The competitive aspect of CMI happens in 2 portions
The Preliminary Competition
The Preliminary Round is a series of 10 challenges intended to qualify competitors for the public competition.
These qualifying rounds of mongering events are closed to the public, and evaluated by select professionals from throughout the cheese and specialty food industry.
Challenge 1: Written Test
Contestants have 20 minutes to answer a series of multiple choice questions that focus on concrete factual details of cheesemongering, such as the cheesemaking process, affinage, and art of counter service.
Challenge 2: Taste Test
Contestants have 20 minutes to correctly identify the Name, Country of Origin, Milk Treatment, and Milk Type of 5 different PDO cheeses.
Challenge 3: Aroma Test
Contestants have 3 minutes to correctly identify 5 distinct aromas with no other sensory cues.
Challenge 4: Cut Test
In 45 seconds, the contestant may weigh a random-weight alpine wedge once before producing two .25lb cuts, with points awarded for their deviation from .25 by the .01 lb.
Challenge 5: Paper Wrap
The contestant has 45 seconds to wrap in Formaticum Cheese Paper the previously produced .25 lb pieces.
Challenge 6: Plastic Wrap
The contestant has 45 seconds to wrap in plastic a half wheel and quarter wheel of a 15lb alpine cheese, with intent for merchandising display.
Challenge 7: Salesmanship
The contestant has 2 minutes to evaluate a “mock shop” from which they then have 3 minutes to engage in selling with their assigned judge. This follows the cadence of a standard customer interaction, and contestants are scored on their ability to discuss cheese, answer questions, sample and sell cheese.
Challenge 8: Perfect Beverage
Contestants have 15 minutes to prepare for service the beverage of their choosing, paired with a pre-assigned cheese. Contestants prepare a sign in advance of competition that identifies them while describing the pairing.
Challenge 9: Perfect Slate
Contestants have 30 minutes to prepare for service an 11” cheese slate featuring the same pre-assigned cheese and anything else they desire. Contestants prepare a sign in advance of competition that identifies them while describing the pairing.
Challenge 10: Perfect Bite
Contestants have 90 minutes to create 100 bite-sized portions of their pre-assigned cheese with pairing items of their choosing. Contestants prepare a sign in advance of competition that identifies them while describing the pairing.
The 10 Preliminary Challenges are scored, and the 6 Finalists who will publicly compete are announced to the audience at the start of the event.
The Finals consist of 5 events held on-stage for the public.
Challenge 11: Mic Control
Contestants have 60 seconds to introduce themselves.
Challenge 12: Trivia
Contestants answer 6 questions on stage, using a marker board to record responses before simultaneously revealing to the audience for scoring.
Challenge 13: Pair It
Contestants have 1 minute to detail their ideal pairing for a select Goose Island beer.
Challenge 14: Cut It
Contestants have 1 minute to produce as many perfect .25lb as possible. Points are only awarded for perfect cuts.
Challenge 15: Wrap It
Contestants have 1 minute to wrap a selection of 5 assorted small-format cheeses in Formaticum Cheese Paper.