Cheese and culinary background preferred, not employed or aligned with any Utah food producer, wholesaler or retailer.  If you would like to nominate someone who meets these requirements and is willing to volunteer for a 4-hour commitment in August, Please send us an email at utahcheeseawards@gmail.com.


Utah Cheese Awards will be blind judged by three judges with different backgrounds to bring a fresh and well-rounded assessment of the products.

Trent Harris
20629016_10155902628633287_521080964_oTrent Harris is best known as Utah’s most famously subversive indie filmmaker. Independent Film and Video Magazine called Harris “one of America’s premier cult directors.” He has worked and traveled extensively as a documentarian, meeting famous iconoclasts like Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary and Charles Bukowski. He directed Crispin Glover in “Ruben and Ed” and cast Glover and Sean Penn in “The Beaver Trilogy” (far in advance of Penn’s mainstream fame.) In addition to teaching film at the University of Utah, he has written two books, assembled art exhibits and screened his films at festivals around the globe. More at echocave.net

Tosha Rustad

206627_217507021596432_1529430_nTosha Rustad is the the pastry chef at Current Fish & Oyster in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously she was a baker at Vosen’s Bread Paradise in Salt Lake City and cafe manager at Caffe Ibis in Logan, Utah. Ms. Rustad studied Health and Human Performance and Exercise Science at the University of Montana.

Julie Kelso

UY282LGG_400x400Julie Kelso was a cheesemonger and wholesale cheese buyer at Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park, Illinois. There she received cheese care training from wholesale suppliers including Neal’s Yard Dairy, Comte, Jasper Hill Farm, Capriole Goat Cheese and Vermont Butter and Cheese Company. She is currently employed at Utah State University in the department of biology and acts as a reporter for Utah Public Radio, USUs NPR-affiliated station. You can listen to some of Julie’s radio stories here.


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Steven Ralph “Steve” Jerman is a fouth-generation Utahn, and creator of the Utah Cheese Awards℠. Steve graduated from Utah State University with a degree in advertising design. For over 30 years he has worked in the advertising and design fields for agencies, graphic design studios, magazines, publishers and manufacturers.

The Utah media has called him an “all-around creative brain” and “a name often dropped in the Salt Lake Scene”, where he is responsible for multiple recognizable graphic identities. He designed the logo for the Salt Lake Downtown Farmers Market and the greatest-selling shirt ever offered by KRCL radio. He has garnered local, national and international design awards and notices.

Jerman has designed apparel which has been distributed nationally and internationally. In 1994 the world’s largest trading company said his designs were “two or three steps ahead of the others.” For over 20 years he has licensed the rights to create and sell reproductions and merchandise for the heirs of the famous lost artist, Everett Ruess. (Everett disappeared in 1934 at the age of twenty, having spent most of four years traveling the west on foot while sketching and journaling his journeys.)

Beginning in 2014, for almost three years, Steve lived in Cache Valley, Utah. There he completed a documentary film concerned with the area called “The Cost of Being Different”. It was in Cache Valley that he fulfilled a long held goal of making cheese, by completing a four-month apprenticeship with Rockhill Creamery of Richmond, Utah. There he did everything from milking the Brown Swiss cows to selling the end product at the local farmers market.

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This experience has lead him to conceive this awards show which is aimed to bring recognition to locally made cheese and the accompanying cheese plate foods. Steve’s long-held interest in fine foods, combined with knowledge of the local culinary scene, in addition to strong branding and organizational abilities will fuel the success of the Utah Cheese Awards. He envisions an event that can grow yearly to recognize and support those involved in the magical world of cheese. More at StevenRJerman.com