Cheesemaker Notes & News

Caves of Faribault Named "2014 Champion Artisan Cheesemaker" by UMDIA

The Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association (UMDIA) has released its "Parade of Champions" list and has named Caves of Faribault the Champion Artisan Cheesemaker of 2014.  In order to be considered for this year's Parade of Champions, a cheese company must have participated in the four annual cheese contests held by UMDIA (Fall 2013, Spring 2014, June 2014 and the final contest at the Minnesota State Fair, held in August 2014.)  Caves of Faribault's St. Pete's Select Blue Cheese took home 4th Place in the June contest and 3rd Place at the State Fair, while Jeffs' Select Gouda received 1st Place in the Fall contest, 2nd Place in the Spring Contest and 3rd Place in the June contest.

The Upper Midwest Dairy Industry Association is a non-profit group whose purpose is to promote the dairy industry by providing information, educational services, networks and contests that encourage improvement in the quality and safety of dairy and food products.


 

Jeffs’ Select Wins 2013 sofi™ Award

Jeffs’ Select Gouda from Caves of Faribault has won the 2013 sofi™ Award for Outstanding Cheese or Dairy Product from the Specialty Food Association. A sofi is the top honor in the $86 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.

Jeffs’ Select was one of 125 Finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from a record-setting 2,573 entries across 32 Awards categories including Outstanding Chocolate, Confection, and Snack Food. Winners were announced July 1, 2013, by internationally-acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

“On behalf of the affinage team and management at Caves of Faribault we are delighted to accept this award,” notes Jeff Jirik, VP/GM of Natural Cheese for Swiss Valley Farms, the parent company of Caves of Faribault.  “It’s truly an honor for a great American cheese.”

Jeffs' Select is the result of a collaborative effort between Jirik and long-time friend Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Jeff Wideman.  It is Wideman who makes the cheese, which is then sent to Faribault for aging.  Unlike typical Goudas aged in cold temperatures, this American original is aged in the warm and humid environment of the caves.  The result is a full-bodied flavor with a classic European nuttiness and a hint of caramel.  Its annatto-rubbed rind gives it its vibrant orange color.

The sofi Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs with more than 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad. For more information on the association and its Fancy Food Shows, go to www.specialtyfood.com. Learn more about the 2013 sofi Awards at specialtyfood.com/sofi.

“With the most entries ever, the winners should be especially proud,” says Specialty Food Association President Ann Daw. “Their foods and beverages are wonderful examples of the craft, care and joy specialty food makers bring to their work.”


Jeffs' Select Named Finalist for sofi™ Award

Jeffs' Select Gouda from Caves of Faribault has been named a Finalist for Outstanding Cheese or Dairy Product in the 2013 sofi™ Awards from the Specialty Food Association. 

A sofi Award is the top honor in the $86 billion specialty food industry. "sofi" stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation. 

Jeffs' Select was one of 109 Finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from 1,885 entries across 30 Awards categories from Outstanding Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa and Dip to Outstanding Vinegar. Gold Winners will be announced by noted chef Marcus Samuelsson at a red-carpet ceremony July 1, 2013, at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. 

"We are honored to be named a Finalist in this prestigious contest," notes Jeff Jirik, VP/GM of Natural Cheese for Swiss Valley Farms, the parent company of Caves of Faribault. Jeffs' Select is the result of a collaborative effort between Jirik and long-time friend Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Jeff Wideman. Jeffs' Select was born when Jeff Wideman's Wisconsin-made cheese was sent to the Caves of Faribault for aging. This experiment resulted in a fullbodied Gouda with classic European nuttiness, smooth caramel notes and a creamy finish. 

"Specialty food makers bring craft, care and joy to the foods they create. To be honored with a sofi Award nomination means the product truly stands out above the rest," says Specialty Food Association President Ann Daw. 

The sofi Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs with more than 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad. For more information on the association and its Fancy Food Shows, go to www.specialtyfood.com. Learn more about the 2013 sofi Awards at specialtyfood.com/sofi.


