Eataly NY Monger is the new Queen of Cheese #CMI2014

by dccheese on June 30, 2014

in Cheesemakers & People,Cheesemongers & Shops,events,NY Cheese

Last night in the stinkiest warehouse in Long Island City, NY, the 5th annual Cheesemonger Invitational tested the endurance, skill and showmanship of 48 mongers to declare a new champion.

After daytime preliminaries, the event opened for the cheese-loving public to taste the competitors’ “perfect bites.” Judges awarded three best bites with extra credit going into the final cut: Leslie of DiBruno Bros. with her whipped prosciutto-topped Cremont key lime pie; James Gentry of St. James Cheese; and Emily Acosta, Eataly, who paired St. Pete’s Blue with guava paste and a Granny Smith apple.

cheesemonger perfect bites #cmi2014

While the cheese glitterati of the US and Europe mingled and feasted on all-you-could-eat fondue, raclette and
a whey-fed piggy ploughman from Jasper Hill Farm, judges tabulated the scores to determine the top 10. Which was actually the top 11 due to a tie.

The finalists went on to describe their favorite cheeses with the aid of a hand-made sign. Caitlin O’Neill of Sickles Market (NJ) was to the point with her wood sign: “My favorite cheese is Harbison … because it’s all about the wood.”

caitlin favorite cheese sign #cmi2014

Emily Acosta of Eataly NY may soon be bringing the cheese to Broadway after her pecorino-inspired ballad to the tune of Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” brought down the house.


This round was followed by the cut and wrap rounds. Nadjeeb Chouaf of Flora Cheese — he and Sara Aducci of Feast both represented Charlottesville, VA, in the top 10 — scored a perfect .25-pound cut.

In the end, the final three once again included two Southerners: James Gentry of St. James Cheese, New Orleans in 3rd and Nadjeeb Chouaf, Flora Cheese, VA, with a repeat top 3 performance came in 2nd.

And the cheesiest of them all, much to the delight of the hometown crowd, was both the first woman and the first New York champion ……. Emily Acosta of Eataly!

emily acosta cheesemonger invitational |

Rounding out the top 11 were mongers from Saxelby Cheese (NY), Feast (VA), Brooklyn Larder (NY), Eastern District (NY), Lucy’s Whey Chelsea Market (NY), Lucy’s Whey Carnegie (NY), Cheese Pops (NY), and Sickles Market (NJ).

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