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Kirkland’s Trellis restaurant’s artisan cheese wins national award
A collaboration between Chef Brian Scheehser of Trellis, a wine country-inspired restaurant that celebrates small scale, artisan products at the height of their seasonality, and master cheesemaker Blain Hages of Cherry Valley Diary has culminated in an honor from the American Cheese Society.
The pair won second place in the 2013 American Cheese Society Judging & Competition in the category of Monterey jack with flavor added (all milks) for their carrot-nasturtium reserve.
“The annual American Cheese Society Judging & Competition attracts leading artisan and specialty cheese producers from around the country, and we’re thrilled to be recognized among an outstanding group of competitors,” said Scheehser. “Working with Blain to create a line of artisan cheeses for Trellis has been a unique and educational experience, and this award reinforces our passion for producing foods from locally grown ingredients.”
Along with the award-winning carrot-nasturtium reserve, Scheehser and Hages produce four other cheese varieties: lavender-rubbed aged jack, blueberry basil, caraway and farm-inspired pepper jack.
Each uses produce and herbs grown on Scheehser’s Woodinville farm, while Cherry Valley Dairy in Duvall, Wash., provides the milk and facilities for the collaborative effort, the first of its kind for the dairy.
The carrot-nasturtium reserve that Scheehser and Cherry Valley Dairy submitted shared second place honors in its category with Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy of Colorado and Saputo Specialty Cheese of Wisconsin, and Heber Valley Artisan Cheese in Utah claimed first place.
In total, 257 companies entered 1,794 products for consideration in this year’s competition. The American Cheese Society uses a point system (with 100 points possible) to award first, second or third place; if no entrant earns the requisite points, no award is given in the category.
A not-for-profit trade organization, the American Cheese Society supports the North American artisan and specialty cheese industry through advocacy, education, business development and networking opportunities for industry members.