Canadian Cheese Grand Prix 2013 finalists unveiled

The 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury members examined 225 entries in the prestigious cheese competition hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada. 58 category finalists were selected and the Grand Champion cheese will be announced April 18, 2013 in Montreal. From L to R: Sue Riedl, Michael Howell, Allison Spurrell, Gurth Pretty, Danny St Pierre, Reg Hendrickson, Ian Picard, and Phil Bélanger. (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing))

Jury Chairman, Phil Bélanger, examines one of the 225 entries in the prestigious 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix competition hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada. 58 category finalists were selected and the Grand Champion cheese will be announced April 18, 2013 in Montreal. (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing))

2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix logo (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing))

DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA RECOGNIZES THE BEST IN CANADIAN CHEESE

MONTREAL, Feb. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Dairy Farmers of Canada announced today the finalists for the eighth installment of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, which received a record number of entries. Cheese makers from British Columbia to PEI submitted 225 cheeses in 19 different categories in the prestigious cheese competition. A panel of top Canadian food industry experts gathered in Montreal for a closed door session on February 16th and 17th and selected 58 finalists that truly exemplify the world-class cheese being produced in Canada.

The Canadian Cheese Grand Prix is sponsored and hosted every two years by Dairy Farmers of Canada, celebrating the high quality, versatility and great taste of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.

"Canadian cheese makers from coast-to-coast are producing top quality, impressive cheeses," said Phil Bélanger, Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury chairman. "The diversity we saw within the 19 categories really showcases how evolved this craft has become in Canada. From aged Cheddars to organic cheeses, cheese makers from across Canada are taking it to the next level and are the envy of other cheese making nations."

This year, a new category for "Fresh Cheese with Grilling Properties" was added in which cheeses were judged both in their natural form and grilled.

The category champions and Grand Champion will be unveiled at the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Gala of Champions at Montreal's Hyatt Regency Hotel on April 18th.

Judging Process

The jury members had the envious challenge of tasting all 225 cheeses and naming three finalists in each category. Tasting began with the milder cheeses and progressed to the more full-bodied varieties.

Jury members carefully observed, touched, smelled, and tasted each cheese and evaluated them based on very specific criteria including flavour, texture and body, colour, appearance, and salt content.

About the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix

The Canadian Cheese Grand Prix began in 1998 to promote achievement and innovation in cheese making and to increase appreciation for fine quality Canadian cheese. The competition celebrates the proud tradition of the diverse cheeses made in Canada ranging from Gouda to Blue cheese.

All eligible cheeses must be produced in Canada, bear the 100% Canadian Milk symbol on their packaging and be available at retail.

The 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix finalists are:

1. Fresh Cheese Ricotta , International Cheese Co. Ltd., ON

Tre Stelle Mascarpone, Arla Foods Inc., ON

Ricotta, Quality Cheese Inc., ON
2. Fresh Cheese with grilling properties Queso Fresco Cheese, Latin Foods Inc., AB

Queso Puro Mexicano, Grandpa's Dairy Produce Inc., ON

Guernsey Girl, Upper Canada Cheese Company, ON
3. Soft Cheese with bloomy rind Golden Ears Brie, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters Ltd., BC

Le Noble, Fromagerie Domaine Féodal inc., QC

Alberts Leap, Quality Cheese Inc., ON
4. Semi-soft Cheese Tre Stelle Feta Cheese, Arla Foods Inc., ON

Golden Ears Aged Havarti, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters Ltd., BC

Dofino Creamy Havarti Cheese, Arla Foods Inc., ON
5. Washed OR Mixed Rind Cheese (Soft, Semi-soft and Firm) Le Voyageur, Fromagerie Le P'tit Train Du Nord, QC

Le Mamirolle, Fromagerie Éco-Délices, QC

La Clef des Champs, Fromagerie Éco-Délices, QC
6. Firm Cheese Réserve La Pérade, Fromagerie FX Pichet, QC

Tomme des Demoiselles, Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent, QC

Gunn's Hill Five Brothers, Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese, ON
7. Gouda*
*This category was opened during the judging process due to the number of cheeses entered. This allowed the jury to evaluate the qualifying cheeses according to criteria specific to this category.
Old Growler, That Dutchman's Cheese Farm, NS

Grizzly Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB

Aged Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB
8.  Swiss-type Cheese Fleur de Weedon, Fromagerie P'tit Plaisir, QC

Louis D'or 18 months, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

Ménestrel, Fromagiers de la Table Ronde, QC
9. Pasta filata Not enough entries.
10. Mozzarella (Ball, Brick or Cylinder) Tre Stelle Mozzarella Cheese, Arla Foods Inc., ON

Mozzarella, International Cheese Co. Ltd., ON

Mozzarella Ball, International Cheese Co. Ltd., ON
11. Blue Cheese (Various rinds, with or without veining) Dragon's Breath, That Dutchman's Cheese Farm, NS

Celtic Blue, Glengarry Cheesemaking Inc., ON

Bleu d'Élizabeth, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC
12. Flavoured Cheese with Added Non-particulate Flavourings Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Cows Creamery, PEI

Natural Smoked Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB

Smokehouse Cheddar, The Village Cheese Co, BC
13. Flavoured Cheese with Added Particulate Solids and Flavourings Italian Herbs Spiced Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB

Raclette de Compton au poivre, Fromagerie La Station, QC

Cayenne & Green Peppercorn Spiced Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB
14. Mild Cheddar (aged 3 months) ADL Cheddar, Amalgamated Dairies Limited, PEI

L'Ancêtre Organic Mild Cheddar, Fromagerie L'Ancêtre, QC

Mild Cheddar Cheese, Ivanhoe Cheese, ON
15. Medium Cheddar (aged 4 to 9 months)*
*Four finalists were elected in this category due to a tie between two cheeses' score.
Medium Cheddar aged 6 months, Société Coopérative Agricole de L'Île-aux-Grues, QC

ADL Cheddar, Amalgamated Dairies Limited, PEI

Medium Cheddar, Maple Dale Cheese, ON

Medium Cheddar Cheese, Ivanhoe Cheese, ON
16. Old cheddar (aged from 9 months to a year) Old Cheddar Cheese, Ivanhoe Cheese, ON

1 Year Old Cheddar, Maple Dale Cheese, ON

Cheddar 1 year, Fromagerie Perron, QC
17. Aged Cheddar (more than 1 year up to 3 years) Extra Old Cheddar, Cows Creamery, PEI

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Cows Creamery, PEI

Cheddar 2 years, Fromagerie Perron, QC
18. Aged Cheddar (more than 3 years) 5 Year Aged Cheddar, The Black River Cheese Company Ltd., ON

Cheddar Doyen, Fromagerie Perron, QC

10 Year Old Cheddar with Wax Finish, Maple Dale Cheese, ON
19. Farmhouse Cheese Bleu d'Élizabeth, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

Louis D'or 18 months, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

Grizzly Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB
20. Organic Cheese Bleu d'Élizabeth, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

Alfred Le Fermier, Fromagerie La Station, QC

Louis D'or 18 months, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

Jury Members

Phil Bélanger: Jury chairman and the longest-standing jury member. Phil has been a part of the CCGP since its inception in 1998. He has had a distinguished career in the Atlantic agrifood industry and currently is senior consultant for Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for the province of New Brunswick and chairman of La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs for the New Brunswick chapter, as well as an independent consultant in hospitality and tourism.

Gurth Pretty: Former president and owner of Cheese of Canada, Gurth is a true cheese lover and connoisseur. He was a jury member in the 2009 and 2011 CCGP events, and was invited to be a judge at the 2011 American Cheese Society competition. Chef and author of several books on cheese, he works passionately to have more delicious cheese made available to Canadian consumers. He's currently a senior category manager of deli cheese for Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Reg Hendrickson: Reg has 40 years of experience in the food industry including teaching professional culinary programs in the Calgary public school system. He has a 20-year working relationship with Dairy Farmers of Canada and was responsible for the research and development of its initial cheese training material. He provides training for deli staff, and delivers cheese seminars especially geared to the needs of food industry professionals and the interests of the general public.

Allison Spurrell: Owner of the cheese boutique Les Amis du Fromage and the cheese-inspired restaurant Au Petit Chavignol in Vancouver. Allison holds a certificate in cheese making technology from the University of Guelph and was inducted into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers - Confrérie de Saint-Uguzon. Allison has been a member of the CCGP jury since 2006.

Ian Picard: Vice-president of La Fromagerie Hamel, one of Quebec's finest and highly reputed cheese shops. Ian studied everything there is to learn about cheese at the École Nationale d'Industrie Laitière et des Biotechnologies in Poligny, France. He has worked with some of the most renowned master cheese makers in Paris, Dijon and Alsace to perfect his technique.

Sue Riedl: A Toronto-based food writer who is the cheese columnist for The Globe and Mail and also hosts its "Chef Basics" video series. She's a regular contributor to foodnetwork.ca and writes for her blog (cheeseandtoast.com) about cheese and other edibles. Sue studied at Queen's University before obtaining her cuisine certificate at the Cordon Bleu in London, England. She has worked in Toronto's dining industry and has graduated from Canada's Cheese Education Guild.

Michael Howell: Executive chef of Tempestuous Culinary in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, cookbook author, leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, president of The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia and sits on the Board of Taste of Nova Scotia. Michael is a strident advocate for local food, family farms and new farmers.

Danny St Pierre: After graduating from l'École Hôtelière de Laval cooking school, Danny rose through the world of cuisine including advanced-level training at the Institut de Tourisme et d'Hôtellerie du Québec in 1998 and two years at the world-renowned Toqué restaurant in Montreal, where he earned his stripes as a chef. Danny also served as host of the Ma Caravane au Canada TV show that aired on TV5 Monde. He is the owner of Auguste restaurant in Sherbrooke, Quebec and co-owner of Chez Augustine, a new café and caterer that celebrates home cooking for both eating in or taking out.

About Dairy Farmers of Canada

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future.  DFC works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and to promote quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet.

 

Image with caption: "The 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury members examined 225 entries in the prestigious cheese competition hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada. 58 category finalists were selected and the Grand Champion cheese will be announced April 18, 2013 in Montreal. From L to R: Sue Riedl, Michael Howell, Allison Spurrell, Gurth Pretty, Danny St Pierre, Reg Hendrickson, Ian Picard, and Phil Bélanger. (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130226_C8474_PHOTO_EN_24067.jpg

Image with caption: "Jury Chairman, Phil Bélanger, examines one of the 225 entries in the prestigious 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix competition hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada. 58 category finalists were selected and the Grand Champion cheese will be announced April 18, 2013 in Montreal. (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130226_C8474_PHOTO_EN_24063.jpg

Image with caption: "2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix logo (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130226_C8474_PHOTO_EN_24061.jpg

SOURCE: Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing)



For further information:

For more information or to receive high resolution photos, please contact:

Laurie Weir / Beatrice Bastedo
Merkato Communications
647-428-3911/ 647-428-3914
laurie@merkato.cabeatrice@merkato.ca