Let’s start with the obligatory recap.

Every year for the past seven years, I’ve attended a party whose only goal is to try to kill you with cheese. And it’s never simple—sure, there is a cheese platter—but the majority of courses take at least two minutes to introduce and require the chef to have a profound understanding of what the correct portion size is when serving a group of 20 people who are going to be eating mainly cheese over the course of the next four hours.

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

I’ve documented the menu for five years on the blog (2016201520142013, and 2012)—2010 and 2011 live only in our memories—and I’ve yet to die of some sort of fontina induced heart failure.

Like any good party run by type A personalities, the party has a strict set of rules:

  • There will be courses. Chefs are assigned ahead of time. No one else is allowed to bring food (wine is welcome).
  • Each course must use cheese as one of it’s main ingredients.
  • The entire course must be finished before moving on to the next course. Choose your portions wisely.

Every year I’m surprised and amazed by people’s creativity and execution skills. So, let’s get to the menu:

Appetizers

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Two types of palmiers: Fig spread, caramelized onions, blue cheese; Bacon jam, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. Made by Dan and Beth.

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Cream cheese soufflé.  Made by Mark.

Salad

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Toasted kale and smoked chicken salad with Southwestern dressing, pepper jack and cheddar cheese. Made by Andrew.

Soup

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Roasted Beet soup with braised fennel, roasted ginger, and a goat cheese béchamel. Made by Anthony.

Pasta

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Acorn squash and blue cheese linguine with spinach and fried shallots. Made by Jason and me.

Main Dish

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Cheese Wellington with brunkow & fontina cheeses, prosciutto, mushroom purée, sautéed spinach & arugula; served with beef stock & wine reduction. Made by Mark.

Cheese Course

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Hook’s Gorgonzola, Bleu Mont Dairy Cave Aged Bandage Cheddar, Alemar Cheese Company Good Thunder, LaClare Farms Cave Aged Evalon, apples and crackers. Made by Marissa and Mark.

Desserts

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Pizzelle cookies with ricotta lemon cream. Made by Johnna.

Mark and Johnna’s Annual Cheese Party 2017 | Things I Made Today

Brandy Old Fashioned ice cream with orange mascarpone cookies. Made by Johnna.

As always, everything was impeccable but the main dish and the desserts stole the show. I guess the hosts just know a little something about cheese. Until next year!

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