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Sleight Farm uses continental cheesemaking methods to produce its own range of lactic and rennet-set goats-milk cheeses developed by Mary Holbrook.  Mary achieved an international reputation for producing award-winning cheeses from her own herd of goats and we are working to continue that legacy.  We are looking for an experienced cheesemaker to work full-time and lead our small team of full and part-time staff.  The role will cover the lifespan of the cheese from setting the curd to ripening and maturing.  The role is available for immediate appointment.

The goats are milked following kidding in January/February until October/November each year.  Our cheesemaking follows the same cycle.  Initially, the role would last until the end of the cheesemaking season but with scope for renewal next year.  This would suit someone looking to work abroad or travel over the winter season.

Sleight Farm is located 6 miles from Bath and 10 miles from Bristol.  It is a hill-top farm, a mile outside of the village of Timsbury on the northern edge of the Mendip Hills.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview at the farm and to spend a half or full day cheesemaking.

We can offer:

  • The opportunity to be a part of Mary’s legacy and to learn from her methods and techniques;
  • A contract to October/November with a salary of £23,750 pro rata;
  • On-farm accommodation is available at no extra cost; and
  • Auto-enrolment pension with Nest.

Qualities required:

  • Commitment to producing raw-milk cheeses to exacting standards;
  • Ability to lead and inspire others;
  • Excellent palate to discern, in particular, the correct acidification and salting levels in the curds and cheeses;
  • Good observational skills and instincts; and
  • Good record-keeping.

Duties include:

  • Monitoring milk volumes and planning of cheese production as against volumes and orders;
  • Daily on-farm testing of milk and fortnightly despatch of samples for laboratory testing;
  • Setting curd, variously using whey and starter culture, cardoon and rennet;
  • Production of cheese from breaking of curd, hand ladling into moulds, pressing and turning out of moulds, salting and charcoaling and brining, where appropriate;
  • Daily turning and care of cheeses for ripening;
  • Keeping cheesemaking areas and equipment clean in accordance with our policies;
  • Washing of moulds, racks, mats and all other equipment;
  • Preparation of cheeses for delivery/collection, including wrapping, weighing and recording of despatched cheeses;
  • Monitoring of cheese and ripening room temperatures and stocks of consumable cheesemaking items/products;
  • Stock taking;
  • End of season clearing down of cheese-production areas;
  • In due course, day-to-day coordination of staff.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their expressions of interest, together with their CV and details of their availability or notice period to farmsleight@gmail.com, addressed to Catherine Ochiltree.

The deadline for applications is 23rd April 2019.

The post Job Opportunity: Cheesemaker at Sleight Farm appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.

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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 3M ago

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Mary Holbrook, the maker of the incomparable Tymsboro cheese, who passed away at the weekend.

She died at home on Sunday, at her beautiful farm on the hill, in Somerset, where she has worked tirelessly over decades to establish and maintain her world-class reputation.

Mary has had an impact on a staggering amount of people in the artisan cheese industry in the UK and beyond. She welcomed trainees, visitors and transient workers to come to Sleight farm and learn, work and contribute to the cheese making and the farm; people from customers like ourselves, other cheesemakers and the wider food community. Never shy to let people see her process and learn from her techniques, safe in the knowledge that no-one could recreate the exceptional terroir of her Somerset hilltop. Our Technical Manager, Martin, had the privilege to work for Mary for two years and learned a huge amount from her. He says "The way she made cheese was unique in my experience. Despite her immense intellectual capacity, she would never over-analyse the process. Making cheese instead by instinct and intuition. The pH meter was a forbidden item in her cheese room. If you couldn’t do it by taste, touch and smell, then you weren’t a proper cheesemaker!"

She will be sorely missed across our industry and certainly never forgotten by any who met her.

The post A tribute to Mary Holbrook appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.

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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 5M ago

Cheddar, a year-round favourite, really comes into its own at Christmas.

But which one would be right for your cheeseboard?

We’ve created short profiles for some of our most popular traditional west country cheddars, so you can find your perfect match.

Westcombe Cheddar Hand Selected: As the name suggests, we pick these out personally, together with cheesemaker Tom Calver, to find those Cheddars with exactly the taste profile we’re after. Made from raw milk, Westcombe Cheddar is complex but mellow, with a savoury taste that is balanced by some almost fruity notes on the finish.

