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Press RELEASES

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.


 

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

Amy Brice

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

A class act with canapés, new quail egg recipes for the festive season

Amy Brice

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Somerset free range egg producer and supplier, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, has teamed up with The Devilled Egg, a new online cookery school helping people crack the art of home cooking, to create 10 elegant and easy-to-follow canapé recipes using its Great Taste award-winning Foraging Free quail eggs.

Designed to make the most of the delicate and dainty quail eggs, which although pocket-sized, punch way above their weight in flavour, these recipes from head chef, Barbora Ormerod give home cooks the chance to refine their skills in the kitchen, so they can wow and delight their guests over the festive season. Mastering techniques, such as making blinis, onion marmalade, hollandaise and flavoured dipping salts from scratch, as well as incorporating Asian and North African influences into a festive spread, seasoned cooks and novices alike will be able to learn new ways to take their nibbles and canapés to the next level.

With sophisticated creations, including quail eggs rolled in leek ash and devilled eggs filled with crab meat, as well as family favourites, such as miniature scotch eggs and colourful pickled quail eggs, this collection of recipes also explains how to get to grips with the essentials along the way. From poaching and pickling to boiling and frying, quail eggs will be firmly on the menu for a whole host of every day meals.

The new quail egg recipes are available at www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk, with full video tutorials at www.thedevilledegg.com.

Foraging Free quail eggs are sold in packs of six (RRP £1.75) or packs of 12 (RRP £2.50) and are available from independent retailers, such as delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores, across the UK.

Lyme Bay and Quicke’s pair up for pop-up feast at Home Farm

Amy Brice

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Two of Devon’s best loved producers, Lyme Bay Winery and Quicke’s, will be the stars of the menu at a four-course pop-up feast set to be held at Cakeadoodledo, Home Farm on Friday 8 December from 7:30pm. With each hearty course centred around Quicke’s clothbound cheeses and Lyme Bay Winery’s range of fruit liqueurs, meads and English wines, diners will be taken on a journey in pairing and sharing by this match made in Devon.

Nathan Maddocks, winemaker at Lyme Bay Winery, will begin the evening by explaining the selected drinks, including Lyme Bay Sandbar 2015, Christmas Mead and Apricot Brandy, and how they complement the dishes on the menu. Once a feast of home-cured salmon, slow-cooked Quicke’s venison stew served with Quicke’s Mature Cheddar cobbler and a festive sticky toffee pudding have been devoured, Mary Quicke will introduce the cheese course with a short reflection on the cheeses eaten that evening, as well as a potted history of Home Farm, which the Quicke’s family has nurtured for 14 generations.

Pop-up evening feast menu

Home-cured salmon, celeriac and fennel on sourdough and Quicke’s Whey Butter

Served with Hedgerow Kir – Lyme Bay Blanc de Noir and Sloe Liqueur

 

Slow cooked Quicke’s Venison stew with a Quicke’s Mature Cheddar cobbler, Hasselback potatoes and vegetables

Served with Lyme Bay Sandbar 2015

 

Sticky toffee pudding, Christmas ice cream and drunken prunes

Served with Lyme Bay Christmas Mead

 

Quicke’s Goat’s Cheese with grapes, chutney and oatcakes

Served with Lyme Bay Apricot Brandy

 

Coffee, tea and a sweet treat.

 

Tickets cost £35 per person, which includes the four-course feast, with one glass of wine, mead or fruit liqueur served with each course, and are available from Cakeadoodledo at Quicke’s in Newton St Cyres, 01392 851019. Advanced booking is essential and there will also be cash-only bar throughout the evening.

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

Swoon launches cheese gelato, taking two scoops from the festive cheese board

Amy Brice

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Swoon’s head gelato chef, Luisa Fontana (above), has created two new limited-edition savoury gelati to mark the World Cheese Awards’ 30th anniversary. With Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar and Bath Blue cheese gelato now sitting alongside Swoon’s alluring array of award-winning gelati and sorbetti in its Bath and Bristol bars, Luisa has taken inspiration from previous World Cheese Awards winners from the south west to transform these Christmas cheese board favourites into silky smooth gelati.

Made with the World Cheese Awards’ 2014 World Champion Cheese, Bath Blue, the moreish blue cheese gelato has a creamy texture, salty bite and speckles of the distinctive 8-10 week ripened blue veining throughout. The World Cheese Awards 2016 Super Gold award-winning Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar completes this pioneering pair, bringing a deep, rich and nutty flavour to the bright and velvety Cheddar cheese gelato.

