Nationally and internationally known cheese carver Troy Landwehr of Little Chute will be a featured guest at Calumet County’s annual Sundae on a Dairy Farm to be held on the Jerry and Ann Lintner family farm on Sunday, June 30 in the town of Chilton (McHugh at Killsnake roads).
This will be Landwehr’s first appearance at the event. At previous times, carvings from 40-pound blocks of medium-aged Cheddar cheese donated by Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods of Kiel were made by Little Chute native Kristi (Vosters) Krieski, who has frequently carved at the same events as Landwehr— most recently at the 25th anniversary of the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival on June 1 in Little Chute.
Landwehr got his start in cheese carving at the inaugural observance of that festival in 1988. Since then, he has vaulted to a national and international stage, including appearances all around the U. S., in Hong Kong and London, and on all of the major television network morning shows.
Among the most well-known of Landwehr’s carvings have been several of Mount Rushmore (faces of four U. S. presidents), an Abraham Lincoln created from a 640-pound Cheddar block, and a Declaration of Independence signing scene made from a one-ton piece of cheese.
When he needs a round block of cheese weighing anywhere from 75 to 5,000 pounds, Landwehr calls on the only national supplier of such a specialty item—Henning’s Cheese of rural Kiel. He prefers to work with Cheddar cheese that is high in butterfat and has a low pH but notes that other cheeses such as blue, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, or Ricotta are very suitable for projects requiring color or special decorations or features.
Landwehr describes himself as being part of “a niche industry” which has very few practitioners. He usually handles two or three carvings per month but the number usually increases in the summer, especially in June.
In addition to public appearances at community events, stores, other businesses or meetings, Landwehr receives carving commissions with specific requirements from corporations. Sometimes those projects take several days to complete (in a refrigerated setting) compared to the four to six hours that he spends on most carvings.
Landwehr attributes the widespread interest in cheese carvings to “the foodie revolution.” He notes that there are many butter carvers and that the interest in
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