Young, strong and determined, a new crop of Cheesemakers at BelGioioso Cheese have been learning the art of cheesemaking from a few of the best in the industry and the results are now coming in. They were awarded a total of six medals at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wis., this week.
One of the most striking and notable wins is a First Place, Best in Class medal for Parmesan cheese awarded to Johnny Stender, a young, viable man who started cheesemaking just six years ago. “What an amazing feeling to know that the hard work and dedication I have for my craft turned into a World Championship win,” he says.
BelGioioso Parmesan won the first award in 1986 when an Italian trained Cheesemaker, Gianni Toffolon took a First Place, Best of Class in the same contest. Gianni is now certified as a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker and predicts that the trend will continue with this new talent. “It’s a rewarding job even without the awards, enjoying the flavor of the cheese you created is the true reward. Our Parmesan has a unique nutty flavor that is addicting. Our cheesemakers work as a team with dedication and integrity in every step of the process, which includes traditional cheesemaking techniques and no cutting corners,” he adds.
In addition to the first place Parmesan award, BelGioioso Cheesemakers also won a First Place for Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Basil Roll, Second Places for Sharp Provolone, Mild Provolone and CreamyGorg, and third place for Crumbly Gorgonzola.