We'd love to hear from you

Please just provide your email address and let us know how we can be of service.

We'll be back in touch as soon as we can.

88b Walcot Street
Bath, England, BA1 5BD
United Kingdom

Freshly Ground PR is a PR and marketing agency based in Bath, specialising in independent food and drink, hospitality and lifestyle brands.



Here are some of the latest press releases from the people we work with. If you’re a journalist, blogger or writer and would like more information, images or samples, please get in touch.


Brunch just got bigger, as goose egg season returns

Amy Brice

  Picture caption: Croque Madame by Cru Events. 

Picture caption: Croque Madame by Cru Events. 

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s award-winning Dabbling Free goose eggs are now back on the menu, as the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier’s noisiest girls come into laying season once again. Free to graze, dabble and honk in the fields all day long before snuggling up together in their straw beds at night, the Dabbling Free girls each lay up to 35 to 45 eggs during the season, which lasts from March to June.  

Packed full of flavour and boasting a giant golden beachball-like yolk and rich creamy white, a Dabbling Free goose egg, which is the equivalent of three medium hens eggs, takes the classic fried, baked, scrambled or soft-boiled egg to indulgent new heights. Safely stored inside a little cardboard shed, inspired by owners Dan and Briony Wood’s commitment to traditional free range egg farming, these eggs make for an ideal gift or a supersized ingredient to savour.

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s Dabbling Free goose eggs, which are produced using methods that can be traced back to the roots of free range egg production, come in packs of two and are available from Selfridges and other independent retailers across the UK, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores, RRP £9.99.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk

Quicke’s to unveil new cheese at Borough Market, plucked from the pages of Home Farm’s history

Amy Brice

Mary Quicke

From the cool quiet of its maturing rooms in Devon to the bustling hubbub of Borough Market, Quicke’s will this month introduce its first ever mixed milk cheese, Lady Prue, with the first wedges available exclusively from the Heritage Cheese stall in London’s oldest food market.

Named after Mary Quicke’s mother, who built the original cheese dairy at Quicke’s in the 1970s, Lady Prue combines goat’s and cow’s milk to create a youthful, pale and delicate clothbound cheese, with a subtle taste of goat and a gentle caramelly hint. One of only a handful of mixed milk cheeses being made in the UK, this cheese embodies both Home Farm’s rich heritage and the award-winning cheesemaker’s dedication to experimentation and innovation.

Lady Prue’s arrival also marks the beginning of a new partnership between Quicke’s and Heritage Cheese, run by Enrico Messora and partner Ewa Weremi, a stall that brings some of the UK’s finest traditional cheeses to the cacophony of colours, smells and tastes at Borough Market. A new home for Quicke’s in the capital, Heritage Cheese stocks many of the Devon-based cheesemaker’s clothbound best, while also providing the ideal testing ground for new concepts, such as Lady Prue.

Mary Quicke MBE explains:

“Harking back to the very first truckles made at Home Farm, this cheese encapsulates so much about our past, present and future. My mother, Prue was trained as an artist and later established the dairy – with six children in tow – and it’s her artistry which still runs through the veins of the business today, pushing us to experiment with our craft. This commitment to pushing boundaries led us to mix goat’s and cow’s milk and the result after three months came out so much better than we could have expected. Having spent a number of years working in London before I returned to the farm, I know that it’s home to some of the finest cheesemongers, affineurs and food halls in the world, so it’s important for Quicke’s to have a strong presence here. In honour of our London friends, Heritage Cheese is our first exclusive stockist for Lady Prue and we can’t wait to hear what Borough Market’s enthusiastic and discerning visitors think of it.”

Lady Prue is available exclusively from the Heritage Cheese stall at Borough Market from Wednesday to Saturday each week, priced at £4 per 100g.

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk

Eggs, milk and more, rambling up to the front door

Amy Brice

Rambling free.jpg

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s Rambling Free hens eggs are now available for home delivery throughout the UK, thanks to a new listing with Milk & More, an online service delivering fresh milk and a wide range groceries to customers’ doors every day, from producers who really care about what they do. Part of the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier’s critically acclaimed Free Collection, these Great Taste award-winning eggs are produced by small flocks of hens, who are free to roam the lush pastures from dawn until dusk.

Fed a carefully balanced ration of feed and housed in traditional flat deck sheds at night, the Rambling Free girls enjoy a combination of love, care, freedom and fresh air on small independent family-run farms across the south west, all of which employ methods that can be traced back to the roots of free range egg production.

Whether poached, scrambled or fried, whipped into meringues or beaten into cakes, these exceptional quality free range eggs take a humble commodity to new heights, with their speckled natural shells, firm unblemished whites and rich golden yolks, and have never been more convenient to buy.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains;

“We love the concept of Milk & More, harking back to the days when the local milkman delivered fresh milk to your door every morning, so it’s fantastic to have our Rambling Free hens eggs sold as part of this traditional offering. Up to now, these eggs have been available at independent retailers such as Selfridges, Bayley & Sage and selected delis, farm shops and grocery stores acr0ss the UK, so we’re very excited to be reaching out to more people than ever with our Rambling Free eggs, which were designed to champion the work of small independent family-run farms. This is a great coming together of traditional farming methods and a very modern way of shopping, which we hope will benefit everyone.”

Rambling Free hens eggs are sold in packs of six and are available for delivery nationwide at www.milkandmore.co.uk, RRP £2.39.

