Last night the air of Long Island City was perfumed with the sweet smell of mold when dozens of cheesemongers brought their best stuff to Queens. It was all thanks to the fifth annual Cheesemonger Invitational, a competition and cheese celebration that pit the city's finest fromage connoisseurs against one another and some other cheese folks from parts beyond. There were cheers, there were beers and there was cheese. Lots, and lots, and lots of cheese.

To begin the evening, mongers were tasked with creating a "Perfect Bite" with cheeses that were assigned to them before the event. For Dylan Hiester of Bedford Cheese, this meant crisping up some bacon and topping with with Chiriboga Blue cheese and a drizzle of Mike's Hot Honey. Haley Zelicof of Whole Foods in Gowanus also used the Chiriboga Blue, which she served atop a handmade hazelnut cracker with rhododendron honey and a tasty and beautiful bit of arugula flower. Even though both mongers used the same cheese, the bites couldn't have been more different, a testament to the versatility of the world's best dairy product.

Other drool-worthy stations included a raclette setup that used heat lamps to gently melt the cheese onto boiled potatoes (aka the best thing ever); a gruyere fondue station; a huge hunk of parmesan that was freshly grated onto caesar salad; and a flatbread table with creations including goat cheese with grapes and brie with ham. A giant smoked pig was also unveiled as the evening wore on, served with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and McClure's pickles.

Cheese makers were also well-represented and offering up unlimited tastes of their products. Standouts included an ash-ripened goat cheese from Vermont Creamery, the outrageously creamy and decadent Harbison from Jasper Hill Creamery and Marin French Cheese's Schloss, which smelled like feet in the best way possible.

The cheese-eating may have been the big draw but the competitions were an unexpectedly raucous and entertaining portion of the evening. The top 11 finalists were tasked with cutting the perfect 1/4, 1/3 and 1/2 pound portions of cheese on the fly as part of the final rounds of competition. Some, like Floral Artisanal Cheese monger Nadjeeb Chouaf, were exceptionally good at eyeballing the gruyere; others weren't as deft (the free-flowing Sixpoint may not have helped).

Emily Acosta of Eataly was the night's big winner, becoming the first female cheesemonger to win the competition. Shockingly, it was also the first time a New York-based monger had won the competition. For cheese lovers, it's an event not to be missed for all the incredible samples on offer. The event also showcased the passionate world of cheesemongering and served as inspiration to get more involved at your local cheese counter. As we all know, cheese people are very passionate.