The Queen's Quill

The Queen's Quill, 02.22.15.: Mooin', Brewin', and the Queen vs. New York Fashion Week

Despite that “Mad Libs”-esque title, I promise: it’s all perfectly apropos of the weird, frigid, week we just had.

First off, IT WAS COLD.  Have y’all heard about the cold?  Because yeah…COLD.  And I heard there was some icing, too.  In addition to the instant frostbite that accompanied more than about 10 seconds of outdoor activities, Old Man Winter’s last gasp really cramped the Queen’s style, too: the big, Facebook-sponsored “Small Business Boost” we were supposed to take part in got canceled.  Which meant my fancy grey suit got its annual dry cleaning for NOTHING.  A tragedy if ever there was one.   

Somebody better invite me to a wedding or a funeral STAT.

Somebody better invite me to a wedding or a funeral STAT.

But to paraphrase the old saying, every winter storm cloud has a silver lining.  The city taking half a week off meant we had free reign to take care of loads of things that we usually have to budget time for.  All of our production and deliveries were done by Thursday, and not a single afternoon rush hour was braved in the process!  Plus, we managed to stock up on enough milk and bread to fend off starvation… 

The Holy Trifecta.

The Holy Trifecta.

Now, to the fun stuff.  Y’all know the Queen well enough by now to know that a little frigidity’s not gonna put a stranglehold on her comings and goings.  We jumped on as an official sponsor of Creative Loafing’s “Moo and Brew Fest”!!!  M&B is gonna be THE place to ring in Springtime in the QC, and y’all need to jump all over it ASAP to make sure you’re on board!  All of the best local burger joints in town are gonna be highlighted alongside all of the best local/regional/national craft breweries.  Langhorne Slim and Ancient Cities will be churning out the grooves, and loads of vendors/retailers will be set up dishing out free samples of their grub, libations, and wares.  

And I hear they’re gonna have some friggin’ AMAZING pimento cheese in the house.

PARTY.  

PARTY.  

 

It all goes down April 11th at the NC Music Factory.  You can get your tickets here.  Like I said, if y’all are into good food and drinks, killer tunes and that warm Carolina sunshine, this is the spot to be.  Can’t WAIT to see y’all there!

 

This next thing isn’t technically pimento cheese-related, but I’m too doggone proud not to share with y’all.  One half of the original Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese Royale™ team (and the love of my life), Miss Myers McKenzie just got home from serving as a stylist at New York Fashion Week!  If you’re unfamiliar, #NYFW is pretty much the pinnacle of the fashion/modeling world, and our Myers was right in the thick of it.  Without this little chickadee, there’d be no me, and without me, there’d be no cheese.  So if you’re a fan of the cheese, thank your lucky stars for Myers!!!  One last time, a gazillion congrats, März Barr.  Now throw a hairnet on top of that gorgeous bouffant and meet me at Carolina Commercial Kitchen in an hour.

If you’re gonna miss your cheese duties for a week, might as well go big.

If you’re gonna miss your cheese duties for a week, might as well go big.

Ooooh!  One last thing.  I was in a hurry earlier, but I wanted to cram some protein into breakfast, so I created these glorious little monstrosities.  So simple: buttered a muffin tin, cracked an egg into each...divet?  What's the hole in a muffin tin called?  I digress.  Threw a chunk of last night's chicken in, and topped 'em all with a little salt and pepper and a dollop of Her Royal Hotness™ (although any of our flavors would've sufficed).  15ish minutes at 350, and BLAM-O.

Unfortunately, the Cuties© come separately.

Unfortunately, the Cuties© come separately.

 Until next week, buddies!!! 

 

The Queen's Quill, 02.15.15.: A Queen, a mustachioed cheesemaker, and Mark Zuckerberg walk into a bar...