For more information about The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk

Shop of the Year branches out, with revamped awards in store for independent retailers

Amy Brice


The Guild of Fine Food’s annual Shop of the Year awards, a competition which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, is now open for entry. Previously forming part of the Great Taste accreditation scheme, Shop of the Year will expand and break out on its own this year, to offer even more opportunities for small independent retailers, such as delis, farm shops and cheesemongers, to achieve a stamp of approval from respected industry experts.

The new-look Shop of the Year has four main categories, which businesses can enter themselves into, including, Best Delicatessen; Best Farm Shop or Garden Centre with Food Hall; Best Grocer, Village or Community Shop; and an award for a specialist cheese shop. In addition, for those unsung heroes in the industry, like the cheese counter assistant who knows their range like the back of their hand, or an in-house butcher that has introduced excellent hygiene procedures, there is also a Retail Hero award, to recognise the hard work of those individuals driving the business forward. A Newcomer of the Year award will be awarded at the judges’ discretion to a shop that has been trading for less than 24 months.

Written entries will be reviewed by Shop of the Year’s panel of expert judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley, Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, one of the UK’s leading farm shops, and Karen Barnes, editor of delicious. magazine. The shortlist will then be mystery shopped in June and July, before the judges complete an announced visit during August.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explains: 

“There are some very special independent retailers out there, who are doing wonderful things to inspire, educate and excite customers, so we felt it was about time that the deli owners, cheesemongers and grocers who are at the top of their game got the recognition that they deserve. We have over 35 years’ experience in working with these people and really understand what it takes to be a success in speciality retail, and this is no small feat. In the coming years, we would really like to see the Shop of the Year logo being proudly displayed in shop windows, much like the Great Taste stamp adorns the products on their shelves, giving consumers the assurance that they are shopping in a truly excellent establishment. In the spirit of supporting the survival of our high street and encouraging people to shop local, Shop of the Year is only open to those with a ‘bricks and mortar’ premises, therefore no online retailers are able to enter.”

Shop of the Year, which is free to enter, opened for entry on Sunday 11 February at Fine Food Show North in Harrogate. Entries can be submitted online at gff.co.uk/awards/soty and entry will close on Friday 13 April. 

As recognition for tradition grows, the Woods call for more egg producers to join the free range family

Amy Brice


With demand for its multi-award-winning free range eggs at an all-time high, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company is looking to expand its network of small independent family-run farms across the south west to produce hen, duck, goose and quail eggs for the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier.

Owners, Dan and Briony Wood (above centre), are calling for other like-minded free range egg producers to join the fold and help satisfy consumers’ growing appetite for traditional free range eggs. Continuing in its mission to create a sustainable future for traditional free range egg farmers, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company moved into a new premises last year to better equip the company to play a key role in helping smaller farms to thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace, and with demand for its eggs increasing across the UK, it now plans to expand its network of egg farmers who all employ the flat deck method of production.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains; 

“Consumers are increasingly aware of where their food comes from and how it is produced, so many are now actively searching for producers that they have confidence in, which is great news for us small independent family-run farms. In order to keep up with this growing demand for our free range eggs, we would love to hear from other farmers using methods that can be traced back to the roots of free range egg production, who might like to become part of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s growing family. These farmers’ knowledge and experience is second to none and something we think is too special to lose, so we want to do all we can to ensure they are championed and supported.”

For more information on The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk

The Seed Fund 2018 opens for entry, helping food start-ups to grow their own

Amy Brice

Adam hr.jpg

On a mission to help food and drink start-ups turn their big ideas into big business, The Seed Fund will open for entry from Monday 5 February, in partnership with Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards. With 12 places up for grabs in its annual Academy, the philanthropic organisation is calling for fledgling food businesses from across the UK to apply.

Offering a game changing summer programme of seminars, workshops and one-on-one sessions with mentors including Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic, the Guild of Fine Food’s John Farrand, Emma Murphy from Sourced Market and the Squirrel Sisters, Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, The Seed Academy provides a unique opportunity for the future stars of food and drink to accelerate the growth of their businesses. One eventual winner will be awarded a further year of business support and brand development, estimated to be worth over £100,000.

Now in its fifth year, The Seed Fund has helped dozens of food start-ups to lay down strong roots and grow their brands, with success stories including FIREPOT by Outdoorfood, which is currently expanding its premises, team and product range after taking the top prize in 2017. The Seed Fund’s 2016 winner, Adam’s Chocolate, is now listed in Planet Organic, Wholefoods and Sourced Market following its rebrand from The Collaborators, while 2017 Academy members, Northumberland Honey Co., secured a listing with Diverse Fine Food as a result of pitching to the panel of mentors.

The Seed Fund will be accepting entries from any food and drink start-ups that have been trading for less than three years, with a turnover under £1,000,000 per annum. The Seed Academy’s Class of 2018 will be announced in May, with this year’s winner due to be unveiled at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner in London this autumn.

The Seed Fund will be open for entry from Monday 5 February until Monday 30 April. To apply, visit www.theseedfund.co.uk

Mead reimagined, here come the sparkling days of Yore

Amy Brice


Toasting the return of summer has just got that bit sweeter thanks the arrival of Yore from Lyme Bay Winery, a refreshing, moreish and dry sparkling mead produced among the rolling fields of Shute, Devon.

With a nostalgic nod to the first alcoholic drink ever to be created, this naturally gluten free honey-based tipple has been given a contemporary twist, breathing new life into a drink which has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years. Delicately sparkling with the light and refreshing qualities of some beers and ciders, Yore offers a complex and exciting new beverage for picnics, parties and gatherings.

