CheezSorce was founded in 2000 by Neville and Brenda McNaughton as a one-stop resource for the cheese-making industry, providing a myriad of consulting services geared toward cheesemakers. Now, the company is stepping up its efforts at education and community involvement.
CheezSorce hosted its first annual event, Celebrating American Artisan Cheeses, last month at Vino Gallery in the Central West End. More than 50 participants turned out to taste of some of the country's best award-winning cheeses in six classes and discuss all things cheese.
Highlights included Rogue River Blue from Rogue Creamery in Oregon, which was voted 2011 Best In Show by the American Cheese Society, and Evalon from Wisconsin's LaClare Farms, named the 2011 U.S. Champion Cheese by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Cheeses were paired with a variety of wines, as well cured meats and charcuterie from local salumeria Salume Beddu.
Brenda McNaughton says the event was so successful there are plans to expand it next year, as well as add more tastings and educational opportunities to the schedule.
"We currently are teaching cheesemaking classes at Kitchen Conservatory at least four times a year," she says. "We're looking to do more tastings and actually bring a cheese festival here to St. Louis." McNaughton says she hopes to put on the festival sometime in 2012, and make it an annual event.
"We want to bring cheese eduction to the community, and celebrate the slow-food movement and bring in some cheesemakers both regionally and nationally," she says. "We are so proud of our cheesemakers here in Missouri and all over."