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PSA: Hong Kong International Cheese Festival, April 18-21, 2013

The delights of cheese will be celebrated at this unique event featuring over 120 specialty cheeses and four Master Cheese Makers expert in French, Italian, Scottish and Dutch Cheeses.

Aqua Restaurant Group’s award-winning venues, Hullett House and Armani/Aqua will hold the Hong Kong International Cheese Festival from April 18-21, 2013, a celebration of the art and craft of cheese. Bigger and better than ever, the Hong Kong International Cheese Festival will showcase 120 artisanal cheeses through Gourmet Dinners, Tastings with wines and other drinks, Master Classes and a traditional Cheese Market. Experts in French, Italian, and for the first time Scottish and Dutch cheeses will be in attendance. The Hong Kong International Cheese Festival reflects the growing knowledge and sophisticated palates among Hong Kong cheese lovers.

Four renowned Master Cheese Makers will be on hand:

  • Affineur Philippe Marchand from France, his selection of traditional and uniquely modern cheese is sure to stimulate palates. The cheeses that Marchand will bring to the Festival  include the St Nicolas de la Dalmerie – a unique product matured in an Abbey by four priests, and the Morbier La Fiouve – both never before tasted in Hong Kong.
  • Italian cheese expert and affineur Pierre Gay will bring a wonderful selection of cheeses garnered from his travels around Italy such as four types of Pecorino, including the famous Pecorino Moliterno al Tartufo, a raw sheep’s milk cheese shot through with thick veins of truffle.
  • René Koelman from The Netherlands will showcase exquisite farmhouse Dutch specialty cheeses like the Remeker Puur, a semi hard, creamy and fruity cheese with hints of caramel, made from the raw milk of Jersey cows fed on herbs, fruits and minerals.
  • Tricia Bey from Scotland, the festival’s only female cheese maker, will delight visitors with her signature Barwheys Cheddar, a rich hard cheese with long and complex flavours, winner of a Gold Medal at the Royal Highland Show.

At the heart of the Festival is the European-style Cheese Market at Hullett House. Recreating the ambience of a bustling European market, guests will be able to sample and purchase over HullettHouseCasamSuite 120 cheeses, which can be enjoyed in the Tea Room or the outdoor garden along with freshly baked breads, pastries and jams. All of these can be taken home and would make a perfect gift for any cheese loving friends and family. The market is open to the public free of charge on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April from noon until 9pm and is located in the Mariners’ Rest. For the first time this year, a special VIP Preview of the market has been introduced for the serious cheese aficionado. Priced at $300 (redeemable against purchase) these sessions will allow entry at 11am for those who wish to enjoy a more relaxed shopping experience and those who want to ensure they don’t miss out on purchasing any of the rarer cheeses.

The number of Gourmet Cheese Dinners has been expanded this year in response to overwhelming demand in previous years, with creative dinners to be held at both Hullett House in Tsim Sha Tsui and Armani/Aqua in Central. At Hullett House, talented executive chef Philippe Orrico will work with the cheese experts to present a series of unique menus pairing cheese dishes with whisky and fine wines. Some of Orrico’s dishes include a Tomette du Chevre du Tognon toasted with Rosemary, Artichoke Cannelloni with Comté Mornay and a Chocolate Cake served with Ewe Cheese Ice Cream.  A particular highlight of these dinners is the ‘Rare and Luxurious Whiskies and Cheese’ dinner, where Johnny Walker Whisky will showcase some of its most sought after products including the Odyssey, King George V and Blue Label. Another highlight is the ‘Wine and Cheese Dinner in Reverse’ – an evening beginning with dessert with each course paired with a fine Chablis.

Armani/Aqua will present pairing menus featuring Italian cheeses and fine Italian wines including such iconic marques as Amarone, Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino and D’Abruzzo. The restaurant will also showcase its Japanese expertise with an extravagant dinner featuring some of Japan’s finest Sake paired with Japanese dishes featuring international cheeses.

The Cheese Tasting events at Hullett House and Armani/Aqua will showcase a diverse range of pairing drinks, from the traditional wines, Old and New World as well as Chinese to champagne, whisky, port, madeira and fruit ciders. These include the ‘Vintages of the World’s Oldest Champagne’ featuring vintages of the wonderful Ruinart champagnes served with French Cheeses and ‘Parmigiano Reggiano Presented 8 Ways’ – the cheese in its natural, beautifully aged state as well as used in risotto and other canapés served with award winning prosecco.

Master Classes with expert cheese makers imparting their knowledge are sure to be of interest to cheese lovers, foodies and those in the F&B industry. These will be a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best in the world of cheese and will also take place in Hullett House. As well as introductions to the worlds of French and Italian Cheeses there will also be a blind tasting competition – ‘The Great International Cheese Knockout’. This Master Class will feature all four of the Master Cheese Makers proposing two of their country’s cheeses as the best in the world, leaving the audience to decide who is right with a blind tasting!

The Hong Kong International Cheese Festival is a unique event and a must for cheese lovers and those interested to taste cheeses for the first time.

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