Made from a blend of fermented honey, water and Champagne yeast, Yore boasts an alluring floral aroma followed by rich, dark and caramelised notes on the palate, all rounded off with a subtle  barley note from the addition of English Wildflower Honey post fermentation.

Lyme Bay Winery’s Yore, 4% ABV, is available online at www.lymebaywinery.co.uk. RRP £2.20 per 330ml bottle.

Fine Food Show North serves up three course feast for February

Amy Brice

  Picture credit: John Arandhara Blackwell.

Picture credit: John Arandhara Blackwell.

With a keynote talk from food critic, writer and broadcaster, Jay Rayner, The Jolly Tasty pop-up pub sampling Great Taste award-winning beers & ciders, retail clinics with the School of Fine Food and Shopper’s Anonymous all on the line up, the new look Fine Food Show North (formerly Harrogate Find Food Show) is set to be bigger and better than ever before.

Extended to three days and moved from June to February in response to popular demand, this trade-only event from the Guild of Fine Food will showcase more than 180 food and drink exhibitors and will take place at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate on Sunday 11 February from 11am – 4pm, Monday 12 February from 10am – 6pm and Tuesday 13 February from 10am – 4pm.

Registration is now open for deli, farm shop, café and garden centre owners, along with chefs, publicans, hoteliers, bar owners and restaurateurs, to visit this jam-packed three-day event and discover emerging food and drink trends, along with buyers from Selfridges, Harrods and Fenwicks.

Visitors to Fine Food Show North 2018 can also expect to learn how to tap into tourism during a Gastro Tourism Business Builder workshop with Sir Gary Verity, CEO at Welcome to Yorkshire, explore ‘off the wall’ accompaniments for cheese and watch producers pitch new products to the experts on the Feed the Dragon panel.

What’s on at Fine Food Show North 2018

Throughout the show

  • 180 food and drink exhibitors, some never before seen at a tradeshow
  • Pavilion of the best northern producers in association with Deliciously Yorkshire, Taste Lancashire and Taste of Cumbria
  • Jolly Tasty pop-up pub, hosted by Taste Distribution, where visitors will be able to sample Great Taste award-winning produce
  • Complimentary goody bags for all visitors on Sunday 11 February
  • Free parking at Yorkshire Event Centre
  • Free shuttle bus service to and from Harrogate train station

Fine Food Live! Theatre

Sunday 11 February

1200 – 1300: Product Knowledge Workshop –  Pushing the boundaries of the cheeseboard with food writer, Patrick McGuigan

1400 – 1500: Feed the Dragon, hosted by John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food

Monday 12 February

1100 – 1200: Product Knowledge Workshop - Better tea for better margins, in association with National Tea Day

1245 – 1345: Business Builder Workshop – Stake your claim in the gastro-tourism goldmine hosted by John Farrand, Sir Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire and other guest speakers

1430 – 1530: Feed the Dragon, hosted by John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food

1630 – 1730: Keynote Address – Greedy Man in a Hungry World with Jay Rayner, followed by Q&A

Tuesday 13 February

1100 – 1145: Chef Demonstration – Stephanie Moon’s Pancake Day menu

1200 – 1300: Product Knowledge Workshop: Match speciality teas with a range of foods in association with National Tea Day

1315 – 1415: British and Continental Charcuterie tastings with BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and cook, Nigel Barden, and editorial director of Fine Food Digest, Mick Whitworth

1445 – 1545: Feed the Dragon, hosted by BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and cook, Nigel Barden

Business Workshops

Sunday 11 February

1200 – 1500: Retail Merchandise Workshop, hosted by School of Fine Food’s Jilly Sitch

Monday 12 February

1200 - 1300: Forage the Show 1with BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and cook, Nigel Barden

1330 – 1430: Forage the Show 2 with BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and cook, Nigel Barden

1545 – 1615: Sampling of award-winning beers & ciders in The Jolly Tasty pop-up pub and an opportunity to meet special guest speaker, Jay Rayner.

Tuesday 13 February

1200 – 1245: Retail workshop and Q&A with John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food

1300 – 1400: One-to-one mentoring sessions

Trade visitors can register now for their FREE Fine Food Show North tickets at www.gff.co.uk/shows/ffsn

New fine food space opens on Borough Market’s doorstep, designed to create, rate and educate

Amy Brice

GFF No 42.jpg

Following 22 years championing and promoting excellence in fine food around the world, the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste and the World Cheese Awards, has opened a second home on Southwark Street in London. Situated just around the corner from Borough Market, No. 42 is a brand new 65 square metre ground floor space providing a purpose-built venue for anyone in the fine food sector to use, from producers and chefs to consultants and focus groups, in the heart of London’s vibrant independent food and drink scene. 

With capacity for 80 people standing and a maximum of 50 seated, No. 42 has a demo commercial kitchen, equipped with two state of the art Falcon range cookers, two Rangemaster ovens and a warehouse storage space, complete with a chiller room and freezers. AV and projector facilities are also fitted in the expansive main room, making it the ideal location for meetings, seminars and lectures, as well as special food events, judging and cooking demonstrations. 

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explains;

“London has always celebrated food and drink from all over the world, and today it is home to some truly unique and innovative businesses and start-ups. We’re therefore delighted to be opening the doors of No. 42 just around the corner from the capital’s bustling Borough Market and London Bridge transport hub, and hope that it will help to shine a light on the UK’s finest food and drink producers, both nationally and internationally. No. 42 will be a place for food and drink businesses to expand their knowledge, explore new ideas, make new connections and generally put their heads together, as well as playing host to Great Taste judging alongside our HQ in Gillingham, Dorset. We’re also very excited to have a new London venue for The School of Fine Food, with plenty of Guild Retail Training Courses and Academy of Cheese sessions already in the calendar.”

For more information on The Guild of Fine Food, please visit www.gff.co.uk.

Vegan gelato for Veganuary, as Swoon churns over a new leaf

Amy Brice

Swoon gelato bar.jpg

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Orange, Peanut & Almond Milk and Almond, Cinnamon, Date & Maple Syrup are among the new vegan gelato options on the menu at Swoon’s Bath and Bristol bars this January. Made by the lovingly honed process of slowly churning almond milk, these new gelati will sit alongside Swoon’s regular vegan-friendly flavours, including the Great Taste award-winning Chocolate and Mango sorbetti, as well as Raspberry and Pistachio sorbetti, both of which will be guest flavours throughout the month.

Thick, creamy and indulgent, Swoon’s water-based sorbetto is gently churned with mangos, chocolate, raspberries and pistachios to create a truly creamy texture without any milk or cream, meaning that Swoon’s beautiful range of sorbetti is suitable for vegans all year round. The almond milk-based gelato is also churned slowly to achieve an irresistible texture, before adding the finest ingredients sourced for their provenance and quality to create a scoop set to lift those January blues.

Although it tastes much creamier than ice cream, gelato typically has 50% less fat, due to the way it’s slowly churned instead of rapid beating, which makes it all the more alluring during those health-conscious winter months.

Swoon’s limited edition vegan gelati and sorbetti will be available to buy by the scoop or takeaway tubful throughout January and its regular Mango and Chocolate sorbetti are available all year round.

For more information about Swoon, please visit www.swoononaspoon.co.uk

Quicke’s announces Cheese Tours for 2018

Amy Brice

Cheese tours.jpg

Offering a unique peek behind the rind of its award-winning clothbound cheddar, Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s will be hosting a series of Cheese Tours in 2018, opening the gates to the rolling hills that the family has nurtured for 14 generations.

Taking place on the last Friday of each month from April until September, the Cheese Tours will tell the often surprising story of what goes into a wedge, from the specially bred hybrid cows roaming this idyllic corner of Devon to the towers of clothbound truckles being cared for in Home Farm’s ‘cheese cathedral’.

Beginning with the cheesemaking art itself, the tours begin in the dairy, meeting cheesemakers with over a century of experience, who use all their senses to craft each cheese by hand with a culture that has remained unchanged for decades. After a short stroll to the cheese stores, visitors will be hit with the awe-inspiring sight and smell of hundreds of cheeses stacked high, as the aging process finishes the job that nature started. Following an education in mould gardens and the rigorous grading process, it’s time to tuck into a tutored tasting.

Back to the fields where it all began, a guided tour with Quicke’s farm manager, Adam Reeves, will offer an insight into how this world-class cheese is made from the ground up. Employing methods such as the kiwi grazing system to measure grass growth and ensure that the cows can enjoy their favourite food for 10-11 months of the year, Quicke’s continues to innovate, while always being guided by its ethos, “farm like you’re going to live forever”.

Home Farm Experience itinerary:

9.30am – Meet for coffee and cake at the Quicke’s Farm Kitchen and hear the history of the Quicke family

10.30am – Take a tour of the dairy and watch the cheesemakers expertly craft each truckle

11.00am – Visit the cheese stores and see how Quicke’s ages its clothbound cheddar

11.30am – Tuck into a tutored tasting

12pm – Take a guided tour of the farm with the Quicke’s herd managers and meet the cows

1pm – A two course seasonal feast at the Quicke's Farm Kitchen

2018 Tour Dates:

Friday 27 April 2018

Friday 25 May 2018

Friday 29 June 2018

Friday 27 July 2018

Friday 31 August 2018

Friday 28 September 2018

Tickets to the Home Farm Experience Cheese Tours cost £35 and can be booked online at www.quickes.co.uk/pages/cheese-tours or by calling 01392 851 222.

Adam’s Chocolate launches new bite size pack for nutrient-rich treat on-the-go

Amy Brice


Bristol-based Adam’s Chocolate has launched a new range of two-cube pocket-sized packs for its Goji Berry & Pistachio flavour and Great Taste award-winning Mint flavour organic cold pressed chocolate. Designed to be slipped into gym bags for that pre- or post-workout bite, tucked into desk drawers for those mid-afternoon slumps or popped into rucksacks for an energy boost out and about, these miniature packs are the perfect option for healthy snacking throughout the day.

Harnessing the ‘Lost Crops of the Incas’, with ingredients including yacon, lucuma and maca, which are all grown at the foot of the Andes and have been consumed for their medicinal properties for thousands of years, each cube of chocolate inside these mini packs has a gentle sweetness and a uniquely smooth and velvety fudge-like texture, making healthy snacking that much more indulgent and satisfying.

Rich in Vitamin A, C, iron and amino acids, the nutrient-packed Goji Berry & Pistachio has a gentle tartness with a satisfying bite from the nuts, while the soothing, fresh and crisp peppermint is balanced with the smooth and rich cacao base to create the menthol Mint, which awakens the mind and digestive system.

Each 22g pack of Adam’s Organic Cold Pressed Chocolate, which are Soil Association and Vegan Society certified, is available for retailers, wholesalers and distributors to stock, RRP £1.99.

The 82g resealable pouches of Adam’s Organic Cold Pressed Chocolate are available from Planet Organic, Wholefoods and Sourced Market, as well as independent grocery stores and health food retailers in the South West, and online at www.adamschocolates.com,  RRP £5.75.

