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A few weeks ago I tagged along with a group of Chicago chefs on a field trip to Coopersville, Michigan to make a batch of raw milk cheddar at Grassfields Organic Cheese, operated by Jesse and Betsy Meerman. The group, which included Paul Virant of Vie, Rick Gresh of David Burke's Primehouse, Marianne Sundquist of In Fine Spirits, former Sepia chef Kendal Duque, Sarah McDonnell of Broadway Cellars, and Jimmy Bannos of Heaven on Seven and his son Jimmy Jr., was brought together by Giles Schnierle of the Great American Cheese Collection to get a firsthand, hands-on, sloppy, steamy, wet curd-making experience. The cheddar we made won't be ready for a few more months, but a few of the chefs have since put various Grassfields cheeses on their menus--details in the story.
Here's a look at what happened that day: