Chef Adam Weisell - Having moved to the US in 1995, Chef Adam has worked in New York City with numerous top chefs, most recently as Chef Instructor of Eataly’s cooking school, La Scuola in Chicago. Adam has had several recipes published in the New York Times, participated in prestigious culinary festivals and food-centered media promoting awareness throughout the country of Italian cooking and the genuine ingredients within it.
Jeanette Hurt - An award-winning culinary author exploring culture through the lens of food and drink. Ms. Hurt regularly contributes stories to dozens of magazines and websites and is the main developer for several publications and content companies.
Jaclyn Stuart - A world-class sommelier and owner of Vintage Elkhart Lake, Jaclyn has co-authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine & Food Pairing. Her accreditations are from Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and the French Wine Society. In 2011, Ms. Stuart won the title of TopNewSomm in the Great Lakes Region from the Guild of Sommeliers and in 2016 she became the second person to earn the WSET Diploma in Wisconsin.
Justin Ruetten - Justin has over a decade of experience in the beer industry from humble beginnings as a bartender up to his current position as Sales Consultant for Breakthru Beverage Wisconsin. Justin attended the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Administration. Following college, Justin pursued a career with Wirtz Beverage where his sales expertise in the Beer Industry began. Now representing Breakthru Beverage for over 3 years, Justin has acquired his certification as a Cicerone Certified Beer Server (CBS). In addition to his Cicerone Certification, Justin is also Level 2 certified in both Wine and Spirits through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Through his passion of the beer industry, Justin will be a wealth of knowledge for all guests attending The Big Cheese 2019. Justin will be presenting on behalf of The Fermentorium Brewery out of Cedarburg, WI.
J. Henry & Sons - Every bottle of their bourbon is made in small batches, slow-aged a minimum of 5 years, in large barrels inside a rustic barn on the Henry farmstead. Uncontrolled temperatures allow the Wisconsin weather to work magic between the bourbon and the barrels. The result is a pure craft bourbon releasing the aromas of sweet corn, caramel pudding, toffee, creamy vanilla, dark cocoa, cinnamon, coconut shavings and Jamaican allspice.
Sandy Toney - A licensed grader, Toney has spent her life in the food industry. She is currently vice president of corporate quality and product development at Masters Gallery in Plymouth, WI. Toney began judging in 2005 for the WI State Fair Blue Ribbon Cheese and Butter Contest. Two years later, she served as an expert technical judge for the US Championship Cheese Contest and the World Championship Cheese Contest.
Kara Dedering - Kara has worked in the hospitality industry for over 17 years and has always been wine-minded. It started with her first job at The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake where she was immersed in all things wine and spirits and fell in love with the idea of creating the perfect wine experience for guests. She attended Lakeland College and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Hospitality Management degree. She then decided to further her career focusing on the training aspect of the wine world, graduating from Ashford University with a Master’s degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership. In 2011, she moved to the distributor side of the business, working for Breakthru Beverage Wisconsin, hoping to continue to share her passion for wine with all restaurants and retailers. She continued her quest for wine and spirit knowledge over the next 7 years by securing her CSW, Certified Specialist of Wine; CSS, Certified Specialist of Spirits; Certified Sommelier Level 1; and most recently WSET Level 3 Award in Wine. She is now focused on sharing her knowledge in the wine world, training consumers and restauranteurs alike on how simply amazing the wine world can be.
Lisa Hall - Lisa Hall, of Wisconsin Aging & Grading Cheese, Inc., has spent the last eleven years in the artisan cheese industry. Lisa has a passion for crafting artisan cheeses of all calibers. If truth be told, she is most fascinated with the “AFFINAGE” of cheeses, meaning the aging of the cheese. It is here where the cheese develops character, flavor, texture and the definition of the cheese. Taking this fascination one step further. she loves to pair cheeses with the many fruits in season, jams, preserves, honey, cured meats, breads and crackers. Hence, creating the ultimate cheese “Pairing.”
Jim Andresen - Based in the Midwest, the Cheese Guys are well-versed in all aspects and applications of cheese in the food industry. Currently, we represent various manufacturers from all of the United States and the world. Jim joined the team in 2013 with 30 years of food service experience. His background includes front and back of the house management, broker sales, and multi-unit outside sales, supporting Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.