Cheese Fest VIP Seminars

VIP Cheese & Wine Pairing Seminars

The first 200 VIPs to purchase tickets may book a seat in a 45-minute class during the festival featuring cheese and beverage pairings. Each session is limited to 50 seats. Claim yours while it’s still available!

International Cheese Expert Erika KubickErika Kubick, Cheese Instructor

Cheese Sex Death is a Chicago-based cheese advocacy and events company by Erika Kubick, a monger turned preacher devoted to educating and exciting cheese lovers everywhere. This self-described “Cheese Slut” believes cheese is the sexiest, holiest food in the world and that we should all pleasure ourselves with it every day. She launched Cheese Sex Death as a blog in 2015 and has since amassed a following of 35k and transformed her company into an advocacy platform offering tastings, classes, private parties, sexy swag, and more. Follow her at @CheeseSexDeath.

Wine Expert Harsha ChackoHarsha Chacko, Bordeaux Wine Instructor

Harsha E. Chacko, Ph.D., C.S.W. , is a Professor Emeritus of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration at the University of New Orleans (UNO) where he taught for 33 years.  He has a doctorate from UNO and Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration from the University of Massachusetts, where he first became interested in wine.

 At UNO, Harsha developed and taught a popular course titled “Wines of the World.” He has led field study trips to Napa and Sonoma, CA for 10 years and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (the Society of Wine Educators). Harsha taught the “Wines of the World” course in Montpellier, France for the UNO Glories of France program. During this time, he toured Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire Valley, Rhone, Beaujolais, Southwest France and Languedoc Roussillon to acquire firsthand wine knowledge. His other wine research includes the Piedmont, Tuscany and Frascati regions in Italy, the Douro Valley and Setubal in Portugal, Ribera del Duero in Spain, and Marlborough in New Zealand. 

Janice Herndon Verrecchia, Castello di Ama, Tuscan Wine and Cheese InstructorJanice Herndon Verrecchia, Tuscan Wine Instructor

When Janice, a business major at the University of Arizona, went to Florence, Italy to study abroad in 1988, she was enthralled by the food, wine, people, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating in 1991, she moved to Florence.

Wine is such an element to life in Italy. That lead her to enroll in the Italian Sommelier program (AIS) and complete all three years in 1996. She was then part owner of a trattoria and her passion for wine took off. She has been the wine buyer for a restaurant group in Florence with nine locations since 2000.

Janice’s love for wine and travel lead her to become Brand Ambassador for Castello di Ama. Her admiration for Castello di Ama dates back two decades. Ama is really a unique place in the world, and the wines reflect this in the glass.