Rochester, NY – Wegmans Professor’s Brie was named second place “Best of Show” among more than 1,700 entries at the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) 2019 Judging & Competition. Wegmans partnered with David and Sally Galton, owners of Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Old Chatham, New York, to create Professor’s Brie, named in honor of David, a retired Cornell University animal science professor.
“Dave Galton was one of my professors at Cornell,” says Wegmans VP of Cheese, Deli and Cheese Caves Cathy Gaffney. “We reconnected after he and Sally acquired Old Chatham, and about five years ago, decided to create a cheese together, hence the name. Professor’s Brie is a special cheese deserving of a special name. It is also proof that this model of collaboration and production can create phenomenal American artisan cheeses.”
Professor’s Brie also won gold in the category Soft-Ripened Cheeses made from mixed milks. Two other Wegmans-developed cheeses also won in their individual categories: We Be Chivin’ won a gold medal in the category Soft-Ripened Cheeses with flavor added – all milks, and Sweet 16 won a bronze medal in the category Original Recipe made from Goat’s Milk.
“The Old Chatham Creamery team is very excited about our partnership with Wegmans in producing new, high-quality and unique winning cheeses,” says Dave Galton.
Professor’s Brie (2nd place Best of Show and Gold Medal)
Sheep’s milk is blended with cow’s milk and cow’s cream to create this brie with a slightly milder flavor. After three days, Old Chatham delivers the unripened cheese squares from their creamery to the Wegmans Cheese Caves, where they ripen under the watchful eye of Mathieu Callol, Wegmans Cheese Cave affineur. “This rich, brie-style cheese has a dense texture and lingering mushroom notes, with a touch of pepper from the rind,” says Callol.
We Be Chivin’ (Gold Medal)and Sweet 16 (Bronze Medal)
Vermont Creamery’s French cheesemaker Adeline Druart worked with Callol to create two new versions of Wegmans 1916 goat cheese, a 2018 ACS award winner, by using flavorful powders made from fruits, veggies and herbs. We Be Chivin’ is savory, with herbal notes and a mild green onion tang. Sweet 16 is delicate and velvety with a sweet, subtle citrus brightness. Vermont Creamery ships the freshly crafted, unripe discs to Wegmans Cheese Caves where a center layer of flavor powder and a coating of fresh goat cheese are added before the cheeses are allowed to ripen.
“Our own Cheese Caves make it possible for our team to work with the very best cheesemakers,” says Gaffney. “I am incredibly proud of the people working in our caves and in our stores and all they do to make our Cheese Shops a destination.”
Growing from just 89 entries 35 years ago, the ACS Judging & Competition this year welcomed cheeses and cultured dairy products from 257 companies. Competing entries represented 35 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, Mexico, and Brazil. ACS awarded a total of 433 awards, including 139 gold medals, 143 silver medals and 151 bronze medals.
“It’s an exciting year for American cheese,” said Nora Weiser, ACS executive director. “We have new producers, new production models and fresh new faces that are pushing the envelope and expanding creativity and collaboration within American artisan cheese.”
The results were announced on August 2 at the 36th Annual ACS Conference held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia. For a list of this year’s winners and judges, visit https://www.cheesesociety.org/competition-winners.
About Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 99-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 22 consecutive years, ranking #3 in 2019. The company was also ranked #1 for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies, according to the 2019 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® study.
About the American Cheese Society
The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leader in promoting and supporting American cheeses. At 1,800 members strong, ACS provides the cheese community with educational resources and networking opportunities, while encouraging the highest standards of cheesemaking focused on safety and sustainability. ACS strives to continually raise the quality and availability of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. For more information, visit https://www.cheesesociety.org.