Guild Of Fine Foods MD talks cheese ahead of awards event
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