Finding the best places to enjoy fromage — whether it’s a cheese shop, restaurant, or farmstead creamery — in a destination is all about the hunt.
You might spend hours online pre-trip researching, or chat up all your cheese-loving friends. By that time, you could very well have aged a wedge of young Gouda or cheddar, right?
But what if you put one of America’s foremost cheese experts in charge of your cheese-fueled journey? That’s exactly what Air Charter Service wants to offer, complete with a customized itinerary. By booking its new private charter cheese trip on board one of the service’s private jets, James Beard Award-winning Laura Werlin, who calls herself “an American cheese cheerleader” on her Twitter page, makes all the decisions for you — after some preliminary probing to find out what your palate prefers. Examples of stops on the private-jet journey — which is not limited to one country and can instead be an around-the-world adventure — might include a five-star restaurant with a cheese cart as premier as its cuts of meat, hanging with a city’s most beloved cheesemonger, and trekking to an off-the-beaten-path (but completely worth it) creamery to meet the cows, sheep, and goats whose milk is woven into the final product.
The price tag for this trip starts at $300,000 per person. How many nights you book the trip for depends on how long you want to be immersed in cheese. The journey begins, fittingly, with a cheese board served in-flight, paired with flutes of Champagne. Werlin curates all of the cheeses, so you know they’re going to be decadent.
Werlin is the author of no fewer than six books about cheese, including The All American Cheese and Wine Book (an essential guide for any pretty much anyone without a dairy intolerance) and three books about macaroni and cheese and grilled-cheese sandwiches. Her humor and wit make her a sought-after speaker at high-end food events such as the Food & Wine Classic at Aspen and a workshop instructor at the Cheese School of San Francisco.
And, of course, on a private jet you don’t need to fuss with TSA security handling your precious cargo (the cheese you’ve picked up in each destination, for example) and with Werlin as a fellow passenger, the entire journey promises to be filled with cheese-focused debate. Air Charter Service’s private planes depart from the airport nearest you. This convenience also translates to the trip’s itinerary, putting tiny farmstead creameries or out-of-the-way Michelin-starred restaurants further within reach.
Hotel accommodations as well as dining are not included in the price but can be arranged by Air Charter Service’s concierges, particularly if you want to spare no luxuries — and, of course, want cheese as part of the continued experience. (Cheese for turndown service, anyone?)
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