Drunk on cheese

Speaks to the founders of The Drunken Mouse, a new lo­cal busi­ness that is run­ning cheese and wine pair­ing events across Sur­rey

Surrey Life - - Gourmet Life - Si­mone Hel­lyer

Cheese and wine is a classic com­bi­na­tion and in Sur­rey we are spoiled for choice with an over­flow­ing lo­cal larder of both. With this in mind, Sur­rey­based street food com­pany The Drunken Mouse has just launched a new pop-up cheese and wine pair­ing event.

The Drunken Mouse was set up by hus­band and wife team Sam and Kathryn – two frus­trated food­ies with a pas­sion for pair­ing food and drink. Sam has a fam­ily back­ground in cider mak­ing, while Kathryn is food blog­ger with a long time love of cheese.

“I’ve al­ways been a bit ob­sessed with cheese, to the point that when I was at univer­sity I had a cheese toaster on my wall,” she ex­plains. “Over the years I’ve got­ten more into wine and every­one loves cheese and wine as a pair­ing, so we thought it would be a good idea to cre­ate a busi­ness around that.”

The cou­ple staged their first event in 2017 at Fund Fayre in Guild­ford with a gazebo and tres­tle ta­bles. They have since re­fur­bished an old horse box, dubbed Methuse­lah, which they use to serve up cheese plat­ters and hot dishes with a cheese twist at fayres and food fes­ti­vals through­out Sur­rey and the south east.

“Since July we’ve been do­ing lots of events from small fayres to big food fes­ti­vals. At the fes­ti­vals we run a bar and serve cheese boards with home­made crack­ers and mari­nades or we’ll do cheese toasties – which are pretty epic,” Sam says.

The pair also runs be­spoke events and re­cently cre­ated a menu for Gospel Green Cy­der, which is based just across the bor­der in Hamp­shire. As Sam ex­plains: “They wanted food paired with their ciders, so with one of their cider and Cham­pagne cock­tails, Kathryn cre­ated a spiced meringue, with caramelised ap­ple, mas­car­pone and a yo­ghurt whip. Ev­ery­thing we do ei­ther has a cheesy or boozy twist to it.”

Kathryn, who runs the blog Home­made with Mess, has been a self-con­fessed cheese ad­dict since work­ing on a farm shop deli in her teens and has a real pas­sion for lo­cal cheeses. Sam, mean­while, has de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in lo­cal wine, gin and cider and now the two have de­vel­oped a sup­per club event at Antony Payne An­tiques, in Reigate, to bring to­gether their two pas­sions and ed­u­cate peo­ple about food pair­ing.

“All the sup­pli­ers we have are in the south east, so we use Nor­bury Blue from Sur­rey but also cheeses from High Weald Dairy, in West Sus­sex, and Ly­burn Farm, in Hamp­shire, as well as a vil­lage-made cheese in Berk­shire,” Kathryn ex­plains. “We make a point of sourc­ing as much food and drink as pos­si­ble from Sur­rey and the wider south east. So, we do use a lot of amaz­ing wines from Europe but we like to use sparkling wines from Sur­rey and we use Dis­tillers of Sur­rey for our gin and Silly Moo Cider in West Sus­sex,” she adds.

The cou­ple say that they are aim­ing to work with other lo­cal food busi­ness, like The Salt Box and Free Range Cooks, to put on more events across Sur­rey in the fu­ture as well as work with cor­po­rate clients and the more “civilised” stag and hen dos.

Web: the­drunk­en­mouse.co.uk

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