Pre-Conference Events

    On Wednesday, July 29, ACS Conference attendees and their guests may choose to attend pre-Conference events highlighting some of the best that New England has to offer. These customized, small-group programs will depart from the Rhode Island Convention Center, with the exception of “Farm to Table In and Around Boston,” which will also pick up tour-goers in Boston, MA.

    Space is limited. Registration takes place as part of the Conference registration process. Pricing includes transportation.

    • Cheese in the Kitchen: A Johnson & Wales Culinary Experience!
    • Farm to Table In and Around Boston
    • Exciting Concepts in Connecticut
    • Cheese, Wine and a Newport Mansion
    • Award Winners in Central Massachusetts
    • Providence Cheese Crawl

    Farm to Table In and Around Boston

    $150 per ticket
    2:00 PM – 10:00 PM

    This tour includes a special ACS dinner at L’Espalier, Boston’s finest and “cheesiest” restaurant, as well as visits to two cheesemakers in the historic and charming North Shore.

    Our first stop is Appleton Farms in seaside Ipswich, MA. America’s oldest continuously operating farm, now under the stewardship of the conservation group The Trustees of Reservations, Appleton Farms features rolling pastures, grazing cattle, innovative sustainable farming, a CSA that involves hundreds of local families, and a nascent cheesemaking operation.

    Our second stop is Valley View Farm in neighboring Topsfield, where Liz and Peter Mulholland recently raised $25,010 from 235 backers in a very successful Kickstarter campaign to build a hillside cheese aging cave for their farmstead goats milk cheese.

    Then it is on to Boston, for a special Cheese Tuesday at L’Espalier featuring a three-course dinner with matched wines, a sumptuous tasting of Massachusetts cheese, and some off-beat entertainment. Cheese Tuesday, hosted by tour guide Louis Risoli, has been a popular Boston event for over ten years.

    Please note: this tour will pick guests up at both the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, and at L’Espalier in Boston. It will end at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. It is your responsibility to be on time for this tour with all of your luggage, if you are coming from Boston (space for luggage will be provided on the tour bus). ACS recommends booking your travel to allow adequate time for possible flight delays or cancellations. If you are not on-time for any reason, the tour will depart without you, and you are responsible for providing your own transportation to the next tour stop or to Providence. If you are running late, please contact your tour leader to arrange a possible meeting point. You are responsible for booking your return travel, if you do not plan to stay in Providence after the tour ends. Tour fees are non-refundable.

    Cheese in the Kitchen: A Johnson & Wales Culinary Experience!

    $100 per ticket
    12:30 PM – 5:00 PM

    So you know cheese at retail, but how much do you know about cheese in the kitchen? This special program offered to ACS members by Johnson & Wales University will cover the cooking fundamentals, basic knife skills, and several key recipes for using cheese in culinary applications.

    Attendees will spend the afternoon at the prestigious Culinary Program at Johnson & Wales University in Providence with associate Chef Instructors. They will also compete in a fun team competition using some of the skills they have learned during this session.

    Please note: this program departs from the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. It is your responsibility to be on time for this program. If you are not on-time for any reason, the bus will depart without you. If you are running late, please contact your leader to arrange a possible meeting point. Fees are non-refundable.

    Award Winners in Central Massachusetts

    $100 per ticket
    8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

    Our visit to 3 family cheese makers in scenic and rural Central Massachusetts begins in picturesque Hardwick, where Tricia Smith at Ruggles Hill Creamery hand crafts cheese from her small herd of Saanen and Oberhasli goats in a state of the art facility on this 1760’s farm. Also in Hardwick, the Robinson Family Farm produces an array of Jersey Cow milk cheeses and will provide a tour of their operation and a country-inspired picnic lunch. Next, our tour host and renowned cheese maker Bob Stetsen and his wife Debby will guide us through their operation at Westfield Farm, which has been in business since 1971, and has produced more award winners than just about anyone, including an ACS Best of Show in 1996.

    Please note: this tour departs from the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. It is your responsibility to be on time for this tour. If you are not on-time for any reason, the tour will depart without you. If you are running late, please contact your tour leader to arrange a possible meeting point. Tour fees are non-refundable.

    Providence Cheese Crawl: an American Cheese Education Foundation Fundraiser

    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Ongoing)
    $10 per ticket (minimum donation, please consider giving more generously)

    Sponsored by Cellars at Jasper Hill, Spring Brook Farm, and Vermont Creamery; presented by Culture Magazine; with support from GoProvidence, The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau.

    Kick off ACS Cheese Camp by joining New England cheesemakers at some of downtown Providence’s favorite watering holes. Each stop on this year’s Cheese Crawl will feature regional cheesemakers sampling some of their favorite cheeses, and they’ll be waiting to meet you and talk cheese! The last stop on the Cheese Crawl is Trinity Brewhouse, this year’s Official ACS Cheese Camp Bar!  This final stop will feature samples of great Vermont cheeses, a taste of slow-roasted Vermont pig, and a complimentary craft beer ticket for each attendee, courtesy of Cellars at Jasper Hill, Spring Brook Farm, Vermont Creamery, and Culture Magazine.

    Sign up and you’ll receive a map/passport and a special wrist lanyard which will gain you admission to each stop on the Cheese Crawl. Get your Cheese Crawl passport stamped or signed by at least six participating cheesemakers, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a complimentary 2016 ACS Conference registration!

    Space is limited, and advance registration is required. All proceeds from ticket sales support the nonprofit American Cheese Education Foundation, so please give generously to support scholarships, industry research, educational webinars, and ongoing efforts to protect and promote traditional cheesemaking practices.

    Exciting Concepts in Connecticut (SOLD OUT!)

    $100 per ticket
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

    Start big and urban with a visit to Calabro, a family of cheesemakers with 43 years of experience making Italian-style cheese and ricotta in a 54,000 square foot plant. Next, visit Mystic Cheese Company, where Brian Civitello has set up his innovative cheese pod, with everything required to make great cheese in two 40-foot portable shipping containers, on 900-acre Graywall Farm.

    Following lunch, provided by the Caseus Cheese Truck, we will visit mother-son team Elizabeth McAlister and Mark Gillman at Cato Corner Farm. This farmstead operation has been crafting a dozen styles of raw milk cheeses made from the milk of their 40 hormone and subtherapeutic antibiotic free Jersey cows since 1997.

    Please note: this tour departs from the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. It is your responsibility to be on time for this tour. If you are not on-time for any reason, the tour will depart without you. If you are running late, please contact your tour leader to arrange a possible meeting point. Tour fees are non-refundable.

    Cheese, Wine, and a Newport Mansion (SOLD OUT!)

    $100 per ticket
    8:00 AM – 5:15 PM

    You’ll never be far from the ocean and stunning views on this tour, as you visits a cheesemaker, a unique winery, and Newport’s grandest Guilded Age mansion. Great Hill Creamery, a farmstead cheesemaker on the shores of Buzzard’s Bay, creates ACS award winning Great Hill Blue. The Russels at Westport Rivers Winery take advantage of a unique coastal microclimate to create wines with elegance and finesse. Tour the vineyard, taste their wines, and enjoy a locavore lunch and a tasting of Westport’s Shy Brothers Farm cheeses. It would be a shame to visit Providence and not spend an afternoon in Newport! Visit Newport’s most celebrated “cottage,” The Breakers, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1893 as a symbol of the family’s social and financial preeminence in turn-of-the-century America.

    Please note: this tour departs from the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. It is your responsibility to be on time for this tour. If you are not on-time for any reason, the tour will depart without you. If you are running late, please contact your tour leader to arrange a possible meeting point. Tour fees are non-refundable.