emplacementPalais des Congrès, MONTRÉAL
calendrier
Du 15 au 17 mai 2024

International Cheese Competition

Under the presidency of our cheese expert Gurth M. Pretty, a jury made up of cheese industry professionals evaluated the best of the best of the 231 cheeses registerd and awarded a gold medal to the best cheeses among the 26 selected categories, including the new one: the Artisanal Farmstead Cheese!. A CILQ Special Award for the Certified Quebec Artisanal Farmstead Cheese will also be decerned.
 
Congratulations to the Winners!
 

Grand Champion 2023

Stonetown Artisan Cheese Ltd
"Wildwood" Cheese | St. Marys

 

MédailleA word from Hans Weber, Owner of Stonetown Artisan Cheese: “I am overwhelmed with joy at this win, it was completely unexpected.
Jolanda and I are very grateful for the talents and skills of our cheesemaker and business partner, Ramon Eberle, a Master Cheesemaker from Switzerland. We are proud to share this cheese with the world.”

Jury 2023

Andy Shay
Director Product Development at JK Overweel
Alex Armstrong
Cheese Evaluator and Educator at Jasper Hill Farm
Art Hill
Assistant Professor Department of Food Science, University of Guelph
Caroline Bédard
Cheese Technology Advisor, Quebec Cheese Expertise Centre
Cecilia Smith
Independent cheese consultant, Teacher at George Brown College and Conestoga College
Erin Harris
Responsible for national Business Development for Aux Terroirs and Co-founder of the Canadian Cheese Collective
Gina L. Creta
Deli Director at the Maple Leaf Gardens flagship store
Martin Kouprie
Chef and Managing Partner, Alton Mill Arts Centre
Martin Raymond
Culinary Instructor at Conestoga College
Miriam Holmes
Specialty Team Leader at Whole Foods Market
Olivia Janse
Director Innovation and products development at Saputo Dairy Products Canada
Pieter vanOudenaren
Artisan Cheese Maker
Tanya Moodie
Category Manager, Deli and Prepared Foods at Longo’s
Thierry Martin
Lead Master Cheesemaker at Agropur
Vanessa Simmons
Cheese Sommelier for Savvy Company in Ottawa
Wendy Furtenbacher
Thought Leader in fine cheese and fine foods

Andy Shay

Director Product Development at JK Overweel

Andy is an international retailer and merchant who has worked in cheese in New York for Gourmet Garage and Eli’s, Sydney for David Jones, and Toronto for Eatons, Shay Gourmet, Shay Cheese and Sobeys. He has worked to promote the industry and knowledge of cheese as a board member of Ontario Cheese Society, promoting Quebec cheeses in Ontario through Artisan Cheese Marketing and at Sobeys creating a robust national cheese department. Andy is a CCP with American Cheese Society and is a member of Guilde International Des Fromages, he is currently Director Product Development at JK Overweel, an importer and distributor of European cheeses in Canada.

Alex Armstrong

Cheese Evaluator and Educator at Jasper Hill Farm

Alex Armstrong is a certified cheese professional and sensory evaluator from the United States. His journey in cheese began working as an apprentice cheesemaker and herdsman at Hickory Knoll Farm in Michigan where he learned to make cheese and care for a herd of 200 goats. After a season on the farm, Alex continued to pursue a career in cheese as a Cheesemonger in Chicago at Pastoral Artisan before moving to San Francisco to work for Mission Cheese as an Event Coordinator, Educator and Monger. For the past 4 years, Alex has been a part of the team at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT working as a sales associate, affineur, and educator. He now manages the Sensory Evaluation program as well as managing affinage for the soft-ripened and natural rind cheeses made at Jasper Hill Farm.

