;

Barry Adams of the Wisconsin State Journal profiles local Cheesemaker Katie Hedrich and her plans for the future, which are shaping up to be pretty bright!


BARRY ADAMS | Wisconsin State Journal | badams@madison.com | 608-252-6148 | @madnewsboy

CHILTON — Some farmers play polka or country music to soothe their cows during the twice-daily milking routine.

Not so for the 325 goats at LaClare Farm just outside of Chilton. For this curious herd and its two handlers, the boom box last week was tuned to Appleton’s WAPL-FM, one of the state’s most powerful rock stations.

But the goats, who heard Head East, Pink Floyd and AC/DC, also had no idea they were being milked by one of the rising rock stars of cheesemaking.

At just 26, Katie Hedrich is off to an impressive start in a field dominated by men, many of whom are twice or more her age.

Last year, at the U.S. Cheese Championships in the atrium of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Hedrich, then 25, took best of show with her Evalon, an aged hard goat’s milk cheese, and became just the second female cheesemaker to win the award.

Starting Monday, Hedrich will put her chèvre, cheddar and Evalon (named after her grandmother) up against the best on the planet in the World Championship Cheese Contest at Monona Terrace in Madison.

All of this and she’s been making cheese for just 2½ years.

“I really just want to get what the judges are saying and make (my cheese) better,” Hedrich said as she worked alongside her 30-year-old brother, Greg. “It comes down to the milk and paying attention to details.”

Hedrich’s cheese will be sampled by an international panel of judges. This year, the contest, held every other year, will feature 2,503 cheeses and butters in 83 classes from 30 states and 24 countries. The winners will be announced Wednesday night at a $25 per ticket gala expected to draw 400 people to the convention center’s ballroom.

Hedrich plans to attend but that wasn’t the case in last year’s contest in Green Bay.

Hedrich had no intention of going until she got a phone call from a panicked friend saying Hedrich’s Evalon had made the top 12. Hedrich, who was on a sales call in nearby Neenah, made it just in time to hear the announcement that she was the U.S. champion.

Moments, later she was posing with first runner-up Jim Sartori, a third-generation cheesemaker of Sartori Cheese in Plymouth and his company’s SarVecchio Parmesan, and second runner-up and Netherlands native Marieke Penterman, now 35, who makes a killer Gouda at her Holland’s Family Cheese in Thorp, northeast of Eau Claire.

“It was pretty wild,” Hedrich recalled. “Really, really wild.”

Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/on-wisconsin–year-old-chilton-woman-is-big-cheese/article_95622c5e-649a-11e1-b282-001871e3ce6c.html#ixzz1oeJRyrgG

More Articles

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Usingers & Karl Ratzsch

On the season finale of Wisconsin Foodie, we look at two of Milwaukee’s oldest food institutions: Karl Ratzsch and Usinger’s Sausage!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Anarchy Acres

This week on foodie, we see some extreme farming on Anarchy Acres! Charlie Tennessen and his three donkeys plow the fields to raise some heritage wheats to make some unique breads!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Iron Grate BBQ & Twist and Sprout Farms

This week on Foodie, we go slow and low with Iron Grate BBQ’s Chef Aaron Patin as he shares his barbecue views as well as where he gets his pork from Twist and Sprout Farms.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Red Cabin at Green Acres & Idlewile Inn

We check out a couple of couples and their suppers clubs with Red Cabin at Green Acres and Idlewile Inn.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Juice Kitchen & Tandem

This week on Foodie, we go try some of The Juice Kitchen’s nutritious juices then walk up the street to Tandem and their incredible fried chicken.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Roots Chocolate & Bos Meadery

This week on Foodie, we check out Roots Chocolate’s delectable delights and wash it down with Bos Meadery’s magical mead!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Morel Fest & Meisters Cheese

This week on Foodie, we loved Muscoda so much that we stuck around for Morel Fest and then went to Meisters Cheese!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Forage, Fish, Feast

This week on Foodie, we venture into nature to harvest wild asparagus, morels, and fish. After collect our ingredients, Luke Zahm of Driftless Café works them into a delicious meal!

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Mr. Dye’s Pies & Norske Nook

This week on Foodie, we eat some perfect pies with Mr. Dye’s Pies and then head to Osseo for Norske Nook’s award winning pies.

by: Arthur Ircink

THIS WEEK ON FOODIE: Death’s Door & Juniper Harvest

This week on Foodie, we visit Death’s Door Spirits and help them pick some of their juniper on Washington Island.

by: Arthur Ircink

WMMB - Rotational AD
Outpost Natural Foods Co-op v2
Illing Co
Our Media Partners

Copyright © 2012 Wisconsin Foodie. All rights reserved.

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Wisconsin Foodie