Friday, March 4, 2011

Cheese School 101

When Jo (@clickflickca) asked me whether or not I would be interested in going to #CheeseSchool at School Bakery & Cafe (@schoolville), a tweetup event where cheeselovers get together to learn about cheese and eat like a king in the process, I was thrilled. Not only do I love cheese, but School happens to be one of my favourite, if not the favourite, brunch places in Toronto (check out my blog post about School brunches). I've also been to School for dinner recently and it was just as fabulous (I haven't posted about the dinner yet because as usual, I'm backlogged). I was probably the first one to to RSVP for #CheeseSchool, being the keener that I am. I also invited my friend Cindy along too.

I had a so much fun at #CheeseSchool - it was great seeing familiar faces and also meeting new tweeps. Thanks again to Reggie (@reggieramone), Sarah from School, and Jo for organizing such a fun and successful event. Also, a special thanks to David from The Village Cheesemonger (@TOcheesemonger) for providing all the delicious cheeses. Oh, and our server was also very nice and attentive so a shout out to her too (I didn't get her name).

School had set up a special section for #CheeseSchool at the back of the restaurant. Here we are waiting for #CheeseSchool to start. What is Jo is taking a picture of?

The cool chandelier made of sheets of paper held by paper clips, of course.

I had to take a picture of this. So true. Don't feed supermodels. Feed me instead!

The first thing I did when I sat down was order a Caesar, which is usual practice for me. I asked for extra spicy and the server asked if I wanted horseradish as well. Hmmmm YES! I ♥ horseradish! It is rare that places offer horseradish; usually when I ask for extra spicy they just automatically add more Tobasco, that's it. This Caesar was so tasty because of the horseradish.

First up was the cheese platter.

From left to right: Applewood Cheese, Merlot Cured Asiago...

...3 yr. Old Reserved Canadian Gouda, Le 1608.

All four cheeses were fabulous in their own way, but if I had to choose, I would choose the Applewood; it had a distinct smoky flavour, almost "bacon" like. My second choice would be the Le 1608, so delicious with the Charlevoix honey on top (both the cheese and honey were by Laiterie Charlevoix from Quebec). 

We had bread too.

There's Cindy and I at the back.

We were both pretty stuffed by the time we were done the platter. Actually, we didn't even finish it. Can you imagine having all that cheese between just two people? And that was only the starter; we still had a 3-course menu to go O_o

Ultimate French Onion Soup with Gruyere & Truffled Pecorino- To be honest I was a bit nervous when I heard that the French onion soup was coming up next - like I said, I was already semi-full from that cheese platter. I was so glad to see that the French onion soup was not the traditional kind, you know with the hard cheese top? This French onion soup was light as it only had a sprinkle of Gruyere and truffled Pecorino, which, in my opinion, was perfect after that huge cheese platter.

Bacon Brie & Chive Crepe with Lemon, Pepper Baby Greens

Bacon + Brie + Crepe. Three things that I go berserk for separately are now all combined into a crepe. Pure awesomeness.

Mango Ginger Stilton with Apple Crackers - This thinly sliced mango ginger Stilton was my favourite that night. Mango is my favorite fruit of all time, and having it in cheese?! Blows my mind; I never thought that was possible, but there it was, right in front of my eyes. The mango and ginger combo was so refreshing and when coupled with the thin apple "cracker", it was really the perfect ending to our dinner. I much prefer this over something like a slice of cheesecake as it would be too heavy for me.

For those who still had room for dessert, Madeleine (@mads_kassinger) kindly made these beautiful cupcakes for us. Love the colour of the frosting, so pretty ^_^ 

We also had a birthday girl and birthday boy that night: Kelly (@kellyldewolf) and Jason, from Evoke Salon (@evokesalon). Happy Birthday!

The birthday boy, Jason, and Moi. 

Report cards for everyone. What's my grade? A+. No doubt.

I'm so thrilled about these goodies too! 50% haircut from Evoke Salon, 10% from The Village Cheesemonger, and a complimentary 3-course dinner for two at School. SCORE!

Just so you know, Cheese School is not only for us tweeps! Cheese School's $35 prix-fixe menu is offered at School every Wednesday. 

School offers dinner service a.k.a "Nightschool" from Wednesday - Sunday.