Sonoma, CA — Laura Chenel Creamy Brie, an aged goat cheese that puts an American twist on the traditional French cow’s milk cheese, won top honors in the overall cheese category for the West Region tonight at the 11th Good Food Awards. This prestigious win recognizes Creamy Brie’s outstanding flavor and acknowledges Laura Chenel for its continued commitment to its founding principles of care and community that make it synonymous with the highest-quality goat cheese in America. Just as significant, the 2021 Good Food Award establishes all three cheeses in Laura Chenel’s aged line as Good Food Award winners.
Laura Chenel Chief Executive Officer Laure Chatard says Creamy Brie’s Good Food Award is a shining gem in the company’s awards collection as it recognizes the third and most widely distributed aged cheese for its outstanding quality. A cheese board favorite, Laura Chenel Creamy Brie has a mild and tangy flavor with hints of fresh grass from pasture-raised goats and a clean finish. Its delicate, pale bloomy rind gives way to a smooth, creamy texture perfectly paired with wine, jam, and crackers.
“Creamy Brie is the crown jewel of our aged goat cheese line. It reflects the love, care and craft that goes into each of our aged goat cheeses and our commitment to quality, taste and sustainability. We at Laura Chenel are very proud to receive a Good Food Award for Creamy Brie and will continue to ensure the excellence of our aged and fresh goat cheeses,” Chatard says.
The Good Food Awards celebrate the contributions of American craft food producers in creating a food system with a strong social conscience. Taste is certainly a focus of the Good Food Awards but unlike other competitions, Good Food also emphasizes the social and environmental responsibility that leads to a better food system. The 219 winners honored at the 11th Good Food Awards on Jan. 22 were chosen from a finalists’ pool of 336 food and drink crafters representing 41 states, Washington, D.C. and Guam. Good Food Awards finalists were announced in November after rising to the top amongst 1,928 entries in 17 categories in a September Blind Tasting.
Aging in Style
Now in its fifth decade, Laura Chenel is a pioneer in high-quality artisan goat cheese production and continues to set the industry standard for environmental stewardship as the first LEED Gold-certified creamery in the U.S. As a standard bearer in sustainable building design, the facility was constructed with reclaimed materials and features more than 1,000 solar panels plus a wastewater recycling system. Laura Chenel sources fresh goat milk from 11 family farm partners in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. Farmers work on long-term exclusive contracts that give them the freedom and security to raise happy goats and maintain high quality standards, plus valuable peace of mind in uncertain times knowing none of their milk will go to waste. Partner dairies receive support, technology, and strict guidelines to ensure goats receive the best nutrition, shelter and living conditions for optimal health.
With the 2021 Good Food Award, Laura Chenel has now won top honors for all three products in its distinguished line of aged goat cheeses.At the 10th Good Food Awards in 2020, Laura Chenel Crottin, an aged goat cheese based on the traditional French 3-ounce disc, won the overall cheese category for the West Region. Laura Chenel Ash-Rind Buchette was a top winner in the overall cheese category for the West Region at the 7th annual Good Foods Awards in 2017.
Laura Chenel Creamy Brie (5 oz. SRP $8.99) is an American twist on the traditional French cow’s milk cheese. This soft-ripened wheel begins with fresh, local goat milk that is turned into curd, gently cut and poured into molds, where it’s allowed to drain naturally and retain as much moisture as possible. After 9-14 days of aging, Creamy Brie develops a thin, bloomy rind and a velvety texture that quickly becomes oozy. The result is a milder brie with grassy and nutty flavors balanced by hints of lemon and a clean finish. Creamy Brie is made with vegetarian approved (non-animal) microbial rennet and starter cultures from suppliers that don’t use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers or genetically modified ingredients.
Everything But The Wine
Laura Chenel Creamy Brie is a natural for the cheese plate alongside fresh bread and fruit. It’s also delicious served for dessert with honey or dark chocolate and melted on burgers and sandwiches. Pair it with a California Sauvignon blanc or Belgian-style ales.
Go beyond the cheese board with a recipe from Bay Area food writer, recipe developer and food stylist SarahFritsche, who partnered with Laura Chenel to create Creamy Brie Toasts for the Good Food Awards 2021 winners recipe booklet.
Creamy Brie, crisp bread, sweet delicata squash and tangy, fresh salsa verde come together in this flavorful toast for a quick and satisfying snack that will make your taste buds sing.
About Laura Chenel
Laura Chenel introduced a new chapter in American cheese in 1979 when she started making farmstead goat cheese with milk from her own goats using techniques she learned in France.
Today, Laura Chenel still embodies its founding namesake’s pioneering spirit as a leading producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses and goat yogurts crafted with fresh goat’s milk from family-owned farms in California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, Laura Chenel is the first creamery in the U.S. to be awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification and its commitment to sustainable practices, including solar energy and recycling, helps preserve the terroir for generations to come.
About the Good Food Awards
For a long time, certifications for responsible practices and awards for superior taste have remained distinct – one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates craftsmanship and flavor. The Good Food Awards recognizes that truly good food – the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities – contains all of these ingredients.
Each January, the Good Food Foundation organizes an epic three-day Good Food Awards Weekend for the public and the trade to meet, celebrate, taste and buy from the nearly 200 Winners: the exceptional food crafters who top the charts in a Blind Tasting and meet the environmental and social responsibility standards of the Good Food Awards. Over 2,000 entries from all 50 states are submitted each year. While this year presents some unique challenges to our traditional format for tasting entrants and publicly honoring the winners, we remain as committed as ever to celebrating American makers in a virtual format. Learn more at the Good Food Foundation.