The Greatest Mongers in the World

by dccheese on June 10, 2017

in cheese awards,Cheesemongers & Shops,Tweets + News

I’m sure I’m not the only one who keeps the Hamilton soundtrack on on repeat to escape from fatigue of current events in the world, right? Well here in our little cheese world, we have plenty of reason to be proud of the USA: for the first time, not one, not two, but three American cheesemongers will compete in the World Cheesemonger Competition this weekend in Tours, France. Officially known as Concours Mondial du Meilleur Fromager, the biennial event will pit ten mongers from five countries against each other in an extreme competition of cheese knowledge, salesmanship and showmanship.

With no further ado, let’s meet #TeamUSA 2017:

Team USA Mondial du Fromager 2017

Perry Soulos, of Alexandria, VA — long-time monger at Arrowine, 2014 CMI Champion, making his second appearance at Tours.

Nadjeeb Chouaf of Charlottesville, VA — founder of Flora Cheese, 2016 CMI Champion; and,

Lilith Spencer of Santa Fe, NM — monger at Cheesemongers of Santa Fe, 2016 CMI Champion, and creator of the most famous platters on Instagram (really, take a look).

Perry Soulos | Mondial du Meilleur Fromager photo (c) Concours Mondial du Meilleur Fromager

The Fab 3 will take on competitors from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Japan. While all three have conquered the Cheesemonger Invitational, an intense competition held twice annually in New York and San Francisco, the stakes are even higher in Tours. A CMI competitor is expected to present a single “perfect bite” pairing, but in Tours, the artistic test demands an entire table display with a more dramatic presentation than is typically seen here in the states. As Soulos explained after the 2015 competition, he realized he may have undershot expectations slightly when he was working on his comté pairing and was suddenly engulfed in a cloud of dry ice from rival Guillaume Cardinet’s display. Cardinet went on to place 2nd.

Check out this look at the 2015 competition:

Joining Soulos as a repeat competitor is Belgium’s Nathalie Vanhaver, who placed third in both the 2015 and 2013 events. Will this be her year, or will #TeamUSA shock the world? Stay tuned!

PS You can get tickets now for the 2017 Summer Cheesemonger Invitational June 24 in NYC for a taste of competitive cheesemongering in action! 


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