For more information about stocking Adam’s Chocolate, visit www.adamschocolates.com.


Bergen to host World Cheese Awards 2018, as part of new Norwegian food festival

Amy Brice

  (L to R) Bernt Bucher-Johannessen, executive manager of HANEN, John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, Jon Georg Dale, Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, and Gunnar Waagen, chairman of Tingvollost.

(L to R) Bernt Bucher-Johannessen, executive manager of HANEN, John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, Jon Georg Dale, Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, and Gunnar Waagen, chairman of Tingvollost.

Following another record breaking edition of the World Cheese Awards in London last month, the Guild of Fine Food has announced that the competition will be held in Norway for the first time in 2018, in partnership with HANEN, an organisation promoting the best that the Norwegian countryside has to offer. Forming part of a brand new food festival, The Food Country Norway, the 31st annual World Cheese Awards will take place in Bergen on Friday 2 November.

Having shone the spotlight firmly on Norwegian cheese in 2016, when Kraftkar, made by Norwegian producer Tingvollost, was named World Champion Cheese in San Sebastián, next year’s event will give the country’s producers a platform to showcase their food and drink on a world stage. Already designated as a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy, Bergen will be ready to show off the nation’s culinary class as the planet’s largest cheese-only competition comes to town.

With support from Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, and the Bergen city government, next year’s edition of the World Cheese Awards is set to be bigger than ever. More nations were represented in 2017 than ever before and the organisers are expecting to reach 3,500 entries for the first time next year, as the international curd community gathers once again.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, explained:

“In 2016 the World Cheese Awards roadshow was an integral part of San Sebastián celebrating being European Capital of Culture. Following the success and huge international reach achieved by this event, we’re honoured to have been asked by the wonderful city of Bergen to host the 2018 edition there. We expect to hit 3,500 entries in 2018, with more judges than ever travelling from every corner of the globe to join this celebration of cheese makers and cheese people.”

Bernt Bucher-Johannessen, executive manager of HANEN, adds:

“I’m so proud that HANEN has been successful in bringing the competition to Norway. As Bergen holds the title as one of UNESCO’s chosen gastronomy cities, it was a natural choice for hosting the event. The World Cheese Awards will be a fantastic arena for promoting Norwegian local cuisine.”

Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, commented:

“Competitions such as this are important and contribute to bringing Norwegian cheese producers inspiration as well as recognition for their quality products. That is why it’s especially gratifying to host next year’s World Cheese Awards in Bergen. With this event we’ll place Norway on the map both as a food nation and a cheese nation, while providing Norwegian cheese producers with a unique opportunity to parade their products.”

Julie Andersland, commissioner for climate, cultural affairs and business development in Bergen, commented:

“The World Cheese Awards will be a very positive event for Bergen, for business development in our region and to give attention to local food and traditions. As a UNESCO creative city of gastronomy this is the perfect event for us to host.”

This year’s World Cheese Awards took place at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November, forming part of Taste of London Festive Edition. Cornish Kern, an alpine-style cheese made by the UK’s Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, was crowned World Champion Cheese.

For more information on World Cheese Awards, please visit www.gff.co.uk/awards/world-cheese-awards/.

Winning wedges are Devon-sent, as Quicke’s lands four World Cheese Awards

Amy Brice


Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s has grabbed yet more gongs at this year’s World Cheese Awards, taking home four awards for its much-acclaimed clothbound cheeses. Up against 3,000 entries from 35 different countries, cheeses from across Quicke’s range won the praise of the international panel, who gathered for the 30th anniversary edition of the World Cheese Awards, held at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November.

Having already won plaudits from Great Taste and the International Cheese Awards this year, Quicke’s Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese earned a Gold award at the largest cheese-only awards on the planet, along with its Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar, which also struck Gold. The quietly sophisticated red Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese brought a Silver award back to Home Farm, while the intensely creamy Buttery Clothbound Cheddar scored Bronze at this year’s awards.

Joining 230 judges from 29 different countries, Mary Quicke MBE represented Quicke’s in London once again this year, taking her seat on the final Super Jury of 16 judges to find this year’s World Champion Cheese, alongside buyers, retailers, writers and cheesemakers from Australia to Japan and Mexico to the USA.

Mary explains:

“3,000 cheeses under one roof is an awe-inspiring sight, so it’s a great achievement to have our truckles picked out by the judges once again. Having tasted the cream of the crop as part of this year’s Super Jury, I know how stiff the competition is and feel very proud to have Quicke’s take its place among the award-winners in this truly global cheese community. Our cheese is a true expression of the landscape here at Home Farm, thanks to the unyielding commitment of everyone from the fields to the dairy and beyond, and we just love to take a little wedge of Devon onto the world stage.”

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk

The Devilled Egg serves up hangover cures using Christmas leftovers

Amy Brice


Helping home cooks to minimise food waste this Christmas and cure those inevitable sore heads, The Devilled Egg is releasing a series of tutorials and recipes designed for the day after the night before, including samosas, sliders and salpicon tacos. Having discovered that its subscribers waste 50% of their festive leftovers, Barbora Ormerod, head chef of the online cookery school, has developed a range of easy-to-follow recipes taking inspiration from around the world.

As well as tips on making use of the whole turkey carcass, subscribers to The Devilled Egg can expect to expand their culinary repertoire over Christmas with tutorials on making brioche- style buns, ready to be filled with pulled turkey and homemade BBQ sauce, cheat puff pastry for vegetable and blue cheese gallette and miso soup with dashi stock for a turkey ramen. With these video tutorials and recipes just a click away, home cooks will be able to reinvigorate that last slice of salmon or cheese, and put those Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes to good use in beautiful dishes that will help soak up the mulled wine and wow any unexpected guests who drop by.

