They are makers and lovers of cheese who've assembled to discuss cheese secrets, things not typically divulged in the Cheese Reporter or Cheese Market News. Among them - an artisan.
Sarah Kaufmann - Wisconsin born and bred - is sculpting the Chicago skyline from blocks of cheese.
Thirty buildings - she'll sculpt by 4 p.m. Saturday. The Aon is in the refrigerator right now. But the Sears is out showing off its aged cheddar. The Prudential features a fine herb caraway. Navy Pier will be a zesty olive goat cheese.
Yes, there is much cheese here. This is no Monty Python "we're out of gouda" cheese shop.
"I have blue cheese, parmesan, goat cheese, hard cheese," Kaufmann said.
All those cheeses will be on display at the Hilton Saturday evening for the American Cheese Society's annual festival of cheese. Dana Cox and her Kendall College students sliced the samples. The public, for a price, is invited to sally forth, and negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles.
The skyline will be finished at all things cheese. Perhaps you may choose to purchase a cheese key ring with a spot for your little Cheesehead.