Art Hill

Assistant Professor Department of Food Science, University of Guelph

Art received his B.Sc. in Agronomy (specializing in Dairy Science) and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Food Science from Guelph and joined the Guelph faculty in 1986. He has held a variety of administrative and leadership positions on campus, including Chair of the Food Science Department. His research interests are in dairy science and technology, particularly cheese science, including cheese safety. Art’s technical support to the dairy industry was recognized with the OAC Distinguished Extension Award in 2000. Art also led the launch of the Guelph Food Innovation Centre in 2017, which has become a major service of the Food Science Department. Recently, he was the lead author of two proposals, funded by the Canadian Dairy Commission, to develop a new Cheesemaker’s Certificate for Open Learners and a new graduate degree program entitled Master of Dairy Technology Management. In May 2022, Art retired, while continuing some academic activities as an assistant professor.

Caroline Bédard

Cheese Technology Advisor, Quebec Cheese Expertise Centre

Caroline Bédard has been a cheese technology advisor at the Quebec Cheese Expertise Centre for almost two years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology (STA) from Laval University. She has more than ten years of experience and accomplishments with artisanal and industrial cheese dairies. Since then, she has taken on many professional challenges in production, cheese product development and process optimization.

Cecilia Smith

Independent cheese consultant, Teacher at George Brown College and Conestoga College

Cecilia is an independent cheese consultant. She is certified as a Professional Fromager by George Brown College. She is also a Certified Cheese Professional and Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator with the American Cheese Society. Cecilia teaches the Professional Cheese Monger Certificate at George Brown College and courses in the cheese making program at Conestoga College

Erin Harris

Responsible for national Business Development for Aux Terroirs and Co-founder of the Canadian Cheese Collective

Erin Harris is a red seal Chef, American Cheese Society certified cheese professional (ACS CCP), food writer and ‘Essential Fondue Cookbook’ author who can be found on social media platforms as @thecheesepoet. Over the last 12 years, Erin has studied cheese by completing the Master Cheese Professional certificate with Maitre d’Fromager Max McCalman at Artisanal Cheese in NYC, and traveling extensively throughout North America and Europe to view cheesemaking practices first hand. Erin has acted as cheese judge for the Good Food Awards, Royal Winter Fair Cheese and Butter competition, British Empire Cheese Competition, and the World Cheese Awards. Today, Erin is responsible for national Business Development for Aux Terroirs, a Canadian distributor of fine cheese and charcuterie, and co-founder of the Canadian Cheese Collective, a cheese guild devoted to building cheese community in Canada.

Gina L. Creta

Deli Director at the Maple Leaf Gardens flagship store

Hi! My name is Gina L. Creta. I have been employed at Loblaws for 42 years, currently as the Deli Director at the Maple Leaf Gardens flagship store.

For the past 8 years, my role has focused on keeping up to date on current industry trends, sourcing our new and exciting items and educating customers and colleagues on products offered.

I love cheese and the craftsmanship that goes into making it. I am continually looking for new products and recipes to incorporate them.

Martin Kouprie

Chef and Managing Partner, Alton Mill Arts Centre

After 20 years pleasing critics and patrons alike as the executive chef and co-owner of Toronto’s iconic Yorkville eatery Pangaea Restaurant, Martin Kouprie has moved to the country!

Swapping views of bank towers for vistas of the Caledon Hills has been an easy transition; as one of Canada’s farm to table food pioneers, Martin has many long-established relationships in the area and works closely with nearby farmers, foragers, and ingredient suppliers so that he can deliver cuisine that has local, sustainable roots. “I love that I’m working in a community where I can offer my catering clients ingredients that are grown and foraged by my neighbours”, says Kouprie. “I earned my reputation showcasing fresh, seasonal foods and shortening the journey from the farm to my kitchen makes me very happy!”

Enjoyment and comfort are also hallmarks of Martin’s cooking; as a result, fans and critics rave about his ingredient driven signature dishes such as wild mushroom risotto and rabbit ballotine, dishes that are simultaneously comforting and sophisticated.

A Grand Cru veteran, Chef Kouprie supports the University Health Network as a worthy cause and counts this event as a must-do among his charitable activities because he knows the event has true effect. “It’s important to give back to the community,” says Kouprie. “Events such as Grand Cru, Second Harvest’s Taste of Toronto and similar gourmet fundraisers figure prominently in my calendar because they give me a chance to use my talents to help so many others.”

Martin’s high standards and culinary imagination have won him accolades from near and far: Gourmet Magazine, Toronto Life, The Financial Post, and The New York Times have all given his cooking their seal of approval. He is the author of Pangaea: Why it Tastes so Good and in 2016 he earned the coveted title of Certified Chef de Cuisine.

Martin Raymond

Culinary Instructor at Conestoga College

Curiosity has long been a great motivator for me. It lead me to pursue a degree in biochemistry; subsequently to study culinary arts.during. My career as a chef and instructor cheese has always fascinated me. Derived from a single, simple source, milk, cheese appears in more complex varieties and classifications than any other food we consume.

After completing the original Cheese Professional courses at George Brown, Furthering my studies led me into a deep investigation of the science and art involved in cheesemaking. I have had the great fortune to teach in the Professional Cheesemaking Certification at Conestoga College since its inception three years ago. Along the way I have been invited to participate as a a judge in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Canadian Cheese Championships for two years running.

As I continue along my cheese adventure I look forward to sharing my knowledge as we expand the fascinating story of cheese.

Miriam Holmes

Specialty Team Leader at Whole Foods Market

Olivia Janse

Director Innovation and products development at Saputo Dairy Products Canada

25+ years of experience in the Dairy business, starting with a 3 years class in international cheese-making at the National Dairy School (Poligny France, 98-01). Olivia has been with Saputo since 2005 as technical expert for dairy products development in general and cheese in particular. Director of innovation for the Canadian division since 2019.
Judge for International competition, since 2006 at the General Agricultural Competition in Paris and since 2011 at the World Cheese Awards, and was inducted as Maître Fromager in 2008 from France’s “Guilde Internationale des Fromagers de Saint-Uguzon.

Pieter vanOudenaren

Artisan Cheese Maker

He operated an auto repair garage for 27 years. Blessed with the in house training to be an artisan cheese maker at Mariposa Dairy. During his 13 year cheese making career, his cheeses have won numerous awards in the USA, Canada and England. He has made cheese with goat, sheep and waterbuffalo milk. He has attended competitions and workshops in the USA, France and the Netherlands.

Tanya Moodie

Category Manager, Deli and Prepared Foods at Longo’s

Tanya Moodie is a Category Manager, Deli and Prepared Foods, at Longo’s with over 20 years experience in the Deli field. Prior to joining Longo’s Tanya was a cheese buyer at All the Best Fine Foods and Leslieville Cheese Market. Tanya has been with Longo’s for 8 years where she continues to follow her passion for great food.

Thierry Martin

Lead Master Cheesemaker at Agropur

I was born and raised in Switzerland where I got my education and professional training as a cheese maker and get a master cheesemaker degree from Switzerland and moved in Canada 25years ago for a 2 years contract.

I spend over 35 years in the cheese making industry in different role, and served as judges in different international competition and currently working as Technical Director for a major cheese producer in Canada. Focus Operation Manager with extended experience supporting a portfolio of product in the cheese and dairy industry.

Vanessa Simmons

Cheese Sommelier for Savvy Company in Ottawa

Vanessa Simmons a Cheese Sommelier in Ottawa, and is fanatical about Canadian cheese. Vanessa is a cheese educator, holds tasting seminars, has worked as a chef and is a recognized Canadian cheese industry writer, judge, media personality, speaker and blogger. She believes in the positive energy of artisan cheese and is passionate about sharing the stories behind Canada’s cheese community, makers and mongers.

Wendy Furtenbacher

Thought Leader in fine cheese and fine foods

Wendy has been in the cheese industry professionally for the past 12 years. Initially started out through blogging, and hosting cheese classes. She was a member of the Ontario Cheese Society Board of Directors, completed Cheese Appreciation levels 1 & 2 from the Cheese Education Guild, completed the Professional Fromager program through George Brown College in 2012, and became an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional in 2014.