The new leftovers recipes and tutorials are available at www.thedevilledegg.com, with the first blog entry in this series available at www.thedevilledegg.com/journal/4849/.

Cheese Counter of the Year awarded to Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop

Amy Brice

Cheese Etc.jpg

With plenty of knowledge, enthusiasm and artisan cheeses behind the counter, Cheese Etc, The Pangbourne Cheese Shop, has been named Cheese Counter of the Year, sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP, at the 30th edition of the World Cheese Awards, held at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November.

Having already made their mark in last year’s competition, coming joint-third overall, owners Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones impressed the judges with how far they’ve developed the business in the past 12 months. The shop has been refurbished with a lighter, brighter colour scheme and their new branding, while the business has also expanded into new areas, such as supplying local pubs and restaurants, developing a cheese wedding tower business and online sales.

Judges made particular note of the different ways employed by Cheese Etc to sell its cheese and keep its 100-strong cheese counter moving, saying “the cheeses are clearly displayed and grouped together, making navigation around the counter easy, all helping Ali and Jen to stock a big range and keep the cheese in excellent condition.”

Brimming with character and personal touches, “from the mouse painting by a local artist to a 'cheese of the moment' blackboard and a John Keats poem with a cheesy twist”, customers are welcomed warmly and encouraged to try the cheeses and expand their cheeseboard’s horizons. Jen buys directly from cheesemakers whenever she can, regularly driving down to the West Country to buy whole truckles of farmhouse cheddar and building up excellent relationships with cheesemakers in the local area.

Cheese writer Patrick McGuigan, head judge of the Cheese Counter of the Year competition, explained:

“Independent retailers can find it hard to compete against the big supermarkets on the high street, but Cheese Etc is a shining example of how small shops can be successful if they play to their strengths. Lovely customer service, a fantastic line up of artisan cheeses in tip-top condition and plenty of knowledge and enthusiasm behind the counter all create a rather special experience, so it gives us great pleasure to shine a light on these fantastic independent retailers. If only every high street had a cheesemonger like this, the world would be a better place.”

Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones collected the trophy at the World Cheese Awards 30th anniversary reception, held at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November. For more information, visit www.london.tastefestivals.com

Cornish Kern from the UK named World Champion Cheese 2017

Amy Brice

World Champion 2017.jpg

Cornish Kern, an alpine-style cheese made by the UK’s Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, has been crowned World Champion Cheese at the 30th annual World Cheese Awards, after just a few years in development. This buttery medium-hard cheese, with a deep aroma and caramel notes, rose to the top among 3,000 entries that were judged in a single day at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November. The 30th anniversary edition of the awards formed part of this year’s Taste of London Festive Edition and saw entries from a record breaking 35 different countries.

The winning Cornish Kern now takes its place in the history books alongside previous champions of the largest cheese-only awards scheme on the planet, having impressed the World Cheese Awards’ international panel of experts at every stage of the judging process. Cathy Strange, global executive coordinator for Whole Foods Market in the USA, championed the cheese during the final round of judging, describing the cheese as: “Visually stunning, with its standout dark rind and the quality of milk is really evident in this cheese. It has an amazing age and a complexity, which keeps on coming. This is a super cheese and I would be glad to have it on any table.”

The rest of the International Super Jury, representing nations including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Norway and South Africa, concurred, awarding Cornish Kern the highest score of the final judging stage.

Sarah Barnes, technical manager at Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, who collected the award in London, explains;

“I’m on top of the cheese world! Throughout the course of the day our Kern went through so many layers of judging, going from 3,001 to 66, to the top 16 and then World Champion and the judges said some wonderful things about our cheese. Cornish Kern is a new concept so to see it come to this is so exciting for the company, and a great start for this cheese’s career.”

Cornish Kern was awarded 75 points out of a possible 80 by the Super Jury of 16 judges, just ahead of an Italian Blu Di Bufala made by Quattro Portoni Caseificio in second place with 69 points. In joint third, were an Austrian Capellaro from Almenland Stollenkaese and a South African Dalewood Huguenot made by Dalewood Fromage, both scoring 67 points.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, commented:

“The competition was immense this year, with more nations represented than ever before, so bravo to Lynher Dairies for taking the top gong on this truly international stage. Cornish Kern is a perfect example of cheesemaking at its finest, so it’s wonderful to see this small team receive such recognition for their craft and a heartfelt pat on the back from the global cheese community. Taste of London Festive Edition has provided a wonderful backdrop for us this year, with some of the finest food and drink around under the same roof as the world’s best cheese, and it has given us great pleasure to return to London to celebrate three decades at the heart of the cheese world, before the World Cheese Awards sets sail again for pastures new in 2018.”

Entries made their way by road, rail, air and sea, via 12 consolidation points located in every corner of the globe, which channelled cheeses into London from nations including Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia and South Africa. The 230-strong judging panel brought together more nations than ever before, representing six continents and 29 different countries, from South Africa and Japan to Mexico and the USA, to taste, nose and grade all 3,001 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to winning cheeses.

With the top 16 cheeses selected, the audience then gathered at Taste of London Festive Edition to watch the International Super Jury debate the world’s best cheeses. Made up of top names from the global curd community, featuring cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers, including Roland Barthélemy, President of Guilde des Fromagers in France, Norwegian cheesemonger Siri Helen Hansen-Barry, Claudia Bowman from McIntosh & Bowman Cheesemonger in Australia and Mary Quicke from Quicke's in the UK, the final panel made their cases for their chosen cheeses live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.