Keen’s Cheddar: The Keens are a farming family with over 100 years’ experience making Cheddar. Also made from raw milk, Keen’s Cheddar is tangy, full-bodied and complex, with savoury ‘oniony’ notes that linger on the palate.

Hafod Cheddar: An organic, raw milk Cheddar from Wales. Hafod Cheddar is deep and mellow; rich, buttery, and wonderfully earthy with just a hint of sharpness.


Montgomery’s Cheddar: Jamie Montgomery makes this classic raw milk Cheddar that has a full, lingering flavour that is rich, nutty and sweet. This champion Cheddar is golden and glorious and looks fantastic on any cheeseboard.

Keen’s Extra Mature Cheddar: Matured for 6 months’ longer than the classic Keen’s Cheddar – the Extra Mature benefits from the longer maturation so that it has even greater complexity, depth and richness, with a fabulous, tangy kick to the finish, for those that love their Cheddar to have a bit of bite to it.

The post Choosing Your Cheddar appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.
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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 7M ago

Marcus Fergusson and his cheese, the aptly named 'Renegade Monk'

Cheesemakers are like their cheeses: they’re supposed to take time to mature and fully develop.

Marcus Fergusson, of Feltham’s Farm Cheeses, is a fascinating character, as he doesn’t quite fit this mould. Like his cheese, he is something of a renegade. He’s prodigiously talented and far more comfortable taking risks than a cheesemaker of his experience has any right to be. He’s also disarmingly open and honest about his journey to get to where he is today, both on his blog (which is excellent) and in person.

I’m always excited about trying a cheese when it's made a certain name for itself. One of the reviews that Marcus proudly displays on his website describes Renegade Monk as, ‘a vicious little cheese’. It certainly has an edge to it. It’s pungent and moody, a bit like a surly teenager. You can imagine it spending a lot of time listening to Linkin Park and complaining about being misunderstood. It would be easy to understand why – there aren't many cheeses like it. Something of a hybrid, it’s a cross between a washed rind and a blue cheese. The rind is washed in Funky Monkey ale, and blue cultures are used to enhance the flavour – as a result there may be blue veining, there may not. It’s a little bit of a lottery, but one you'll end up winning as the flavour is sublime...the pungency is balanced by a pleasant sweetness, a slightly more floral taste than other washed rind cheeses, and it has a very subtle blue undertone.

A young, still developing 'Renegade Monk'

As with any temperamental youth,  you might be tempted to say it’s merely ‘going through a phase’, but given the awards and recognition it’s already garnered, and the clear talent and drive of Marcus, all signs point to this being a rather more permanent state of affairs.

After just six months of production, Marcus won Gold for the 'Best Artisan Soft Cheese' at the Global Cheese Awards, and was shortlisted for ‘Best New Cheese Producer’ at the Great British Cheese Awards. Renegade Monk was one of 10 cheeses shortlisted for ‘Best Cheese’ at the Great British Food Awards and was awarded two stars at Great Taste 2018. An immensely impressive feat when you consider that only one third of the 12,000+ entered products receive accreditation at all. Most recently, Marcus was runner-up for 'Best New Cheese Producer' at The Great British Cheese Awards.

One of Feltham Farm's many awards.

Marcus and his family moved to their farm from London about six years ago, and it was actually his wife Penny’s idea to start making cheese. The Fergussons give new meaning to the phrase ‘taking your work home with you’ as the cheesemaking operation currently takes place on the side of the family home, in a converted nursery. The current set up allows Marcus to make 200 cheeses a week. Every part of production is done by hand, with Mondays and Thursdays being dedicated to making new batches, but Marcus' attention is required everyday to make sure the cheeses develop correctly.
Marcus is a man whose ambition keeps up with his talent; his farmland is ideal for expansion and he’ll shortly complete work on his new, larger cheesemaking facilities.

With double the height, and double the making space, temperature and humidity can be regulated all the more easily. There will also be three maturing rooms as Marcus plans to introduce two new cheeses to his range. Another exciting new advantage for Marcus will be the ability to pasteurise all his milk himself, giving him much more control over what he does. Marcus will have space for a much greater quantity of milk, and in time, will be able to process 5000 litres of milk per week compared to the 400 litres that is currently possible. The number of pigs living on the farm will also increase, as they perform the valuable work of disposing of the excess whey, and so his herd will increase to around 100.

