Parmigiano Reggiano

Cheese Wheel Cracking Competition

It’s a head-to-head battle for cheese cracking bragging rights. Watch two rounds of throwdowns live on stage starting at 1:00 pm. Chefs will wrestle with giant wheels of cheese to see who can crack theirs open first. Who will come out on top?

THE CONTENDERS

Round 1

Voice Monet

VOICE MONET

Joyfully blazing trails off the beaten path, Voice Monet is an award-winning, internationally celebrated independent emcee, director, visual artist, and producer based in New Orleans. You can find her running the show at Carmo and Café Cour, New Orleans’ grassroot, sustainable culinary hubs.

VS.
Joaquin Rodas

JOAQUIN RODAS

Managing Partner at Bacchanal Wine, Joaquin Rodas grew up in Los Angeles and made New Orleans his home in 1995. His dishes are created with the old world wines of Bacchanal in mind, and showcases his love of food and his seasonal approach to embrace the old adage, “What grows together goes together.”

Round 2

Dan Stein

DAN STEIN

Dan was born in Philly and graduated from the Temple University School of Law. Despite his privileged education, Dan decided to piss off his father, move to New Orleans and open up Stein’s Market and Deli. Now that Molly’s Rise and Shine has named a menu item after him, he has no intention of ever leaving the Crescent City. 

VS.

MASON HEREFORD

Mason owns Molly’s Rise and Shine and Turkey and the Wolf. They’re both pretty good but Stein’s is better. Mason learned everything he knows from his mentor, Dan Stein, and hopes to one day be as strong as Dan. Once a semi-professional rollerblader, Mason was born and raised in Virginia, lives in New Orleans, and will never leave.

THE CHALLENGE

ROUND 1: FULVI PECORINO ROMANO

This ancient cheese is made from 100% sheep’s milk collected in the countryside of Rome and produced in Nepi. Aged 10 months to 1 year and coated in black wax per tradition, Fulvi® is in a class by itself.

ROUND 2: PARMIGIANO REGGIANO

There’s a reason that Parmigiano Reggiano has come to be called Italy’s “King of Cheese”. Each wheel weighs in at 80 pounds and must be carefully cracked open by hand – a notoriously difficult task!

THE REFEREE: MICHELE BUSTER

Michele Buster of Forever Cheese and Mitica

Michele is a decorated cheese expert, a member of the prestigious Guilde International des Fromagers, and owner of Forever Cheese, a premiere importer of Parmigiano Reggiano and other European specialty products.

Don't miss the spectacle! And after the battle...

Join your fellow cheese enthusiasts at the Three Muses food booth next to the stage, where Chef Dan Esses will turn freshly-cracked half wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano and Fulvi Pecorino Romano into giant pasta bowls. It’s quite a sight to behold!

Pasta portions will be available for purchase, so be sure to save some room!