually eat. It’s well worth the ticket price, with better tasting options than plenty of other food/drink festivals I’ve been too.
One of the other food stalls we checked out was Boulangerie 113 (I also mentioned them in my last post), who had the most delicious loafs of bread on display. They seemed to specialise in sour doughs, but these weren’t your usual ones. The Fig & Fennel was the one we had with our barbecue later that day, but everything sounded delicious. I would have loved to take an olive loaf home, but unfortunately Vic isn’t an olive fan.
I also got a freebie of one of their croissants. I was nice and shared it with the rest of the family, but I could have very happily kept it all to myself. We’ve only recently made croissants at TAFE, and taking a bite of the croissant from Boulangerie 113 made me feel quite bad for my poorly rolled viennoiserie. This one was flaky on the outside, buttery, and so light on the inside. I’ve had plenty of croissants in my life, but not always from reputable sources. It was great to see a good example of one so soon after we’d made them ourselves. I think I’ve got a lot to learn.
Vic had already planned lunch for the day, which was some quail from James Orlando, but we added to it by grabbing the green mango & chicken salad from Sprout. It was good seeing Callum, Themis, & Sam from Sprout, I think last time I saw them was back at the H by Felici launch. The salad was of course delicious, but funnily enough I also really enjoyed the free water they were handing out. They had a jug with lemons, mint, and either oranges or limes (I can’t quite remember), and it was really refreshing. It might not seem so strange that I enjoyed it, but usually I hate a hint of lemon in my water. This was flavoured that extra bit that I absolutely loved it.
The quail also came out of left field, mainly because the James Orlando stall definitely didn’t look like the type of place you’d pick up a delicious bit of quail. From far away it looked like your typical festival food (and I’m not talking about fancy food festivals), but after we got a bit closer we noticed this wasn’t really the case. Yes there was a lot of meat, but this wasn’t a meal you’d regret after a few bites. The quail came with a nice salad topped with some parmesan; I was pretty impressed with the whole lot and will have to keep an eye out for them at future events.
Before heading off we also headed over for our cheese & cider tasting. It was $10 extra, but in my opinion worth it. To be honest it wasn’t really an in depth tasting. We were given the two main ciders from the Hills Cider Company & a small square of Woodside Cheese Wrights’ Monet cheese. The highlight wasn’t actually the tastings (although they were great, in fact I just got distracted midway through writing this post and went and bought a 6 pack of Hills Apple Cider). Instead the best bit was hearing Kris Lloyd & Tobias Kline talking about their babies; I’m talking about cider and cheese, not actual children.
I definitely wasn’t complaining about some more time with the Monet, or a try of the cider & perry, but I would have been more than happy to listen to the conversation without the extra goodies.
I’m familiar with drinking cider, but that’s about where it ends. I’ve looked into beer and wine numerous times before, and while I may not be well schooled on their ins and outs I’ve still had the pleasure of listening to people who know their stuff talk about both drinks often. But I really didn’t know much else about it. So hearing Tobias talk all about the history and stories behind the Hills Cider Company was great.
Kris Lloyd is vivacious and lots of fun. Seeing her up there with her bright floral pants, and then looking down at the beautiful cheese in front of me, it was clear to see how the Monet cheese came to life. Watching an interview with Kris before I actually headed along to Cheesefest, I was quite inspired by her. She took on Woodside Cheese Wrights without any history in cheesemaking, and takes part is all aspects of the process. Plus, she founded Cheesefest, so how could I not love her? Check out the video here.
After my first Cheesefest experience I’m planning on making it a yearly tradition, and I think it just might by my favourite food festival in the state. By the end of the day I’d definitely had my fill, but by the time the late afternoon rolled around I was ready again to have some more cheese at home.
I still wish I’d stolen one of these mangosteens while we were at the tasting. The whole Talk and Cheese Pavilion looked lovely, and the styling was done by Little Sweet Styling who I follow on Facebook and always shares such gorgeous parties and events. I also can’t finish up without mention the Farmgate stall who had the best homemade lemonade, which was so refreshing on a day like Sunday. I didn’t get a chance to grab a copy of their book, but I’ll be grabbing one soon. They’re available from newsagencies and from the Advertiser building on Waymouth Street.