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Monroeville

McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville hosts Cheese Oscars

Michael DiVittorio
| Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, 3:48 p.m.
And the winner is!  Marcel Vantuyn of Beemster Cheese of Holland was on hand to accept two awards from emcee Karen Novak at the Cheese Oscars hosted by McGinnis Sisters on Thursday, Feb. 22.  Lillian DeDomenic  |  For The Tribune Review
And the winner is! Marcel Vantuyn of Beemster Cheese of Holland was on hand to accept two awards from emcee Karen Novak at the Cheese Oscars hosted by McGinnis Sisters on Thursday, Feb. 22. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune Review
Janet Balas is escorted down the Red Carpet by Geno Bellante for the Cheese Oscars hosted by McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville on Thursday, Feb. 22.  Lillian DeDomenic  |  For The Tribune Review
Janet Balas is escorted down the Red Carpet by Geno Bellante for the Cheese Oscars hosted by McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville on Thursday, Feb. 22. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune Review
Donald Wobb arrives on the Red Carpet  for the Cheese Oscars hosted by McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville on Thursday, Feb. 22.  Lillian DeDomenic  |  For The Tribune Review
Donald Wobb arrives on the Red Carpet for the Cheese Oscars hosted by McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville on Thursday, Feb. 22. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune Review

All the glitz and glamour of Hollywood was packed into a Monroeville grocery store as McGinnis Sisters hosted its inaugural Cheese Oscars.

Cheese buyer and event organizer Karen Novak said she got the idea while pondering Oscars, which will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on March 4.

"As far as I know we're the first ones to have them," she said. "I thought cheeses deserve an award."

Novak said she reached out to late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who will host this year's Oscars, to Skype in to the event.

ABC vice president of communications Richard Horrmann told her Kimmel's schedule was full as he prepares for the award show.

"We wish you the best of luck with your event and thank you for understanding," Horrmann said via email.

About 45 people attended Thursday's gala. Some wore tuxedos.

They walked down the red carpet with the ladies escorted by Gateway High School lacross members in fancy attire. Students and McGinnis Sisters employees also served as ushers.

Guests were treated to samples of Beemster, Wisconsin and Goat Rodeo cheeses as well as a variety of wines from North Huntingdon-based Greenhouse Winery.

Winners were selected by a panel of cheese connoisseurs, regulars at Novak's monthly cheese appreciation nights at the store.

Bob Dilcher, regional marketing manager for Wisconsin Dairy Producers' east central branch, accepted a lifetime achievement award on behalf of Wisconsin cheeses.

"We don't do enough of these kinds of things in the industry," Dilcher said. "It's exciting and it really helps the industry. It gets you all more accustomed to the cheeses or whatever (Karen) is cooking up."

Dilcher also thanked "the a-cow-demy" for his award.

Beemster Dutch Cheese's graskaas won best performance by a cheese in a major role. Beemster's gouda won best supporting performance by a cheese.

Goat Rodeo of Allison Park won best newcomer in the cheese shoppe.

Novak also took home some gold as she won Oscars for best cheese night of 2017 with It's All Greet To Us, and her crabby mac and cheese won best recipe.

Guests left with goodie bags and smiles on their faces.

"It was a fun night for everybody and I think we'll do it again next year," said Novak.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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