Caves of Faribault Launches New 8pk Order Option

In response to customers' suggestions, Caves of Faribault now offers its AmaBlu, AmaGorg and St. Pete's Select wedges in 8pks.  The following items are now available to order in 8pk quantities:

AmaBlu 4.5oz Waxed Wedge 8pk (28106)

AmaGorg 4.5oz Waxed Wedge 8pk (28105)

St. Pete's Select 4.5oz Waxed Wedge 8pk (28107)

AmaBlu 4oz Wedge Tray 8pk (28135)

AmaGorg 4oz Wedge Tray 8pk (28136)

AmaBlu 5oz Crumble Pouch 8pk (28052)

AmaGorg 5oz Crumble Pouch 8pk (28059)

We are always looking for ways to satisfy our customers and this new order option offers the size and convenience they desire.  Interested customers can contact their sales representative for more information.


St. Pete's Select Takes Best of Class at US Championship Cheese Contest

We are happy to announce that St. Pete's Select, our super premium blue cheese aged over 100 days, has taken Best of Class honors in the Blue-Veined Class at the 2013 US Championship Cheese Contest.  Also placing was Jeffs' Select Gouda, which took 4th Place in the Open Class (Hard) and AmaGorg Gorgonzola, which took home 5th Place in the Gorgonzola Class.  


LIKE US on Facebook!  www.facebook.com/cavesoffaribault


Cheese Cave Exploration: a short film

An insightful SHORT FILM (3 minutes) of our caves and cheesemaking produced by Eve Daniels and TheHeavyTable.com

To view, click here:   http://vimeo.com/36248940


The Bite | Amablueberry Cheesecake at The Cheese Cave in Faribault

http://heavytable.com/amablueberry-cheesecake-at-the-cheese-cave-in-faribault/

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Jimmy's Salad Dressings made with AmaBlu cheese

http://www.jimmysdressing.com/store/Dressings/

 

                   


Jeffs' Select Gouda

Two wrongs make a right... two Jeffs make a tasty bite.

Two different cheesemakers with a shared first name got together as friends and discussed how to make a great cheese even better. And that they did: Jeff Wideman of Maple Leaf in Wisconsin and Jeff Jirik of Caves of Faribault in Minnesota are self-described as "Cheesemakers Without Borders." Jeff Wideman makes the gouda and Jeff Jirik finishes it. This cheese is limited availability and it is definitely worth contacting us to find out where to get it:  info@cavesoffaribault.com

 

 


Jeff Jirik elected to American Cheese Society Board of Directors

We are very proud to announce that Jeff Jirik, VP/GM Blue Cheese Division for Swiss Valley Farms, has been elected to the American Cheese Society Board of Directors. Jeff will serve a three-year term, ending at the Annual Conference in 2014.

Join us in congratulating Jeff by "liking" Caves of Faribault on Facebook and leaving a message on our wall.

About the American Cheese Society (ACS): The American Cheese Society is an organization passionate about supporting American specialty cheeses through research, education and networking, with an emphasis on safety and sustainability. Founded in 1983, ACS membership is comprised of cheese makers, retailers and enthusiasts who share the same passion. Caves of Faribault/Swiss Valley Farms is an active member of ACS. To learn more, visit the link to their official website below.  

Caves of Faribault on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Caves-of-Faribault/108396029249153
 

American Cheese Society:  http://www.cheesesociety.org/
 


 

AMABLU® on the Food Network

Helpful Links

The Cheese Cave Retail Store

Located in the Historic Downtown of Faribault, Minnesota, The Cheese Cave offers a wide selection where you can Buy Gourmet Cheese, Amablu Blue Cheese, Divina Olives, Gourmet Olives, Italian Oil, Balsalmic Vinegar and more all available in The Cheese Cave Store or Online at cheesecave.net.

 

 

Jeff Jirik,  Cheesemaker

 

       Jeffs' Select Gouda   

   

Jeffs Select Gouda Cheese

 

    

            

      St. Mary's Grass Fed Gouda 

 

 

 

Caves of Faribault Blue Cheese, Gouda, 

& Swiss Valley Farms Smoked Swiss

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Cheese Curds