Q&A

Guild Of Fine Foods MD talks cheese ahead of awards event

The Wharf - - News - Laura En­field

Who are you and what’s go­ing on?

John Far­rand and I’m the or­gan­iser of the World Cheese Awards, due to be held on Novem­ber 17 as part of the Taste Of London: Fes­tive Edi­tion at To­bacco Dock.

How many cheeses are we talk­ing?

There are a record 3,001 en­tries from 35 coun­tries. Al­though some coun­tries can’t en­ter, which is a shame.

Out­ra­geous. I Camem­bert it. Which are banned?

Kaza­khstan, Bar­ba­dos, Ja­pan. I don’t know why. Defra de­cides.

How are the win­ners Caer­philly picked?

We have 230 in­ter­na­tional judges, fly­ing in from 28 coun­tries, spread over 66 judg­ing ta­bles. They find any num­ber of gold, silver and bronze cheeses from their se­lec­tion and also one su­per gold. The 66 su­per golds are then whit­tled down to 16 and the fi­nal panel chooses the world cham­pion.

What big cheeses will be there to en­ter­tain the 30th an­niver­sary crowd?

The Cheese Bar’s res­tau­rant will fea­ture some of last year’s top Bri­tish win­ners; Ogleshield, Keens Ched­dar, Lin­colnshire Poacher and Berk­swell, gelato maker Swoon will un­veil two lim­ited edi­tion cheese flavours and the 15 up-and­com­ing stars of the fu­ture will be re­vealed. There will also be cheese tours around the judg­ing hall with World Cheese Awards judges on Novem­ber 18 and 19, in­clud­ing How To Eat Cheese, The Raw Milk Revo­lu­tion and When Red Wine Fails.

Which coun­tries are up and com­ing in the cheese world?

Nor­way. And Bri­tish cheese is on the up. We make re­ally good Ched­dar. And there is a trend for very small herds of goats, cows and sheep in­stead of mass pro­duced stuff. That’s all very in­ter­est­ing and bodes well for the fu­ture.

Do you get what you pay for?

Yes. Good things cost more. They take more time to make and ma­ture and the an­i­mals get bet­ter feed.

Top tip for tast­ing cheese?

Too many peo­ple grab it from the fridge. Un­less it’s a fresh cheese, it needs to be at room tem­per­a­ture.

Taste Of London, To­bacco Dock, Nov 16-19, from £15, london.taste­fes­ti­vals.com

Caer­philly se­lect­ing the best cheese in the world

John Far­rand

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