 Some of the family's pigs.

A recent batch of 'Renegade Monk'

Marcus might be a relatively new cheesemaker (his first sale was in February 2017) but his success was not an overnight fluke. He’s spent a lot of time learning from others in the industry, and has put a lot of graft into his craft. As well as taking courses at River Cottage and The School of Artisan Food, the good people at The Bath Soft Cheese Co. opened their doors to him and helped shape the skills he has today. With the number of award-winning artisan cheeses The Bath Soft Cheese Co. have, Marcus clearly learned from the best.

Marcus is also nothing if not meticulous – an essential trait to have for anyone practicing the nebulous art of cheesemaking. His skills are all the more impressive when you consider that most starting cheesemakers aim to tackle a safe and predictable type of cheese. This is not the path for Marcus; his approach is bold, courageous and innovative. Blue or washed rind cheeses can be unpredictable and success is far from guaranteed…but fortune and the gods of cheesemaking favour the brave.

Marcus and his 'spiker'.

Marcus is an exciting, talented and creative new cheesemaker, and we can genuinely state that trying his cheese is an entirely new experience for the fan of artisan cheese. We also recommend you take a look at his blog . It offers a great insight on how to go from dreaming of becoming a cheesemaker to making it a reality. Or better yet, you can meet the man himself by coming along to The Fine Cheese Co. cheese festival on October 27th at Milsom place.

Renegade Monk can be ordered online here. For a real treat, why not try it as part of our boozy cheese selection box with free delivery (Free delivery will also trigger for orders over £50).

For pairing ideas, a West Country cider or fruity pale ale would be ideal. If you wanted the ale used to wash Renegade Monk, look for The Frome Brewing Company's 'Funky Monkey'.

For recipe ideas, Marcus recommends baking Renegade Monk as you would a Camembert or Vacherin Mont d'Or. Try popping some garlic in the top and then scoop it up with your favourite crusty bread for a luxurious treat with a difference.

The post A Maverick and a Renegade appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.
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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 8M ago

After a few years' hiatus, we're delighted to announce the return of The Fine Cheese Co.'s Festival at Milsom Place.

Past events have proved this to be a perfect chance for fans of cheese from Bath and beyond, to spend the day with some of the fantastic cheesemakers the UK has to offer.

Our line-up looks set to be one of the largest ever, which means a huge amount of cheese to try and buy!

Our cheesemongers and the rest of the team from The Fine Cheese Co.  will also be nearby to help out and answer any questions you have on your favourite cheeses, old and new.

As proud supporters of artisan British cheese, we encourage all cheese lovers to hear some of the stories and meet the faces behind Britain’s finest cheeses.

The big event is being hosted by the stellar people at Milsom Place in the heart of Bath on Saturday 27th October from 10am to 5pm.

From traditional Somerset raw milk Cheddars, to British Brie-style cheeses and a few modern-farmhouse cheeses in between! The list of attendees reads like a who’s who of the specialist cheesemaker world.

Current line-up:

(With many more to be announced)

White Wood Dairy

Julie Cheyney

Julie recently picked up the coveted prize for: Best Raw Milk cheese at the Artisan Cheese Awards for her stunning creation 'St. Jude'. Julie also holds the distinction of being the only person to ever win the James Aldridge award for raw milk cheese on two occasions.

Lyburn Farmhouse Cheese

Mike Smales

Creator of the highly-acclaimed 'Old Winchester', a full-flavoured Gouda-style cheese with an underlying sweetness and a wonderful crystalline finish that crunches on the tongue.

The Old Cheese Room

Julianna Sedli

Julianna is the maker of a raw Jersey milk cheese that is inspired by Reblochon, just outside Bath at Neston Park.

The Bath Soft Cheese Co. 

Hugh Padfield

The Bath Soft Cheese Co. have a dizzying array of prize-winning cheeses, including Wyfe of Bath, Bath Blue, Bath Soft and the most recent creation, the cider-soaked beauty,  'The Merry Wyfe'.

