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January 16, 2014

'Cheesy' fundraiser to raise money for fracking fight


While Middlefield has been successful in defending its zoning bylaw, the lawsuit against it is now in front of the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. Pope says that oral arguments are expected to be held in the case this spring, which was consolidated with a lawsuit against a similar zoning bylaw in Dryden on appeal.

The fundraiser brings together local chefs and local cheese makers to create grilled cheese sandwiches with cheeses from the area.

“We have some excellent home grown talent here and we want to showcase it,” said Pope.

This year’s chefs and their sandwiches are Alex Webster, from Alex and Ika in Cooperstown, who is making a grilled cheese with Spurbeck’s Grocery’s Aged Palatine Cheddar; Tim Masterjohn, of The Red Caboose Restaurant & Bar in Oneonta, making a grilled cheese with Harpersfield Farmstead’s Ommegang Abbey Ale washed Tilsit cheese; Jim Grinchis and Norm Phenix of 204 Main Bar and Bistro in Sharon Springs making a sandwich with Beekman’s 1802 Blaak Cheese; and Chef Evan Brown of Cafe Ommegang  preparing a grilled cheese with with Dutch Girl Cheese’s Mariella Cheese. Byebrook Farm’s Gouda will also be used in the meal.

The sandwiches aren’t the only thing being donated for the fundraiser. Tomato Basil Soup is being provided by Chef Michael Gregory of The Otseaga, and Chef Brown will also be providing a soup. Additionally Chef Brown, a certified cicerone, will suggest beer pairings to go along with each sandwich. Heidelberg Bread is donating the bread for all the sandwiches, while beverages and the event site are being provided by Brewery Ommegang.

“People really, really value what we have here,” said Pope, when asked about the support the event has received. “They want to make sure it’s protected.”

“We do a lot of stuff with Ellen (Pope) and we’re very happy to get behind that organization (Otsego 2000),” said Steve Hamilton, an events coordinator for Brewery Ommegang, who praised Otsego 2000 as a wonderful community based organization.

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