Look out for further announcements of this year’s special trophy award winners later this week.

Taste of London Festive Edition took place at Tobacco Dock in London from 16-19 November. For more information, visit www.london.tastefestivals.com

Lyme Bay Winery glows at Quality Drink Awards

Amy Brice

  James Lambert, managing director of Lyme Bay Winery outside the Shute-based winery.

James Lambert, managing director of Lyme Bay Winery outside the Shute-based winery.

On Thursday 9 November, Lyme Bay Winery picked up five awards for its Country Wines and Fruit Liqueurs at the Quality Drink Awards, the most prestigious awards for wine, spirits and beer products on sale in UK grocery outlets.

Receiving a Gold for its warming Ginger Wine and a Bronze for its medium sweet Peach Wine in the Fruit Wine Category, as well as three Bronze awards for its Ginger Liqueur, Elderberry & Port and Cherry Brandy, the Devon-based producer was praised for its great tasting products, impressing a judging panel comprised of chefs, food writers, food technologists and restauranteurs on the hunt for the finest flavours, textures and aromas.

Before the awards were announced, guests at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, got to taste the Ginger Liqueur in a specially commissioned Autumn Mimosa, which was created to mark the event in partnership with London-based cocktail consultants, Fluid Movement.

For more information on Lyme Bay Winery, please visit www.lymebaywinery.co.uk.

World Cheese Awards marks 30th anniversary with look ahead to next chapter in cheese

Amy Brice

collage (1).jpg

As cheesemakers, judges and dedicated followers of the word on curd anticipate the 30th anniversary edition on the World Cheese Awards on Friday 17 November, organiser, the Guild of Fine Food, has invited some of its top judges to shine a light on the people who are set to shape the next chapter in cheese.

These 15 ‘big cheeses’ have all put forward the names of individuals who are making their mark in the world of cheese today, including mongers, makers, farmers, affineurs, authors, consultants, educators and importers. Representing nations ranging from Belgium and the Basque Country to Mexico and South Africa, these 30 faces, 15 industry heavyweights and 15 architects of tomorrow’s cheese landscape, provide a snapshot of cheese today, as the World Cheese Awards celebrates three decades at the heart of the global curd community.

With a nod to both the heritage and future of the largest cheese-only competition on the planet, many of these stars of the next chapter in cheese will be joining the judging panel for this year’s event, which will form part of Taste of London Festive Edition at Tobacco Dock. With all 3,001 entries set to be judged in a single day, the serious business of tasting, nosing and grading cheeses from 35 different countries will unite the cheese world once again, as 230 experts from six continents and 29 different countries put their cheese irons to work.

Full list of nominations:

Ali and Jen Grimstone-Jones, Cheese Etc - The Pangbourne Cheese Shop (UK)

“Holding together a small shop in a small town, with a fearless 100 cheeses on their deli, Ali and Jen combine old fashioned over the counter friendliness with new-fangled social media and reaching out to their local community. We need more Jen and Alis in this world.” Nominated by Charlie Turnbull, School of Fine Food instructor and owner of Turnbulls Deli (UK)

Alison French, Chalke Valley Cheese (UK)

“Starting up in 2012, Alison is already producing five outstanding unpasteurised cheeses, all from a single herd of Holstein/Friesian cows. When visiting, I was so impressed by her dedication, skill, modesty and commitment to quality. This is local artisan cheesemaking at its very best.” Nominated by Karen Barnes, editor at delicious. magazine (UK)

Andy and Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm (USA)

“Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm truly is one of a kind, unique, with a floral and mushroomy aroma, followed by the creaminess, texture, taste, aftertaste… It also brings me to this new trend of just sitting with good cheese, good wine and good company. This is one of the best features of this kind of cheese, the intensity limits the amount you take, but you keep going back to have yet another bite.” Nominated by Catherine Fogel, purchasing director for C & E Gastro-Import (Denmark)

Bronwen Percival, author, cheese buyer at Neal's Yard Dairy and co-founder of MicrobialFoods.Org (UK)

“Percival is in the vanguard of a crusade to reintroduce cheeses made without added cultures, a revolution on a par with the natural wine movement. It brings welcome diversity, and fresh thinking, to the cheese world, along with a new, unique, flavour of place.” Nominated by Xanthe Clay, The Telegraph (UK)

Jennifer Kast, co-founder of the MilkJam Cheesemaking Educational Group (UK)

“Making a real effort to unpick what traditional cheese making is in the UK, Jennifer has set up a programme to examine in depth each territorial type, starter usage and making, milk types and traditional historic recipes, through her yearly educational seminars and hands on cheesemaking classes for those working in the industry, MilkJam.” Nominated by Andy Swinscoe, owner of The Courtyard Dairy (UK)

Jonny Crickmore, Fen Farm Dairy (UK)

“Jonny, along with his wife Dulcie, is a huge champion of the use of raw milk, turning it into the award-winning Baron Bigod, as well as butter. He has integrated himself very quickly into the British cheese world and is now on the committee and helping others. UK cheese needs committed and passionate people like this.” Nominated by Rhuaridh Buchanan, owner of Buchanan's Cheesemonger (UK)

Laurens De Middeleer, Schapenmelkerij Bosschelle (Belgium)

“Laurens built his sheep shed with his own hands at the early age of 18, started production in 2015 and is already producing some much-revered cheese. At 23, there’s no one better to represent the future of cheese making!” Nominated by Regula Ysewijn, food writer and presenter (Belgium)

