Southern Artisan Cheese Festival Finds New Venue, Brings in Cheesemakers From Seven States

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Kathleen Cotter, the proprietor of The Bloomy Rind, is doubtlessly the queen of cheese in Music City. She's known for her invaluable cheese shop, co-located with Porter Road Butcher on Gallatin Avenue in East Nashville. (She also curates a cheese selection sold at the new Porter Road Butcher location on Charlotte across from Richland Park.)

She's done more to raise the awareness of artisan Southern cheeses than anyone else in town — in major part due to her incredible efforts to put on the first two Southern Artisan Cheese festivals.

Not one to do anything less than big, Cotter has raised the bar for the third edition of the festival, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28. The venue for this year is the historic Neuhoff factory complex on Adams Street, the home of the Nashville Jazz Workshop, Peter Nappi and other cool enterprises. (The cheese fest will take place in the old garage at 1319 Adams St.)

Just the locale is worth visiting the festival this year, but the cheese, gourmet foods, beer and wine options make it a must-attend event!

Cotter has put together a lengthy roster of cheese makers for the festival. You can see the whole list here, but highlights include Bonnyclabber Country Cheese, Chapel Hill Creamery, Goat Lady Dairy, Kenny's Farmhouse, Noble Springs Dairy, Sequatchie Cove Creamery and Sweet Grass Dairy. Local and regional food purveyors and craft brewers will also be sampling their wares, so come hungry and thirsty to the tasting event on Saturday from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

The previous evening will be "Meet Your Maker" cheese dinner starting at 7:30, where attendees will enjoy a dinner of four cheese-centric courses prepared by chef Tony Galzin. You'll also have the opportunity to rub elbows with the artisans who make all that wonderful cheese.

Cotter has added a VIP ticket option this year with early admission and a special VIP bonus cheese class. She has also limited the number of tickets to ensure a more intimate environment this year, so don't dawdle on purchasing your tickets since it will probably sell out in advance.

Ticket packages range from $45 to $160 and are available at the festival website. A portion of the proceeds benefit Community Food Advocates, so it's both philanthropic and easy to get cheesy!

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