Sunday, August 21, 2011

The 8th Annual Cheese and Italian Soda Party: A Look Back

We recently had our big annual party--The 8th Annual Cheese and Italian Soda Party.  I can't believe it's been 8 years since I started this crazy party in my tiny apartment on 200 South in Salt Lake City.  Eight years!

Watching Cheese Got Talent on the lawn

Lee asked me how I got the idea to do the party originally.

Was it because I ate cheese all the time?  Nope, I'm actually a lactard, so I don't usually eat a ton of cheese.

Was it because I longed to be Italian?  Well, not exactly. I would love to be Italian, but I'm pretty fond of being Chinese.

Was it because I was looking for a reason to throw a party?  Yes!  Always am and always will be!

In 2002, my roommate had just moved out and as with almost every roommate, she left a few things behind, which I naturally inherited.  She had left several bottles, about 4 or 5 of Torani Flavored syrups. She liked to make herself some hot cocoa and have a shot of the flavored syrup to spice things up.

Our spread of Torani syrups

Because we Chinese are good at getting the most out of everything, I didn't throw them away and started planning a party centered around these syrups.

So what goes with Italian sodas?

Cheese, of course!

And the rest is history:

  • Year 1 (2002): Start of the party in tiny apartment
  • Year 2-4 (2003-05): Continue to throw party in 2 other tiny apartments
  • Year 5 (2008): Winter's and Lee's Cheesegagement Party at Lee's parents' beautiful backyard and lots of people wearing argyle
  • Year 6 (2009): Brady's Cheesegagement Party and Cheese Idol introduced
  • Year 7 (2010): Another great year!
  • Year 8 (2011): Gourmet Grilled Cheese Bar in honor of 8th year and Cheese Idol changed to Cheese Got Talent

Because this year was the 8th annual and the number 8 is a lucky number in the Chinese culture (heck, we got engaged on 08/08/08), we ramped up the celebration a little. 

As usual, we asked everyone to bring a cheese.  In order to get a good variety of cheese, each person brought a cheese that started with the first letter of his or her mother's maiden name.  And believe you me, it works!  This was just one table of cheese!

How many varieties did we have this year?  A lot!

We had a few more Italian Soda flavors this year!

Just a few more were added this year!

And Cheese Got Talent was a hit this year!

Our Russian emcee was a hit!

And to celebrate the 8th year, we had a Gourmet Grilled Cheese Bar!  Delicious!  Look at those grills in action--thanks to all who let us borrow their George Foremans and panini presses!

The beginning of the Gourmet Grilled Cheese Bar

Here's a few pics of this year's celebration!  What a bunch of cheeseballs!

Thanks for making it a great 8th year!  See you for #9!


  1. I remember year 2 of your annual cheese party. It was so much fun! Hopefully, we can make it to number 10 (we'll still be in the UK for number 9, I'm sure). Thanks for sharing! So nice to know that some traditions will live on!
    Megs Dracocardos (used to be Woodworth)

  2. I am so sad we missed it! Totally would've loved to have seen the Russian!

  3. I can't wait till next year! Sad I couldn't make it this year... I loved the grilled cheese idea!!!

  4. Love the cheese party- wish we could be there! I seem to remember one warm year, that the HOGL got a little stinky from all the cheese or maybe it was the morning after. :)


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