The Story Behind Tulsa State Fair's Golden Cheese Driller

Friday, October 8th 2010, 11:06 am
By: News On 6

By Carrie Netherton,

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Every year the Tulsa State Fair has a unique 'butter sculpture,' but this year, the Tulsa State Fair honored dairy with a different type of sculpture, cheese.

The Golden Driller is the first thing you see at the Tulsa State Fair.

The state fair honors the man with a statue and some people think it's pretty, gouda.  You could even say he is the 'big cheese."

This year, there is a cheese lady at the Tulsa State fair and her name is Sarah Kaufman.  Sarah is turning three huge hunks of mild cheddar cheese into the "Golden Cheese Driller."  Kaufman is known as the "cheese lady."

"I'm from Wisconsin, I'm a natural-born cheese head. That's why I can carve, it comes naturally," said Sarah Kaufman.

The only thing she carves is cheese.

"The first sculptures I really did were cheese, started with 40 pound blocks, 20 pound blocks," said Sarah Kaufman.

This week at the state fair she worked with more than a thousand pounds of real cheese.

"Is that real cheese? Is that real cheese? And I tell them, yeah! 640 pound blocks, 1,920 pounds and it's delicious cheese, made from Oklahoma milk," Kaufman said.

Kaufman will finished her masterpiece earlier in the week. But along the way she admits to taking a bite or two of the cheese.

"Every once in awhile, like this beautiful ribbon, I have to quality control ya know," said Sarah Kaufman.

As for the cheese that is cut off and not used, Kaufman says it will get reprocessed into animal feed.

The cheese sculpture is the first of "three" dairy products that will be sculpted and displayed during the Tulsa State Fair. In the next few years, expect to see sculptures made from chocolate and butter.

By the way, the "golden cheese driller" is sitting in the lower level of the QuikTrip Center.