Big cheese

illustration by MARK STIVERS

In the past few years, Sacramento seems to have gone cheese crazy. There’s now a handful of restaurants serving gourmet cheese plates (The Rind, The Cultured & The Cured, and Block Butcher Bar) and even a place to get gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches for lunch (Cheese Louise). Now, the city’s hosting the American Cheese Society’s annual conference and Festival of Cheese. The conference—which commenced on July 29, at the Sacramento Convention Center (1400 J Street) and runs through Friday, August 1—is an industry event for the artisan- and specialty-cheese community throughout the United States. But the Festival of Cheese is also open to the public. The event starts at 7 p.m. on August 1, and tickets, which cost $60 at, include unlimited samples of cheese, crackers, fruit, chocolate, charcuterie, wine, craft beer and cider—plus a commemorative wine glass and cocktail plate. For more information about the American Cheese Society, head to