Appleby’s of Hawkstone

Sarah Appleby

Cheshire cheese has a longer history than Cheddar in this country, but it took the intervention of the Appleby family to prevent it from fading into obscurity. Made with raw milk from their own herd of cows, Appleby’s Cheshire is crumbly, full-bodied and a taste sensation.

Fen Farm Dairy

Jonny Crickmore

Jonny has been making waves with his stunning Brie-style cheese, Baron Bigod, made from the milk of his own herd of Montbeliarde cows.

Curworthy Baby

Rachel Stephens

Rachel is the talented force behind Devon Oke and Curworthy Baby, made to recipes dating back to the seventeenth century, making them even more traditional than Cheddar!

Westcombe Dairy

Tom Calver

Tom is a cheesemaker of immense talent and innovation. He has the UK's first ever cheese turning robot (Tina the turner) and he bagged three prizes at this year's British Cheese Awards, two for Duckett's Caerphilly and one for Westcombe Cheddar.

Blackwoods Cheese Company 

Dave Holton

The Blackwoods Cheese Company earned the award for 'Supreme Champions'  at the Artisan Cheese Awards for their cheese, 'Edmund Tew', named after a British convict who was transported to Australia for stealing cheese.

Ticklemore Cheese

Ben Harris

Ben Harris is the gifted maker of 'Harbourne Blue', a rare English goats' milk blue cheese that has to be tried. Ticklemore Cheese have a bevvy of other mouth-watering creations, making them one of the country's foremost makers of goats' milk cheeses.

The Fine Cheese Co.

 Ruth Raskin and team, Somerset
Crackers and partners to complement fine cheese. Selector and wholesaler of British and European artisan cheese including all the above cheese makers.

(www.finecheese.co.uk)

The post The Fine Cheese Co. Festival 2018 appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.

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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 8M ago

If you were to think of Spain, Manchego would likely be the cheese which immediately sprang to mind. It belongs to a very exclusive club. Along with Brie and Cheddar, Gorgonzola and Gruyère, it has become the poster child for an entire nation’s cheesemaking prowess.
This is not without good cause. A truly great Manchego manages to be many things at once. In my experience, most things in life which are capable of being more than one thing at a time, are a little on the naff side. Old news, plastic glasses, sporks and long shorts are just a few which spring to mind.
Yet a truly good Manchego bucks this trend, as it manages to have a host of seemingly contradictory attributes. It will be firm but silky soft, sweet but savoury, crumbly but creamy and yet the experience will be entirely satisfying.
For reasons we will save for another blog post, there was a time when finding a traditional, artisanal Manchego was exceptionally difficult. It became a phantom; an elusive, haunting memory which lurked in the dark recesses of our collective minds, making us wonder if Manchego was truly as good as we once thought, or if it had all been a mere dream.

We were fortunate to have met Javier, Francisco and Luis Parra, a family who travelled their homeland in search of others who remembered the way Manchego once was, and dreamt of bringing it back to its former glory. Soon they had assembled a band of merry men (all of whom happened to be women) that would create the most exceptional example of a Manchego we’ve ever come across.

When you work in the artisan cheese business, you get to eat hundreds of the world’s greatest cheeses, and often, variety and seasonality will determine the contents of your cheeseboard.
However, in my experience, it is La Oveja Negra Manchego that seems to appear most consistently on the tables of the staff at The Fine Cheese Co. and that in itself speaks volumes. It is buttery and nutty, sweet and savoury and oh so moreish. To learn more about why it’s such a special cheese, click here for an in-depth view, but for now – I spoke directly to a few colleagues to see what it was they enjoyed the most about this Manchego.

Nicola Williams has been a part of The Fine Cheese Co. for a while and remembers life before we found Oveja Negra Manchego.

“It has such a unique story, and we searched so long to find the Manchego that tasted the way it should. Having tried so many, I can safely state it is worlds apart from anything else out there. Try cutting it into small triangles and fanning them out on a plate along with some olives, cuts of meat and some bread for the perfect finger food.”

Lucy Harper, our Iberophile mail-order expert was expecting big things and was not disappointed.