Wendy worked as an active Cheesemonger and Manager at a national supermarket chain for 10 years, and worked briefly in category management. Wendy continues to create and host private tasting experiences both virtual and in person.

In addition to her cheese background, Wendy holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, and is the Citizen Representative with the Mississauga Arts Council.

Gurth Pretty

Jury President

Cheese Expert

“The International Cheese Competition by SIAL Canada is an excellent opportunity for all cheesemakers to submit their cheese for evaluation and feedback by cheese professionals. It is the only competition in Canada where cheese from
across the world can be judged in their respective categories and compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion. For
the 2023 edition, I am pleased to announce that Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New York, Maine, Vermont and
Dutch cheese won. Personally, the 231 cheeses submitted from eight countries were all winners.”

Why participate?

    • An effective market test: a competitive way to have your product tested by a panel of experts but also by the visitors of the show.
    • A showcase: Benefit from visibility in the catalog and website to generate additional traffic to your website and/or booth and maximize your return on investment. Your company name, address, cheese and cheesemaker’s name will be listed on the website.
    • Media coverage: Champions will be awarded “Category Champion” during a dedicated ceremony on the Cheese by SIAL pavilion on May 9, 2023. The ceremony will take place live in front of the trade press and visitors to the show. Your name will be listed in the dedicated press release.

 

  • A targeted sampling: The cheeses designated as Category Champions will be highlighted during tasting workshops for the public on May 9, 2023. Visitors will be able to taste your product during one session. The Overall Champion will be offer to all sessions!
  • A promotional tool: In addition to the medal awarded at the ceremony, the Champions will receive a digital medal that you can promote to your audience.

Terms and conditions

Qualification criterias

• May be a product already available in the retail or food service sector or new to the market.
• Must be made with milk, without the addition of modified milk ingredients:
cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, or a mixture.
• Must be labeled as cheese and not as a processed cheese food product.

• Cheese to be submitted for judging (minimum of 5lbs to be sent)
– Wheel or
– Block of 5 lbs or more
– Small format cheese: 1 case/box

• No core samples/plugs to be taken from the submitted cheese.
• No alteration allowed

Cheese categories

*A category must have a minimum of 3 eligible cheeses for the category to be judged.

  1. Fresh cheese Cow (i.e. Mozzarella, Queso fresco, Ricotta)
  2. Fresh cheese all milk (i.e Chèvre, Buffalo…)
  3. Soft, bloomy rind cheese (i.e. Brie)
  4. Washed rind cheese (i.e. Port-Salut)
  5. Mixed rind cheese (i.e. La Sauvagine)
  6. Cheddar Cheese aged 3 to 6 months
  7. Cheddar Cheese aged 6 to 12 months
  8. Cheddar Cheese aged more than 12 months
  9. Cheddar Cheese Bandaged
  10. Gouda aged 6 to 12 months
  11. Gouda aged more than 12 months
  12. Swiss style
  13. Cheese in brine (i.e. Feta)
  14. Smoked cheese
  15. Cheese with added physical particulates (herbs, spices…)
  16. Cheese with added non-physical particulates (beer, cider, wine…)
  17. Semi-soft cheese
  18. Firm cheese (i.e Havarti)
  19. Hard cheese (i.e. Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  20. Blue cheese with veinage present
  21. Grilling cheese raclette
  22. Grilling cheese middle eastern style
  23. Ash-coated cheese
  24. Cheese with low fat content
  25. Artisanal farmstead cheese (certification proving that only milk from their farm is used – to be placed in the parcel for the shipment)
  26. New cheese – not yet available in the North American market
2023 rates
  • 85$ CAD +tx per cheese submitted for companies exhibiting at the show
  • 140$ CAD +tx per cheese submitted for non-exhibiting companies

The deadline to apply for the competition is April 6th, 2023

2023 partners