It’s everything that makes the Festival so much fun, distilled into one day of elegant eating, with hundreds (yes, hundreds) of cheeses to sample, beer, wine and cider to sip, cheese making equipment to examine, recipes, cooking demonstrations, and new foods to try.
Begin at the annual Bubbles and Brunch event, an elegantly presented three-course brunch hosted by Percy Whatley, Executive Chef of the legendary Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, with bubbles by Gloria Ferrer. Chef Whatley introduces and describes each course and the artisan cheese it was created to showcase, demonstrating recipes, technique and ingredients while fielding questions from the audience. 9:30 a.m. – noon. $115 per person; includes early (11:00 a.m.) entry to the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace event.
Here’s this year’s menu:
Spring Hill Quark & Toasted Ahwahnee Sourdough
- Boysenberry Freezer Jam, Millet Granola, Citrus
Smoked Sacramento Sturgeon
- Buckwheat Gnocchi, Braised Fennel, Mustard Greens
- La Quercia Prosciutto, Salsa Verde Italiana, Bellwether Farms Pepato
Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin
- Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam Ice Cream, Cocoa Nib & Blood Orange
Or, just sign on for the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace, the Festival’s huge walk-around tasting and marketplace where more than 70 of California’s best artisan cheese makers, restaurants, breweries and wineries sample their wares. Throughout the day, Bay Area chefs -- including Brandon Guenther of Rocker Oysterfellers, and Liza Hinman of Spinster Sisters -- demonstrate and sample recipes featuring local artisan cheeses. Also, Festival cheese makers and chefs will be selling and signing their cheese-inspired books. Noon – 4:00 p.m. $45 per person, $20 for children under 12; includes insulated tote bag and Festival wine glass.
BUY TICKETS ONLINE NOW. Although there are sometimes tickets available at the door, these events often sell out.
But wait, there’s more! There are still some tickets remaining for Saturday seminars, classes and cooking and pairing demonstrations, prices vary; and for the Saturday evening Grand Cheese Tasting and Best in Cheese Competition – 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. a popular roaming feast showcasing artisan cheese dishes and snacks prepared by top Bay Area restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries. $75 per person.
The California Artisan Cheese Festival is hosted by Sheraton Sonoma County-Petaluma, 45 minutes north of San Francisco on Highway 101.