“It has this nice…fresh, creamy nuttiness to it. It’s full of flavour… so much flavour but it’s not too strong or overpowering. I sometimes put it in a baguette with some chorizo for the full Spanish experience”.

I finished by asking Ruth Raskin, our Cheese Care Manager:

“It has a uniquely clean and milky fresh taste. It’s soft and supple and the flavour can't be compared with other Manchegos. This can be experienced in the most pronounced way when you try the semi-curado. You can’t ask a cheesemonger to list their five favourite cheeses, as I love all my cheeses equally… but it’s possible… just possible it might be in mine.”

If you get the chance to try this for yourself, you would do well to partner with a full-bodied red wine which can balance how rich this cheese it, or for a clean and fresh contrast, you might try a Fino dry sherry.

A final tip – the Spanish have been eating membrillo, a natural fruit jelly made from quinces for centuries. Cut these into slices and serve alongside the Manchego and see why we can’t get enough of the stuff.

The post Manchego - A Spanish Dream appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.

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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 11M ago

I’ll share a secret with you. I used to think picnics were overrated.
I know… I know... It’s an unusual and unlikely opinion to hold, especially at this time of year. The popularity of the picnic puzzled me. If you can't imagine this, well, bear with me…you might be able to relate more than you first thought.

Picture the scene. It’s your first picnic of the summer; the anticipation is high, the journey is long and the hamper is heavy.

After a long journey, you find the ideal spot to settle down, but it turns out… everyone else has had the same idea. Worse still – someone tipped off every insect in the area, both land and airborne divisions, which come out in force and eagerly swarm around your blanket.

As you rummage your way through your groaning hamper, searching between the now squashed finger food and the leaking thermos flask, the good time you were looking for slinks away into the bushes, leaving you with excess packaging, too much food and a dismal sense of what could have been.

To take the edge off, you and your companion might want a drink, but as you had to drive a distance to get here, you can’t. And pop goes your idyllic getaway, unlike the bottle of Prosecco, which sits, unused and forlorn at the bottom of your hamper, waiting for you to lug it all the way home again. The disenchantment is intense. That gnawing feeling of failure seems to have a bigger appetite than you do. You resolve to not bother again, or perhaps to see what might be on offer in the nearest pub the next time someone suggests eating outside.

Throwing a good picnic is a serious business. But worry not. Once an inveterate agoraphobe, I have now become the most ardent of al-fresco-philes. I believe I've found the surest way to make picnics the enjoyable experiences they're meant to be again. To help with this, I've sought out experts in their fields, their back gardens, and National Trust picnic sites.

And so it is I’ve now compiled a short list of tips on how to turn your picnic into a pic-nice.
If you will indulge me, I will share a select few tips with you now.

1) Less Is More
Avoid the temptation to pack too much. It will prove difficult to carry it to your picnic spot, and you will likely have to carry the majority of it back with you anyway. Pack light, and aim for quality food over quantity.

2) Plan Your Spontaneity
Seemingly a contradiction in terms, this is one of the best bits of advice you can have. If you know what you would like to take and where you are going to go when a picnic opportunity next presents itself, you can be on the way at the drop of a hat and allow for the good times to arrive. Often the best trips appear to be organic and spontaneous, but are rarely completely so.

3) Location

Somewhere nearby, or easy to get to. Good parking, and preferably, at the top of a hill. You’ll have better views, and the walk back down will be far easier. Also, search around for a less-well known spot. Not too popular, so that you will avoid the crowds and have a much more blissful experience. I’d share my favourite locations with you, but… that would defeat the purpose wouldn’t it?


4) Drinks

It is vital to stay cool, and have something everyone can enjoy. Since we discovered the Van Nahmen Frucht-Secco range, they now feature in all our picnics. All of the fizz, with none of the alcohol make this a sure hit.

5) Sweet and Savoury.
Never overdo it with one or the other. We used to take two sweet items with us. One was to serve as a propitiatory offering to the local insect-life, allowing enough of a distraction to allow for snatching mouthfuls in between dives under the blanket for cover.
A simpler solution? Mix it up. We recommend a few small, sweet items, and, rather than a sweet cake, a creamy cheese to accompany. At the moment, we can’t get enough of the luxuriously creamy Brillat Frais, and as the sweet accompaniment, we adore Fine English Wheat Fingers along with Dardiman’s California Strawberry Crisps. These are so full of flavour it’s unreal, and they are completely vegan and kosher with no added ingredients.

