CMI’s Ultimate Bites

CMI Ultimate Bites

Held twice a year around the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food Shows in San Francisco in January and New York City in June, and a recently added Chicago competition in April, the Cheesemonger Invitational has become an iconic competition to separate the best from the best cheesemongers from across the country.

In addition to a number of challenges, including a written test; taste and aroma tests; cutting and wrapping; salesmanship evaluation and putting together the perfect beverage pairing and plate, competitors are required to create the perfect bite.

Here, CMI founder Adam Moskowitz has provided a small taste of bites from past events.

Cheesemonger Invitational


Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT:

The Blue Jay, Deer Creek Cheese Co.; Rye shortbread with thyme and Nepalese truffle, shredded roasted beets and garlic, Campari Marmalade reduction and fresh parsley.





Cheesemonger Invitational


Formerly of Nugget Market, Woodland, CA: 

Homemade cheese cracker made with Face Rock Extra aged two-year Cheddar; a slice of Face Rock Extra aged two-year Cheddar; olive oil powder; espresso balsamic “caviar” and edible gold dust.






Cheesemonger Invitational


Mill City Cheesemongers, Lowell, MA:

15-month Gruyère on a sesame-kelp crisp with orange-saffron-cardamom marmalade. The idea behind it was to challenge assumptions about culture and traditional flavors by bringing in the Asian influences. The sesame balanced the Gruyère’s nuttiness; the seaweed brought in a little bitterness for contrast; the citrus and South Asian spices warmed everything up. The garnish on top is toasted nori, to bring back the roasty nutty flavors.




Cheesemonger Invitational


Staff of Life, Santa Cruz, CA: 

Castel Regio Gorgonzola Dolce; Jamon Serrano cured ham, raw cacao nibs, OMED Spanish Yuzu extra virgin olive oil and a Go Raw Organic Choco Crunch Sprouted Cookie.





Cheesemonger Invitational


Milkfarm, Los Angeles:

Tallgrass Reserve from Landmark Creamery, with pear bourbon butter, curried pistachios, cracked black pepper and Asian pear.






Cheesemonger Invitational


The Cellar, San Clemente, CA: 

Dried Calimyrna figs stuffed with toasted walnuts, chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano Valserena, radish sprouts and topped off with a drizzle of aged balsamic.





Cheesemonger Invitational


Eataly, New York City:

Provolone at the Tokyo Embassy; a bamboo skewer of Pondini semi-stagionata Provolone, torched shishito pepper and candied San Daniele Prosciutto, which is topped with a dollop of whipped Provolone broth and puff-fried sushi rice, then seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction.





Cheesemonger Invitational


Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma, CA:

Counselor Gary’s Famous S’mores; Gruyère graham cracker, High Water Brewing’s Campfire Stout Chocolate Sauce, brûléed marshmallow and Gruyère AOP Reserve, garnished with Sel des Alpes.





Jordan Edwards 2017
Cheesemonger Invitational


Regalis Foods, Chicago:

Elotito; roasted freeze dried corn, corn ash, sweet paprika and Vermont Creamery fresh goat cheese.






Cheesemonger Invitational


COD Consulting, Richmond, VT:

Pink peppercorn macarons dusted with edible gold and filled with Meyer lemon curd and a buttercream made with Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese.





Cheesemonger Invitational


Aperitivo, Grand Rapids, MI:

Rustic Bakery’s Tart Cherry and Cacao Nib Artisan Crisp as a base, topped with tart cherry and port jam from Beau Bien Preserves, a wedge of Jasper Hill Farm’s Bayley Hazen Blue and a piece of Luxardo Cherry Candies Bacon with a sprinkle of dark chocolate.





Cheesemonger Invitational


The Cheese School of San Francisco:

Cowgirl Creamery Devil’s Gulch; a wafer cracker with roasted red bell pepper, extra virgin olive oil, arugula and paprika salt.






Cheesemonger Invitational


Cheese Bar, Portland, OR:

Alp Blossom; fermented carrots + Daikon, fresh cilantro, Thai basil and hoisin sauce.







C’est Cheese, Port Jefferson, NY:

Mimolette; Calvados + espresso caramel, Granny Smith apple, pickled red onion and Calvados Sea Salt Toffee Shard.

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