We’ve wrapped up another week in the high-stakes, pressure-cooker world of gourmet pimento cheese.  Here are a few of the highlights:

We dropped off our inaugural load of “Black and Bleu Blood” (our blue cheese pimento cheese) at JJ’s Red Hots Wednesday, and WOWZA…I can’t wait to see what Jon and the gang have in store for us.  I’ll let y’all know all the specifics the moment I do!

The best part of your day is about to get better...

The best part of your day is about to get better...

 

Thursday brought a little unexpected craziness; apparently Facebook has been paying attention to some of the work we’ve been doing with Queen Charlotte's Pimento Cheese Royale™ and We Beelieve: Charlotte...take back your Hornets!, and now they want me to tell other people how to do it at their regional “Small Business Boost”. Basically, it's going to be a panel full of really in-the-know, razor-sharp, professionals...and me. I know a lot of y'all have talked to me about the ins-and-outs of doing the online marketing thing...well, if you want to see me make a fool out of myself while the adults in the room drop some knowledge, RSVP and show yaselves!!!

So...I pick up my Oscar© over there?

So...I pick up my Oscar© over there?

Our Pals at Papa Libretto's Street Pizza kept the insane hits coming this week, unveiling their "Pigs On a Mattress" pizza!  Think of it as "deconstructed pigs on a blanket: Hillshire Farms Lil' Smokies, housemade spicy mustard, and red onions, all on top of our original Pimento Cheese Royale and an herb-seasoned crust.  Scott and the crew are absolutely KILLING IT with their pimento cheese-inspired creations, and if you're not following them on Facebook and Instagram (@librettosstreetpizza), you need to be!!!

TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH.

TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH.


I made a cute platter for Valentine’s Day hype on Friday.  There’s really not much to say about it, but I think it’s adorable so I’m gonna repost it here :)

Like I said: totes adorbs.

Like I said: totes adorbs.

 

We polished off the week doing tastings at Reid’s Fine FoodsMyers Park and Fort Mill locations.  It’s always a great time at Reid’s but this time was especially sweet.  I was lucky enough to post up next to the fine folks from Maywood Davis, a toffee company out of Hilton Head, SC.  Y’all need to jump on this stuff.  Holy cow.  Best toffee - some of the best candy, period - I’ve ever tasted.  Did I say holy cow?  Because…LAWDY.  Holy cow.  Needless to say, the bag you see in this pic didn’t make it through the night.

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We left the shelves at Reid’s fully stocked, and our other retail locations should be similarly bursting at the seams (but I know y’all will let me know if they’re not!).  Until next week, happy snacking, everybody!

The Queen's Quill, 02.08.15.: Super Bowls, Boston Globes, and Pizza Pies

If any of y’all have been keeping up, you’ll know that the Queen has had quite a bit going on these last few months.  I figured the ‘Blog’ section of qccheese.com would be as good a spot as any to offer a sort of weekly chronicle of all of Her Highness’ comings and goings, so here goes nothing; hope y’all enjoy!

 

The week started out with a bang, as we were facing our first ever Super Bowl Sunday as a company.  We’d gotten in a full extra night of production over the preceding week in anticipation of the big game, but I should’ve known our feeble efforts would prove no match against y’alls’ cheese-lust.  Facing a Super-Shortage, Mama and I hit Carolina Commercial Kitchen before sunrise Sunday morning to churn out a cool 300 lbs. or so, which was delivered in time to provided the perfect finishing touch to all of Charlotte’s party platters.

Crisis averted.

Crisis averted.

 

 

Tuesday saw us finally make it onto the mean streets of Downtown Matthews and Waxhaw, with our inclusion on both the shelves and menus of both locations of Black Chicken Wine Cellar.  Black Chicken is a truly unique concept in both towns; fine wines and craft beers served in a hyper-intimate, cozier-than-cozy setting.  They also offer carefully-curated grub to pair with their libations (lots of great cheeses/charcuterie, etc.), and it’s all served in an incredibly warm, friendly setting that’s sure to make you feel right at home from the moment you walk in the door.  

 

Come for the cheese, stay for the wine!  Or reverse.  In any event, make sure to hit Black Chicken the next time you’re in Matthews or Waxhaw; I promise you won’t be sorry!

 

Then there was Wednesday.  A lot of y’all know that we’ve been selling at both the Boston and Cambridge locations of the venerable Savenor’s Butcher and Grocer locations for the past couple of months, and that we visited the area last month to do a little pimento-cheese-evangelizin’.  Well, while we were up there, none other than the Boston Globe decided to pay us visit, and WOWZA…did they ever show the Queen some major love.  Their profile of our little company was published online and in hard copy Wednesday, and it pretty much blew my mind.  A glowing write up, and 3 big, color photos…just more good fortune than we could’ve ever imaged.  Check it out if you haven’t yet; we tried our best to do the Queen City proud!

 

Thursday was another big one for the Queen, as the amazing artisans behind Papa Libretto’s Street Pizza debuted their “QC Royale” pizza (our “Black and Bleu Blood” blue cheese pimento cheese+spinach+bacon) as well as their “North/South Sliders” (our “Her Royal Hotness” jalapeño pimento cheese+sliced roma tomatoes on their signature garlic knots).  We were lucky enough to taste both of these concoctions last week, and y’all…I know I’m biased, but LAWDY.  You need these things in your life.  Just a perfect, perfect combination of flavors.  Our product melts into the perfect pizza base/cheese marriage, and Papa’s crust/preparation are simply second to none.  Just…Oh.  Em.  GEE.  I’ve put their schedule below, and in all seriousness: GO GET YOURSELF SOME PIZZA!!!

 

 

Mondays: Lakepointe Corporate Center, 11-2

 

Tuesdays: Time Warner Cable, Whitehall, 11-2

 

Wednesdays: Accenture Financial, 11-2

                      NoDa Brewing Company 5-9

 

Thursdays: Regency Executive Park, 11-2

 

Fridays: Roundpoint Mortgage, 11-2

              Triple C Brewery, 5-9

 

Thursday was also exciting for us on a personal/personnel level.  My old man ruptured a couple discs in his back in early December, and he’s been pretty much immobile ever since.  Well, Thursday marked his triumphant return to the Queen’s production line.  His angelic presence (and especially his cheese-scoopability) was sorely missed from our late-night packaging sessions, so having him back online was just as wonderful as could be.  If you see him out at a sampling, make sure to welcome him back!  But given his fragile state, maybe skip any bearhugs you had planned, and go for the high-five instead.  Actually, he’s kind of a germaphobe…hmm.  Just silently nod and buy his cheese.  That’s all the validation he needs.

 

Friday we had the opportunity to take part in a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte.  The whole thing went down at Revolution (one of the slickest boutiques in town), and it raised money to benefit BBBS’ massive “Bowl For Kids’ Sake” event.  BFKS is looking to raise $135,000 locally and over $20 MILLION nationally for their amazing organization, and we were beyond honored to be a tiiiiiny part of that.  We got to donate some QC Cheese product and swag, and we got to hang out with some of Charlotte’s best individuals in the process.  What more could you ask for?  Special thanks to Adrian Rencher for inviting us to take part and for pulling the whole thing together, and to Brandon Viebrock of Revolution and Mortimer’s Cafe and Pub for hosting.  

 

We ended our week by sampling at Healthy Home Market’s Wine and Cheese tasting.  I was posted up at HHM’s Plaza-Midwood location, and my old man was camped out at their Davidson spot.  Meeting lots of new friends (and moving loads of cheese ;) ) was as great as it always is, and running into those old pals who came out to see us made it that much better.  Sampling: easily my favorite part of the gig.


And that’s it for the inaugural edition of the Queen’s Quill.  Hope y’all enjoyed, and feel free to spread the word.  I’m going to try to get a new post up every Sunday evening, so be on the lookout.  In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook, and on Instagram and Twitter at @QCCheeseRoyale!