Nathan and Padgett Arnold, Sequatchie Cove Creamery (USA)

“Nathan and Padgett Arnold produce amazing unpasteurized cheese and are committed to bringing back a focus on the products uniquely representing the land of the Appalachian Mountains. Partnering with herd owners and supporting land management and renewable energy initiatives, they have great passion, vision and dreams for an agricultural model that will work in this environment.” Nominated by Cathy Strange, global executive coordinator for Whole Foods Market (USA)

Pascal Beillevaire, Fromagerie Beillevaire (France)

“This farmer’s son, who began from nothing, is today at the head of a magnificent business with 200 employees and 45 sales outlets. As with the shops, this man has a certain character and collects the best cheeses from 200 small producers in each region. My friend Pascal knows them all.” Nominated by Roland Barthélemy, president of the Guilde des Fromagers (France)

Paul Thomas, dairy consultant, author and director of the Academy of Cheese (UK)

“Providing the knowledge artisan cheesemakers need to produce world class cheese safely, Paul fills an essential gap left by the loss of Government or MMB sponsored sources of knowledge. Previously working as an affineur and cheesemaker, Paul is now a freelance technical adviser and cheesemaking instructor, as well as helping to pioneer the Academy of Cheese.” Nominated by Mary Quicke, Quicke’s (UK)

Peio Etxeleku, Agour Dairy (Basque)

“Peio is a second-generation cheesemaker, but is also an innovator and is demonstrating his great talent with more versions of the traditional Ossau-Iraty PDO. Proud of his region and a defender of its traditions, culture and local language, Peio is always ready to tell the beautiful story about the life of cheese.” Nominated by Victoria Urresti, technical expert of the tasting committee for the PDO Idiazabel Cheese and member of Artzai Gazta’s technical committee (Basque)

Phillip Stansfield, Cornish Cheese Co. (UK)

“To me, Phil has personified the last 30 years of emerging cheesemakers. After he retired from rugby and diversified into cheese making because he couldn’t get enough money for his milk, he has gone onto pioneer a British version of a softer, creamy blue, won World Champion Cheese in 2010 and is still tending his cows and making cheese. A true cheese entrepreneur.” Nominated by Bob Farrand, chairman of the Guild of Fine Food and founder of the World Cheese Awards (UK)

Rina and Norman Belcher, Belnori Boutique Cheesery (South Africa)

“This husband and wife team started in 2003 with a black enamel saucepan, stainless bucket and the milk of four does. With determination, passion, teamwork and excellent management, they have gone onto win numerous awards, including Best South African Cheese at the World Cheese Awards 2016.” Nominated by Kobus Mulder, dairy industry consultant (South Africa)

Sam Frank, Jumi Cheese (USA)

“Starting as a cheesemaking apprentice and then cave manager, Sam has researched cheesemaking with the milk of heritage breed animals and presented his findings to the American Cheese Society. A representative of Jumi Cheese in the US, Sam is a cheesemaker, affineur, monger, and now importer, a clear example of the great talent and expertise in our industry.” Nominated by Carlos Yescas, cheesemonger and author (Mexico)

Tom and Clare Noblet, Whin Yeats Dairy (UK)

“British territorial cheeses have had a rough ride, so I was delighted to discover a cloth-bound Wensleydale-style cheese called Fellstone. Tom and Clare are doing all the right things. They only have around 80 cows on their 250-acre upland hill farm, and the cheese is made with raw milk, animal rennet and a recipe that pre-dates World War Two. Most importantly, the cheeses are delicious.” Nominated by Patrick McGuigan, food journalist and cheese writer (UK)

The World Cheese Awards will take place on Friday 17 November at Taste of London Festive Edition, which will run from 16-19 November at Tobacco Dock, London.

Don’t cut the nose off to spite the wedge

Amy Brice

278Quicks170614Matt Austin hr.jpg

With cheeseboards up and down the country set for their busiest time of year, distinguished Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s, is calling for festive folk to learn the way of the wedge and make the most of their cheese this Christmas.  

For a cut above the rest, Quicke’s Farm Shop manager, Julie Hernandez, says its essential to slice the wedge from the nose to the rind, in order to savour the distinctive variety of flavours achieved during the maturation of each clothbound truckle. From the smooth, buttery and tangy tip to the brittle, earthy and horseradishy cheese towards the rind, and the spectrum of nutty and creamy flavours in between, there’s more to each mouthful than meets the eye.

As cheddar is the undisputed cheeseboard champ and overstocking becomes obligatory at this time of year, it’s also important to take care of the cheese to keep it at its best. Waxed butchers paper, stuck down with the cheese’s label, is the best wrapping paper around for cheese, while a gentle scrape of the cut surface of the cheese every few days will stop thread moulds developing and spoiling carefully laid plans for fruit, crackers, pickles and pairings.

Julie explains:

“With our time-honoured cheesemaking methods and the months of grading and maturation that take place to produce a true taste of the landscape here at Home Farm, each wedge takes you on a journey in texture and taste, from the nose all the way to the rind. I always want my guests to enjoy the whole story, so I give the cheese a good two hours at room temperature to bring out its full flavour and then make the first few cuts myself to get the ball rolling, before adding pretty accompaniments like quince paste or honey, nuts and seeds – maybe even a cheese friendly flower like nasturtium. With cutting and cheese care taken care of, my final piece of advice would be to serve the cheese course first, as guests arrive. It goes so well with beer or wine and while the rest of the food is being prepared, it’s such a social food to get everyone chatting around the cheeseboard.”

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk.