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Big cheese.


If you press him on it, Adam Moskowitz will admit that the cheesemonger isn’t typically seen as any kind of rock star—that historically, the job of selling cheese has often been the province of the elderly and the introverted. That was the stereotype he set out to invert when, in 2010 in New York, he put together the first Cheesemonger Invitational—a kind of battle royale of cheese whose next San Francisco installment is at Public Works on January 21.

The $60 price of admission will buy you all the fine cheese you can eat—so much of it that the lactose intolerant might get sick off the fumes, Moskowitz jokes. He says the event’s goals are to “make cheese less aristocratic and more fun” and to shine a spotlight on what is otherwise a low-salaried, low-prestige profession. Toward those ends, Moskowitz puts on a cow costume and assumes his alter ego, Mr. Moo, to work the crowd into a frenzy while competitors face off in bouts of precise cheese-cutting and arcane cheese trivia. And though you might not imagine that cheesemongering lends itself to being a spectator sport, Moskowitz swears that there’s nothing quite so electric as when a competitor cutting a piece of cheese hits her weight target right on the dot: “The place explodes,” he says.


Originally published in the January issue of San Francisco 

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