Melty Fest with Tillamook

Well folks, there’s nothing quite like supporting a brand that steals your heart.  Tillamook, a farmer-owned dairy co-op just outside of Portland, Oregon, has officially snatched it up.  Over the last several weeks, Trent and I have started incorporating their delicious cheese and ice cream into our lives and all I can say is “why haven’t I had this before?!”  We’ve already converted a few of our friends into raving fans, too.  From Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar to rich, creamy chocolate Mudslide Ice Cream, there is a Tillamook product for everyone to enjoy and they’re now available for purchase in a store near you!

This week we attended Melty Fest, a chef-led food event hosted at Hello, Sailor featuring unique dishes incorporating Tillamook products.  Five talented chefs from North Carolina took to the kitchen and served up some incredible bites like whole-hog BBQ and mac and cheese, a Calabash seafood bar, heirloom tomato pie and so much more!  We have never left an event so happy and so full!

North Carolina Chefs at Melty Fest:

  • Joe Kindred // Kindred in Davidson, NC
  • Craig Deihl // Hello, Sailor in Cornelius, NC
  • Matthew Kelly // Mateo Tapas in Durham, NC
  • Elliott Moss // Buxton BBQ in Asheville, NC
  • John Fleer // Rhubarb in Asheville, NC

I can’t say enough great things about Melty Fest.  One of my favorite dishes of the night was the Summer Squash Casserole from Matthew Kelly of Mateo Tapas.  He melted a giant block of Tillamook 6-month aged cheddar under a raclette machine then slid the most decadent layer of cheese onto the top of the casserole amongst the “oohs!” and “ahhs!” of the crowd.  I’m pretty sure I could eat that cheddar-topped delight every day of my life and not get sick of it.

We finished the night off with a sweet treat of Tillamook ice cream!  When it comes to my favorite flavor, I’m torn between Mudslide and Vanilla.  They’re both so delicious!  Each time you taste one, you can tell that it’s made with quality, whole ingredients from happy cows.  Watching the sunset over the water with a scoop of that in hand was by far the best way to end the night.

If you weren’t able to make it to Melty Fest in Charlotte, but want to try Tillamook products for yourself, you can find a local retailer near you and whip up one of the chef-crafted recipes from the event.  Below are all the details to make the Cheesy Crab Dip recipe from Joe Kindred of Kindred restaurant located in Davidson, NC.  If you make it, please leave a comment on this post to let me know how it turned out!

I hope that you discover a love for Tillamook like we have.  It truly is a wonderful brand of cheese and ice cream that is sure to make you smile and say “yum!”

Joe Kindred’s Cheesy Crab Dip 

Recipe by Joe Kindred


1 Pound Lump Crab Meat

1.5 pound Cream Cheese, Room Temp

1 TBSP Tarragon, chopped

2 TBSP Parsley, chopped

1/3 cup Meyer Lemon Juice

1 TSP Smoked Paprika

1 TBSP Salt

2 TSP Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1 Cup Tillamook Medium Cheddar Shreds

2 Cups Diced Roasted Red Peppers

2 TBSP  Texas Pete Hot Sauce

1 TSP Worcestershire

1 TSP  Soy Sauce

1 Cup Crushed butter crackers

  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment start mixing the cream cheese on low speed. Mix 2-3 minutes or until cream cheese is smooth and soft
  2. Add the tarragon, parsley, meyer lemon juice (you can use normal lemon juice), smoked paprika, salt, pepper, sour cream, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and soy sauce
  3. Strain any excess liquid off of the roasted red peppers (you can roast your own, but canned work just as well)
  4. Add the peppers and cheddar cheese to the cream cheese mix
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the crab meat into it using a rubber spatula
  6. Place mixture into an ovenproof baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until the mixture is hot throughout and bubbly on the edges (about 8-10 minutes depending on your dish. It may take longer)
  7. Cover the crab dip with the crushed crackers and bake for an additional 4 minutes
  8. Serve with crackers or sliced veggies

Thank you to Tillamook for sponsoring this post and hosting us at Melty Fest.  As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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