Ellington cheese made by Looking Glass Creamery of Fairview, North Carolina (just outside of Asheville) has placed second in the American Cheese Society’s annual competition in the soft-ripened goat cheese category. The American Cheese Society was started in 1983 to support the North American Artisan and Specialty Cheese Industry. This year’s competition saw 1,711 entries from the U.S. and Canada competing for top honors in a variety of categories. “Ellington is a great cheese. It is a very approachable yet complex bloomy rind goat cheese that pairs well with rich fig preserves and some of the more robust local beers.” Says cheesemaker and owner Jennifer Perkins. It is visually stunning on the plate with its pyramid form, and ash line next to the pure white paste of the goat’s milk.
“When I was developing the cheese six or seven years ago, I walked through the streets of Asheville photographing buildings and really searching for what I wanted the cheese to be from flavor to form.” The labeling, designed by Matt Palomares, is perfectly suited to the character of the cheese and pulls elements from Douglas Ellington’s S&W building in Asheville. Inspiration for the flavor profile of the cheese came from the local character and terrain as well as Humboldt Fog, the California goat cheese made by Cypress Grove, one of the pioneers of the artisan cheese movement in the United States. “It (Humboldt Fog) was the first goat cheese I had that changed my entire thinking about what an aged goat cheese could and should be.” Says cheesemaker Jennifer Perkins.
Interest and orders for Ellington from New York, Washington D.C., and California have grown rapidly since the competition was held and the cheese will be available for the 3rd year in a row as part of the North Carolina Cheese Collection sold by Williams-Sonoma this upcoming holiday season on the retailers website and via catalog. Ellington is also featured on the menu of several local restaurants including Lexington Avenue Brewery, Red Stag Grill, and Santé Wine Bar, and is available for retail sale in Asheville at Earth Fare, Greenlife Whole Foods and Laurey’s Catering. Ellington can also be found at Star Provisions in Atlanta, A Southern Season in Chapel Hill and The Bloomy Rind in Nashville.
Looking Glass Creamery is a small, family business that opened its doors in January of 2009. The company is owned and operated by Jennifer & Andy Perkins. Looking Glass Creamery, LLC buys raw milk from two independent local dairies to create their signature line of fresh and aged goat and cow milk cheeses. All their goat cheeses, from fresh to aged, are made from the milk produced at Round Mountain Creamery located in Black Mountain, NC.