Whatever your summer plans, I wish you well with any picnics you attempt. Below are a few items that we are enjoying right now , and a few choices here might be just what you need to perfect your own picnics.

List of items featuring in Picnic hampers of The Fine Cheese Co. this summer
Graceburn Feta-style cheese
Nectars, Juices and Frucht-Secco from Van Nahmen
Fine English Wheat Fingers
Summer cheesecake
Wyfe of Bath
Mothais sur Feiulle
La Tur
Fine English Bath Ovals
Dardiman's California Fruit Crisps
Grace & I Fruit & Nut Press

The post Perfecting the Art of the Picnic appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.
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James and George Keen

‘I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.’
Umberto Eco

Cheesemakers obsess over the smallest of details, in order to perfect that taste they are seeking. Over the years, a cheesemaker will build up a laundry list of tips and make-notes.
This Father’s day, we took a moment to celebrate a few of the father-son teams in artisan cheesemaking. In many cases, traditional cheeses have stayed within one family for generations, allowing the knowledge, the cheese and the ‘little scraps of wisdom’ to stay on the same farm as one cheesemaker passes the torch to another. Whether they are perfecting existing recipes, or laying the groundwork for the creation of breathtaking new cheeses, fans of cheese everywhere owe a lot to these father and son teams.
George and James Keen are one such team. The Keen’s have been making traditional, artisan raw-milk Cheddar on Moorhayes Farm since 1899. Renowned for its full-bodied flavour and tangy bite, Keen’s Cheddar has always been in demand and highly decorated. In spite of this, the Keens have been deliberate about keeping their business small and tightly–knit. No doubt one of the reasons they have been so successful at passing on know-how from one generation to the next, for so long.

One of the first cheesemaking families we worked with were the Padfields of The Bath Soft Cheese Co.
Park Farm is incredibly close to our flagship store in Bath, and has been home to the Padfields for four generations.

Graham Padfield

Graham Padfield’s grandmother was the original cheesemaker on the farm, but it was Graham who rediscovered the recipe for Bath Soft and revitalised the practice of making cheese on Park Farm ( coincidentally – Graham also discovered a letter of recommendation for the original Bath cheese to Admiral Lord Nelson from his father. Yet another example of excellent advice being passed from father to son!)

Hugh Padfield

Graham has now been joined by his son Hugh, and together, they make Bath Soft cheese, Wyfe of Bath, Bath Blue and relative newcomer, The Merry Wyfe, all of which have been heavily awarded in competitions, making Graham and Hugh one of the most successful cheesemaking teams to be found anywhere.
Elsewhere, the Skailes family have a rich history in the difficult art of making traditional Stilton. Cousins Robin and Ben Skailes run things at Cropwell Bishop Creamery under the watchful eyes of their fathers, Ian and David. Cheesemaking has been part of the family business for 160 years, a fact that Robin believes has helped them maintain their quality where others haven’t managed to reach their level. Similar to the Padfields, such cheesemaking knowledge may well have helped out with their innovation as well as their quality, as demand has always outstripped the available supply of their fantastic Beauvale, which may well have been inspired by Italian Gorgonzola style cheeses.

Ian Skailes

There are many other cheesemaking families we could mention – the Appleby’s of Appleby’s Cheshire, and the Calver’s of Westcombe Dairy being two which immediately spring to mind – but ultimately this time of year is about those who have been a father figure in your own life. That’s why, to spoil my dad, I picked him up some of these award-winning cheeses along with a few beers to wash them down.
To learn more about these cheeses, or have them delivered to your door, you can click on the links below.

Keen's Cheddar

Bath Soft

Bath Blue

Wyfe of Bath

Beauvale

Appleby's Cheshire

Westcombe Cheddar

Duckett's Caerphilly

The post Father's Day: A look at Cheesemaking Families appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.

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The Fine Cheese Co. by The Fine Cheese Co. - 1y ago

 Sponsors of the 2018 British Cheese Awards: The Fine Cheese Co.

The 25th annual event was a special night for all concerned, and, as sponsors of the awards, it was all the more poignant for us, for a number of reasons.
The awards night, which was held at The Royal Bath and West Showground, brought together the best of the best in British cheese.
Close to 1000 cheeses were entered and then whittled down to a select few which were lauded and applauded for their merit, after a vigorous (and none-too arduous) judging process.
Amongst the expert panel of judges were our very own Ruth Raskin and Luke Maslen, but also Michel Roux OBE, who has long been an ardent supporter of British Cheese, and Juliet Harbutt, the founder of the British Cheese Awards all those years ago. Juliet is a woman who has done much to bring about such a robust state of affairs in our industry. But for us, and many others, when it comes to celebrating the role of influential and inspirational women in artisan cheese, none can be said to have done more than our founder, Ann-Marie Dyas.

Michel Roux OBE

Ann-Marie was a force to be reckoned with for 30 years in the artisan cheese business, defending, celebrating and showcasing the best of traditional British cheese, and allowing it to flourish like never before. Ann-Marie left a sizeable legacy, and sheep’s milk cheeses were always a particular favourite of hers.

Ann-Marie Dyas - Founder of The Fine Cheese Co.

So it was with great pride and pleasure, that John Siddall presented the inaugural Ann-Marie Dyas Memorial Award for Best Sheep’s Milk Cheese.
The award went to worthy winners, Kevin and Alison Blunt of the Golden Cross Cheese Company, for their excellent Flower Marie. In a serendipitous twist of fate, Flower Marie was a cheese that was actually named after Ann-Marie many years ago, by Kevin Blunt and the late, great James Aldridge.

John Siddall with the Ann-Marie Dyas Award Memorial Award for Best Sheep's Milk Cheese.

The rest of the evening was equally as engrossing. Many of our cheesemakers made their way home with trophy bags considerably heavier than they were before. Jamie Montgomery claimed the prize for Reserve Champion for his exceptional Cheddar, while Killeen, Whitelake and Colston Bassett also took home prizes.
The Bath Soft Cheese Co. did particularly well, taking home the prize for best packaging (Bath Soft) and best organic cheese (The Merry Wyfe). But undoubtedly the runaway successes of the evening had to be Tom and Richard Calver of Westcombe Dairy, winning, as they did, an incredible three prizes.

Richard and Tom Calver of Westcombe Dairy

Westcombe Cheddar won the award for best Cheddar, while the incomparable Duckett’s Caerphilly scooped the other two prizes, which were for the best territorial, and best English cheese.
It was a momentous evening for all concerned, and not one we’re likely to forget any time soon. Huge congratulations to all concerned – it is an exciting time to do what we do.

A few favourite of The Fine Cheese Co. who took home prizes

Category Winners:
Reserve Champion
Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar - JA & E Montgomery
Best English Cheese
Duckett’s Caerphilly - Westcombe Dairy
Best Cheddar
Westcombe Cheddar - Westcombe Dairy
Best Cheese from a member of the Specialist Cheesemaker’s Association
Killeen Goat Gouda - Killeen Farmhouse Cheese
Best Organic Cheese
The Merry Wyfe - Bath Soft Cheese Co.
Best PDO/PGI Cheese
Colston Bassett Stilton - Colston Bassett
Best Sheep’s Cheese and Ann-Marie Dyas Memorial Award
Flower Marie - Golden Cross Cheese Co.

Best Territorial
Duckett’s Caerphilly - Westcombe Dairy

Martin Knapp, Ruth Raskin, Gabriella McKeague, John Siddall and Luke Maslen of The Fine Cheese Co.

Gold Medals:
Bath Soft - Bath Soft Cheese Co.
Winslade - Hampshire Cheeses
Ogleshield - JA & E Montgomery
Wigmore - Village Maid Cheese
Keen’s Extra Mature Cheddar - Keen's Cheddar
Appleby’s Cheshire - Appleby's of Hawkstone
Sparkenhoe Red Leicester - Leicestershire Handmade Cheese
Bath Blue - Bath Soft Cheese Co.
Burt’s Blue - Burt's Cheese
Cornish Yarg - Lynher Dairies
Lincolnshire Poacher - F.W. Reed & Sons

The post The British Cheese Awards 2018 appeared first on The Fine Cheese co Blog.
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