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Festival News

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April 11, 2016

For Immediate Release

Florida Cheese Festival to Benefit Food Brings Hope

DeLand, FL – The inaugural Florida Cheese Festival, scheduled for Saturday, April 16 in DeLand, has announced proceeds will go to Food Brings Hope. The local charity organization touches the lives of 850 school-aged children in Volusia County.

Founded by local businesswoman Forough Hosseini, Food Brings Hope addresses the issues and challenges faced by homeless and underprivileged school children; the most vulnerable and innocent in all of society. All donations to Food Brings Home directly benefit students in Volusia County.

The Florida Cheese Festival presented by Stella Artois runs from 11:00am-6:00pm and is FREE to the public with tickets available for unlimited samples of the cheeses. Advance tickets can be purchased for $10 at floridacheesefestival.com, while same-day tickets are $15. Held in the city’s historic downtown district on the corner of Woodland and East Indiana Avenue, the event also features beer, wine, live music and a special film presentation.

“Food Brings Hope has enriched the lives of so many of Volusia County’s underprivileged young people. We applaud and honor them, and want to show our support,” said Renee Tallevast, Executive Director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, who is organizing and producing the event.

Food Brings Hope, www.foodbringshope.com, combats hunger, fosters academic excellence, and promotes participation in athletics, art and culture. Their vision is to “Create a community where underprivileged schoolchildren discover their full potential”; and their mission is to “Nurture the body, mind, and spirit”.

“It’s heartening to know that there are people who see and understand the needs of these children as we do, and are willing to help in any way possible,” said Hosseini.

The West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority’s mission is to develop and support marketing and advertising programs that bring increased tourism to West Volusia County, and to demonstrate the desirability of West Volusia as a tourism destination. The Authority works with area hoteliers, tour providers, attractions and event promoters, to represent the area to vacationers, tour operators, travel and meeting planners, and the media.

 


April 11, 2016

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Florida Cheese Festival Debuts April 16

Lauren Delgado – Contact Reporter Orlando Sentinel Foodie

The inaugural Stella Artois Florida Cheese Festival will be held 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 16 in the DeLand’s historic downtown district.

Over 30 varieties of cheese will be available to sample on the corner of Woodland and East Indiana Avenue.

Presented by Cabot Creamery and Gourmet Foods International (GFI), cheeses will include Cheddar, Swiss, Brie, Goat, Blue, Mozzarella, Feta, Italian, Pimento and Veggie.

Live entertainment includes former American Idol contestant Michelle Marie and oldies crooner Michael Russo. Read more here….


April 6, 2016

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Say ‘cheese,’ pimento or otherwise

By Denise O’Toole Kelly
denise.kelly@news-jrnl.com

Pimento cheese wasn’t a thing in Pittsburgh.

My introduction to the red-specked orange spread came in The News-Journal’s cafeteria, way back when there was one. As a 23-year-old reporter who had just moved a thousand miles away from her mom’s cooking, I appreciated the home-style, discount-priced meals from the steamtable and sandwich board.

At lunchtime, some of my co-workers who were much older — in their early 50s, even — and had Southern roots opted for a pimento cheese sandwich. The well-blended combination of cheddar and mayonnaise with chopped pimentos folded in, served on white bread, was a colorful curiosity to me. Though I eventually tasted it, it never became a regular item on my lunch tray. The chicken salad that reminded me of my grandmother’s was kind of hard to beat.

The cafeteria’s version of pimento cheese was mildly seasoned, perhaps just with salt and pepper. I’m told there are many variations on the theme, depending on regions and tastes, that can include cream cheese, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, onions, garlic, dill pickles or jalapenos.

That’s why it will be interesting to see what the teams of culinary students from local high schools come up with in a pimento cheese contest that will be part of the first-ever Florida Cheese Festival, set for 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 16 in downtown DeLand. Mainland High School and DeLand High School have confirmed their participation in the competition, said Renee Tallevast, executive director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority.
The overall event, the Florida Cheese Festival, is a nod to dairy farmers in the state, and in West Volusia in particular. Presented by the tourism authority and Benedict Advertising & Marketing, the festival is expected to attract visitors from all over Florida as well as Georgia and Alabama, according to a press release.

