Monroeville’s McGinnis Sisters to host cheesy Oscars

March 14, 2018 GMT

On March 4, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will award the Oscars to those deemed the best in the world of film.

On Feb. 22, the McGinnis Sisters store in Monroeville will bestow somewhat “cheesier” honors as the site hosts its first Academy Awards of Cheese.

Cheese buyer and event coordinator Karen Novak plans a monthly cheese appreciation night at the store.

“Every month we celebrate a different cheese. We typically have a speaker, a cheesemaker if possible,” Novak says.

As the Oscars approached, she began thinking about how popular — and in some cases, award-winning — cheese is.

Several dozen cheese connoisseurs, regulars at appreciation nights, voted for the “Cheese Oscars” winners, Novak says.

Basing the event on the Oscars’ formality, Novak is asking guests to dust off their old prom gowns or evening wear if they so choose.


Attendees will walk a red carpet, enjoy goodie bags, appetizers and a presentation about, natch, wine and cheese from the Greenhouse Winery.

Members of the Gateway High School lacrosse team — and McGinnis Sisters employees — will serve as ushers.

Novak has invited Robert Dilcher, regional marketing manager of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, to attend and accept the Lifetime Achievement of Cheese Award.

“Bob will talk about Wisconsin cheese. We are still producing information in a tasteful way. I’m making recipes from cheeses that have won,” Novak says.

The Oscar-worthy menu will include dip, a sandwich casserole and fudge.

“I’ve been cyber stalking Jimmy Kimmel (Oscars host) for two weeks, hoping he would Skype (the store’s event),” Novak says, laughing. “I’m pretty sure no one else in the U.S. is doing a cheese Oscars.”

Here are nominees and winning cheeses for 2017:

Best cheese in a major performance

• Beemster Graskaas

• Goat Rodeo Fresh Cups

• French Brie

• Kerry Gold Irish Aged Cheddar

• Wisconsin Odyssey Feta

And the winner is: Beemster Graskaas.

Best cheese in a supporting role

• Gorgonzola

• New York Cheddar

• Beemster Gouda

• Mascarpone

And the winner is: Beemster Gouda, the Dutch cheese company’s second Oscar for 2017.

Best cheese night

• Get Your Shine On, moonshine chocolates and cheese

• Beer and Cheddar with Fury Brewing

• It’s All Greek to Us — a Celebration of Greek Cheese

• Mac and Cheese Please

• Get Your Grill On — Grilled Cheese Night

And the winner is: It’s All Greek to Us.

Other winners

• Best newcomer in the cheese shop: Goat Rodeo Fresh Cups from the Allison Park company

• Best recipe: Crabby Mac and Cheese

The “Cheese Oscars” has quickly sold out, Novak says, but she encourages interested participants to call in case cancellations occur. Cost is $15 per person.

Details: 412-858-7000, ext. 7

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or or via Twitter @MaryPickels.