Tillamook Melty Fest at Hello Sailor

Sharing a recap of Tillamook Melty Fest at Hello Sailor  – get ready to drool y’all!

Tillamook Melty Fest at Hello Sailor | Louella Reese

Let’s be honest, we all love cheese and ice cream! I mean, what’s not to love? So an event filled with the two, sign me up!

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend a chef-led tasting experience at Hello, Sailor to celebrate Tillamook coming to Charlotte. This event, Melty Fest, included five chef stations. Each with unique cheesy dishes, featuring Tillamook’s award-winning cheddar. Along with several incredible passed appetizers that also incorporated Tillamook’s award-winning cheddar.

About Tillamook

Before I dive into all of the amazing dishes served at Melty Fest, let me tell you a little about Tillamook. Tillamook is a farmer-owned dairy co-op that started in Tillamook, Oregon. As if creating the absolute best dairy products, from cheese to ice cream (and so much more) wasn’t enough, Tillamook also makes doing good a priority. By that I mean, doing good for their community, their consumers, their farmers, and their employees. Working with this company over the last month has been an absolute dream. It is so easy to see that they’re passionate about what they do and they truly do care about each person they come in contact with! If you want to find out more about Tillamook and their story, you can do so here

Now let’s talk about the yumminess that was Melty Fest

The Passed Apps

Tillamook White Cheeddar, Neese’s Sausage, and Heirloom Tomato Pie by Joe & Kathy Kindred of Kindred 

Sesame and Tiallmook Sharp Cheddar Biscuit with 20 month Benton’s Country Ham, Dab o’ Benne Seed Duke’s Mayo by John Fleer of Rhubarb 

Olive Oil Marinated Tiallmook Colby Jack, White Anchovy, Nicoise Oilve, and Jalapeño Cornbread by Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall Barbecue 

Pardon and Tiallmook Sharp Cheddar Croquetas by Matthew Kelly of Mateo Tapas 

Charcuterie Board featuring a variety of Tillamook cheeses by Craig Deihl of Hello, Sailor

My personal favorite of the pass apps was actually tie between the Tomato Pie by Joe & Kathy Kindred and the Ham + Cheese biscuits by John Fleer. The two were absolutely amazing! I’m honestly drooling thinking about both of them right now.

Tillamook's Melty Fest Review | Food | Louella Reese
Tillamook's Melty Fest Review | Food | Louella Reese
Tillamook Melty Fest at Hello Sailor | Louella Reese
Tillamook's Melty Fest Review | Food | Louella Reese
Tomato Cheese Pie | Tillamook Melty Fest | Louella Reese

The Chef Stations

Whole Hog BBQ with smoked Tillamook Mac & Cheese by Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall Barbecue 

Peg’s Summer Squash Casserole  by Matthew Kelly of Mateo Tapas

Hushpuppies, Shrimp Calabash, Blue Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish Snackwich with Spicy Crab May and Crinkle French Fries by Joe Kindred 

Shelling Bean Succotash, Okra, and Tomatoes by Craig Deihl of Hello, Sailor

Tamale Pie – Tillamook Triple Cheddar Shreds, Pepper Mash Peppernata, Confit Tomatoes, BBQed Field Peas Farm & Sparrow Polenta, and Charred Tomatillo Salsa by John Fleer of Rhubarb

For the chef stations, I had a clear winner for my favorite, the Shelling Bean Succotash by Craig Deihl. The combination of flavors was incredible and fun fact, I don’t typically love Okra but Craig changed my mind with this tasty dish! 

Tillamook's Melty Fest Review | Food | Louella Reese
Tillamook's Melty Fest Review | Food | Louella Reese
Tillamook Melty Fest at Hello Sailor | Louella Reese
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Tillamook Cheese | Louella Reese
The Cheesiest Mac and Cheese with Tillamook Cheese | Louella Reese

To finish off the evening, Tillamook ice cream was served! Oh my heart do I love their ice cream. Joshua and I have had at least a scoop every day since we originally shared a test taste via Instagram stories (find it under my Melty Fest highlight). We are so hooked! Oregon Strawberry for him and Tillamook Mudslide for me. We have also tried Old-Fashioned Vanilla, Chocolatey Chip Cookie Dough, and Cookies & Cream.

Melty Fest was one of the coolest events I have ever had the chance to attend. Tillamook truly thought of everything. Including the perfect location to host the event, amazing food, fun decor, an awesome goodie bag, and a crazy fun atmosphere. If you have the opportunity to attend an event hosted by Tillamook I would recommend making it happen! Don’t pass up the opportunity! 

Tillamook Ice Cream in Charlotte | Louella Reese
Tillamook Ice Cream | Louella Reese
Tillamook's Melty Fest Review | Food | Louella Reese

If you weren’t able to attend Melty Fest, don’t fret! Find out where you can buy the Tillamook products used in these yummy creations and other Tillamook cheese + ice cream products here.

Additionally, I’m sharing an amazing recipe inspired by Hello, Sailor’s Cheesey Crab dip that uses Tillamook cheese for you below. That way you can whip up something yummy for yourself right at home!

Joe Kindred’s Cheesy Crab Dip
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  1. 1 Pound Lump Crab Meat
  2. 1.5 pound Cream Cheese, Room Temp
  3. 1 TBSP Tarragon, chopped
  4. 2 TBSP Parsley, chopped
  5. 1/3 cup Meyer Lemon Juice
  6. 1 TSP Smoked Paprika
  7. 1 TBSP Salt
  8. 2 TSP Ground Black Pepper
  9. 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  10. 1 Cup Tillamook Medium Cheddar Shreds
  11. 2 Cups Diced Roasted Red Peppers
  12. 2 TBSP Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  13. 1 TSP Worcestershire
  14. 1 TSP Soy Sauce
  15. 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 today’s post! All thoughts and opinions are of course my own.


  1. Hillary Conheady wrote:

    This event looked so fun!! I’m such a cheese lover so I’ve got to get my hands on some tillamook cheese!!

    Posted 8.7.19
  2. Looks like you had a great time there! The dish looks delicious.

    Posted 8.8.19
  3. Laura S wrote:

    How fun is this?! All the best things all in one place!

    Posted 8.12.19
  4. Rach wrote:

    What a cool experience! And all the stuff you tried sounds and looks delicious!


    Posted 8.12.19
    • It really was! Everything was BEYOND amazing – was in a huge food coma afterwards for sure haha.

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 8.12.19
  5. Morgan wrote:

    Every single thing looks so delicious!! Love your outfit for the event too!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    Posted 8.12.19
  6. I have been reading about Tillamook everywhere on the internet. I must check it out.
    ❥ tanvii.com

    Posted 8.12.19
  7. This looks like so much fun! I grew up in Oregon where Tillamook got its start, so we are big fans of their cheese & ice cream!!

    Posted 8.12.19
    • It really was such a fun event! Oh that is amazing – super jealous. I’m pretty bummed I went 28 years without this brand in my life haha.

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 8.12.19
  8. Stephanie wrote:

    I’ve heard incredible things about Tillamook dairy products! They just recently starting selling their ice cream at one of the stores in my city, and you’ve just convinced me to buy it next time I’m there and give it a try! This event sounds like it was such a blast. I’m actually a huge fan of okra, so that dish you mentioned sounds especially delicious! Now I’m hungry!

    Posted 8.12.19
    • Oh you absolutely have to gal! Their ice cream is the best ice cream ever – my husband and I have truly had at least a couple bites every day since being introduced to it. SO good!!! It was such a blast – if they throw a Melty Fest by you, you absolutely must go!

      xo Laura Leigh

      Posted 8.13.19
  9. So much cheese, I would love to go there!
    Sarah Lindner

    Posted 8.12.19
  10. Kristina wrote:

    This event looked amazing!! I spotted the cheese in Publix the other day- will have to try it out!

    Posted 8.13.19
  11. Anna English wrote:

    I’m not a HUGE fan of cheese, but I’d totally devour that ice cream!

    Posted 8.16.19
  12. Jamaria wrote:

    Looks like a fun time! I’m not a huge cheese person, but my husband is! Thanks for sharing! Xo

    Posted 8.16.19
  13. Kalyn wrote:

    This looks like it was so much fun! Love your outfit too! Now I want all the cheese!

    Posted 8.19.19

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