What’s the big draw? Unlimited tasting of more than 35 cheeses from two national companies, Vermont-based Cabot Creamery and Atlanta’s Gourmet Foods International, for just $10 if tickets are purchased in advance, $15 day of event. There also will be festival-worthy entertainment, beer and wine. Go to floridacheesefestival.com for details.
On the tasting menu will be multiple varieties each of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, feta, brie, Italian, goat, blue and — to get back to the topic of this column — pimento cheeses.

Despite my association of pimento cheese with Southerners of a certain age, there’s a sign that its demographics may be getting broader and younger. That sign is a hashtag; The Fresh Market specialty grocer has declared this coming Saturday as the inaugural National Pimento Cheese Day, and encourages all to #cheesetheday. Read more here….

News-Journal Food Editor Denise O’Toole Kelly can be reached at 386-681-2214 or denise.kelly@news-jrnl.com. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseDBNJ or like her page at facebook.com/DeniseDBNJ.


March 10, 2016

 

Cheese Makers Sign On for DeLand Festival

DELAND — Two national cheese companies have agreed to take part in the inaugural Florida Cheese Festival in downtown DeLand next month.

Vermont-based Cabot Creamery and Gourmet Foods International, an Atlanta, Georgia, area company also known as GFI, will bring more than 35 varieties of cheeses to the April 16 event, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., along East Indiana Avenue, between Woodland Boulevard and Alabama Avenue.

Those who buy a $10 advance ticket to be entitled to unlimited samples of the cheeses, said Renee Tallevast, executive director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, which is teaming up with Benedict Advertising & Marketing to put on the event. Read more here…


March 9, 2016

Florida Cheese Festival Debuts

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DeLand, FL – Cheese lovers, rejoice! A new can’t-miss event is coming soon to Florida. DeLand is set to become the site of the inaugural Florida Cheese Festival. Scheduled for April 16, 2016, this first-time festival will be held in the city’s historic downtown area.

The Florida Cheese Festival will include over 35 varieties of cheese for fromage lovers to savor and sample. There will also be cheese making demonstrations that explain the traditions, science, and craftsmanship of this ancient food; and there will be cheese experts who will conduct beer and wine pairing seminars.

A traditional, centrally located Beer Garden (Biergarten) will be available, where festivalgoers will be able to select pairings of wine, beer and cheeses from a comprehensive menu – accompanied by a staff that will help select pairings for those uninitiated with the great variety of available cheeses. The festival runs all day Saturday, April 16 with live music playing from the main stage.

Belgian brewer Stella Artois is the title sponsor of the event, and is bringing its highly acclaimed Mobile Airstream tour to the Cheese Festival. This high-end experiential draft trailer for the Stella Artois brand is a sleek gastro bar and features Stella Artois specialty sinks and an iconic Swan Draft Tower as part of the brand’s nine-step pouring ritual.

“We’re thrilled to hosting the first Cheese Festival in Florida, and West Volusia was the ideal area due to its long history of dairy farmers,” said Michael Benedict, President of Benedict Advertising & Marketing, who, along with the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, is organizing and producing the event. “We were looking to bring a unique kind of celebration to the area and were pleasantly surprised to find that no one was doing a Cheese Festival anywhere in Florida.”

Renee Tallevast, Executive Director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, is looking forward to the festival and what it will do for the local economy. “We expect a good turnout not only from Florida and the local area, but from Georgia and Alabama as well. It’s a great opportunity to increase room occupancy at our hotels and to introduce new visitors to what our area has to offer.”

West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority’s mission is to develop and support marketing and advertising programs that bring increased tourism to West Volusia County, and to demonstrate the desirability of West Volusia as a tourism destination. The Authority works with area hoteliers, tour providers, attractions and event promoters, to represent the area to vacationers, tour operators, travel and meeting planners, and the media.