If you don’t like cheese, you’ll be very unhappy for a week. Cheese Week, a festival around cheese created by Frenchman Jean-François Hesse, returns to New York for its third edition, from April 28 to May 4, in several locations around the city.
The aim of the festival is to highlight the diversity of French and European cheese, but also the wines and spirits of France. “We want to highlight French savoir-faire,” summarized Jean-François Hesse, CEO of Transversal, a communication agency specializing in food and wine.
Cheese Week is the offspring of Cheese Day, a cheese-focused trade show launched in 2016 by Hesse in Paris, four months after he had the idea “while tanning” around a swimming pool in the south of France. The event was a great success from its first edition, with “about 2,000 people” at the Pavillon Ledoyen, and has continued to grow ever since. Next year, the festival will be launched in Monaco and Tokyo.
New York, with its network of wine and cheese professionals, was an obvious choice for expansion. “I love this city. It’s great, it moves,” says Hesse. The program for this new edition will make any cheese lover swoon. It includes tastings, courses and special menus in several partner restaurants (Rôtisserie Georgette, Bagatelle, Cocotte…) and cheese shops (Murray’s Cheese, French Cheese Board, Le District, Zabar’s). The complete program is below.
Next year, Hesse hopes to launch a cheese and wine show in New York based on the model of what he does in Paris, while maintaining partnerships with restaurateurs and professionals in the sector. “We need to take a step forward. The fourth year will be one of renewal.”
Rôtisserie Georgette, April 28: “Fête du Fromage” Sunday brunch. Four courses for $49: Asparagus Velouté, Warm Savory Madeleines, Cheese Soufflé – or – Croque Monsieur, Artisanal Cheese Buffet, Tropical Fruit Sorbets, Mignardises. Reserve for anytime between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. by calling 212-390-8060 or online (14 East 60th Street, between Madison and 5th, New York).
Zabar’s, May 2: Join Gourmet Foods International for a tasting of P’tit Basque, Fromager D’Affinois Brie and La Bonne Vie Goat Pyramid, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (2245 Broadway at 80th Street, New York)
Taste Wine Company, May 2: Sit-down wine and cheese pairing class and tasting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The price is $40. Reservations can be made by calling 212-461-1708 (50 3rd Ave, New York).
French Cheese Board, May 3: May 3, Cheese class from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Join Chef Greg from Savencia Cheese USA. This class includes how to create amazing cheese pairings with Saint Agur, Le Montagnard, Le Cayrol, Esquirrou and Saint Andre (41 Spring St, New York).
Zabar’s, May 3: Join Savencia Cheese USA for a tasting of Esquirou, a PDO Ossau Iraty cheese, winner of the 2018 World Championship Cheese contest, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (2245 Broadway at 80th Street New York).
Murray’s Cheese, April 28 – May 4: demonstrations daily, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (254 Bleecker St New York).
Murray’s Cheese Bar, April 28 – May 4: special cheese-and-wine flights all week long (264 Bleecker Street).
Le District, April 28 – May 4: The offer is a choice of three cheeses (a cheese plate) and flight of two wines for $35. The cheese options: Excellence Triple Creme, France St. Andre, Le Bonne Vie Chante, La Bonne Vie Goat, St Agur 60%, and St Andre Mini. The two wines are Combe Saint Jean, Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015, and Château de la Dauphine, Delphis Fronsac 2015 (225 Liberty Street, New York).
Bagatelle, April 28 – May 4: Enjoy a three-course tasting menu with wine pairing, available all week for dinner. Price is $60, reservations can be made by calling 212-488-2110 (1 Little W 12th St, New York).
Cocotte, April 28 – May 4: Cheese and Wine fest throughout the week. Reservations can be made by calling 212-965-9100 (110 Thompson St, New York).
AOC East, April 28 – May 4: Happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the entire week will feature a cheese and wine offering for $15. Reservations can be made by calling 646-998-5749 (1590 1st Avenue, New York).
Bistro Vendôme, April 28 – May 4: There will be cheese and wine tasting all week long. Reservations can be made by calling 212-935-9100 (405 E 58th Street).
Zabar’s, April 28 – May 4: demonstrations daily, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (2245 Broadway at 80th Street, New York).