Southern Artisan Cheese Festival

On Saturday, October 1st Nashville holds its first Southern Artisan Cheese Festival, a new festival for a city that continues to celebrate its unique food, culture, and charm. Nashville's own cheese specialist, Kathleen Cotter of "The Bloomy Rind," serves as a sponsor of the event. These cheeses are created in the heart of the south to savor and sample. Purveyors include Tennessee's own Black Berry Farm, Bonnie Blue Farm and Locust Grove Farm offering their catalogs of fine cheeses under the pavilions at the Nashville Farmer's Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Beer and wine, and other artisan foods from the south also share the stage with the cow, goat and sheep's milk cheeses. Tasters can expect to sample over fifty varieties of cheese during the celebration- everything from aged cheddar, French-style brie to creamy blue. There will be a selection of raw milk cheeses from Sequatchie Cove Creamery. Gourmet artisan foods from Porter Road Butcher, Provence Breads, Bathtub Gin Fruit Spreads and Dozen Bakery help to round out the tasting menu for the event.

Styled after Madison, Wisconsin's "Wisconsin Originals Cheese Festival" and Portland, Oregon's "The Wedge" celebration, the Nashville festival offers an opportunity to highlight the originality and availability of southern made cheeses. "There's been an explosion of American cheese makers in the past ten years," says Cotter. "We're lucky enough to see some of that growth here in the south. This event gives people the opportunity to connect with the folks behind the outstanding array of hand-crafted allnatural cheeses being made in our region."

A portion of the proceeds of the festival will benefit Community Food Advocates and the American Cheese Education Foundation, an organization created to educate people about the art and science of artisanal and specialty cheese. For additional festival information, including sponsorship opportunities and ticket availability visit www.southerncheesefest.com .