Luisa explains;

“We’re always looking for ways to push the boundaries with our gelato making at Swoon, so having developed many savoury gelato flavours in Italy, we wanted to bring this idea to the UK using award-winning cheeses from the surrounding area. To develop these two recipes, I had to get to grips with the makeup of each cheese, understanding its texture, fat content and salt levels, in order to balance this with the gelato base, but the result has made it all worthwhile. This will be a new journey for the taste buds of many in Bath and Bristol, but I hope cheese and gelato lovers alike will embrace these two unique flavours in the lead up to Christmas.”

As well as being available in the Bath and Bristol bars, Swoon will also be serving the Bath Blue cheese and Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar cheese gelati at the World Cheese Awards 30th anniversary celebrations on Friday 17 November, due to be held at Tobacco Dock in London as part of this year’s Taste of London Festive Edition.

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

As Quicke’s cheddar meets Burts Chips, Tom Herbert hunts for the ultimate crisp sandwich

Amy Brice

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Marking the launch of Burts Chips’ brand new Mature Cheddar & Spring Onion crisps, made with Quicke’s Mature Clothbound Cheddar, the Devon-based cheesemaker has enlisted top baker and author, Tom Herbert, to build the ultimate crisp sandwich. Inspiring the nation to give their lunchboxes a lift, Tom’s recipes are now available online, along with a call for followers of the crisp sandwich craft to share their own creations with the world.

When it comes to the crunch, nothing can compare to this unashamedly carb-on-carb classic, so Tom has held nothing back, starting from scratch with a homemade wholemeal cheese bread, using freshly milled organic spelt flour and crammed with melted chunks of Quicke’s Vintage Clothbound Cheddar. The fifth-generation baker has even fashioned a faff-free beetroot pickle for the occasion, preserved in cider vinegar and kissed with the heat of a chilli.

Laying the foundations for his ultimate crisp sandwich with a slice of wholemeal cheese bread, slathered with Quicke’s Cow’s Whey Butter, Tom then adds a generous wedge of Quicke’s Vintage Clothbound Cheddar, followed by the hot pickled beets. A handful of salad then lays the way for the crisps, stacked as high as physics will allow, before the lid comes down with a crunch.

Having left it all out on the kitchen worktop, Tom now wants to put his ultimate crisp sandwich to the test. Encouraging others to share their own crisp sarnie creations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #UltimateCrispSandwich, Tom’s top entry will win a Wild Baking course at the Herbert homestead, a signed copy of Tom’s new book, Do Wild Baking: Food, Fire and Good Times, and a cheese and crisp heaped hamper.

Entry opens for the #UltimateCrispSandwich competition on Wednesday 1 November, closing on Sunday 19 November. Full competition Terms & Conditions can be found at www.quickes.co.uk/pages/ultimate-crisp-sandwich.

Watch Tom Herbert introduce the #UltimateCrispSandwich competition.

Tom Herbert’s recipes for wholemeal cheese bread, hot and quick beetroot pickle and the ultimate crisp sandwich can be found on www.quickes.co.uk/blogs/recipes.

Reinventing the milk round, How Now heralds new dawn in dairy

Amy Brice

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After months of planning, funding, building and branding, supported by Bristol-based philanthropic organisation, The Seed Fund, How Now Dairy is now delivering a different kind of milk to the doorsteps of the South Hams in Devon. Awarded The Seed Fund’s runner-up prize in 2016, How Now is the latest start-up to come through the Academy’s educational programme and benefit from a full year of business and marketing support, helping it to sow the seeds of change out on the pastures.

Committed to producing, packaging and delivering every single drop of milk, in the process ensuring that its journey from grass to cow to consumer is as short as possible, founder Oliver Lee carefully manages every aspect of the milk’s production. Having sowed his herbal leys and built a micro dairy to his own specifications, Oliver carefully looks after each of his 24 pedigree Ayrshire cows, working alongside nature and with respect for the milk’s unique flavours and micro nutrients.

Guided by an ethos of “leaving the land better than we found it”, Oliver impressed The Seed Fund Academy’s mentors with his single-minded determination to succeed, eventually landing him the unprecedented prize of special runner-up. Benefiting from brand creation support from Bristol-based marketing and branding consultancy, The Collaborators, a new website by Dartmouth-based Cloudberry Digital and guidance from Oliver’s lead mentor, Matthew Shaw of Shaws Provisions, How Now is now on the road to success, delivering whole and semi-skimmed milk to its first few hundred customers.

Jayne Noblet, owner of The Collaborators and founder of The Seed Fund, commented:

“The Seed Fund Academy has nurtured some fantastic food and drink start-ups over the past five years, but Oliver really did stand out from the crowd. Entering the Academy with little more than an idea, he brought bags of passion, drive and energy to every session. When the time came to pick our winner, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to support such an inspiring young entrepreneur doing something so special, so we created a runner-up prize just for him. It’s been a joy working with him on his brand identity, tone of voice and marketing collateral, alongside Cloudberry Digital, who have gone above and beyond to create a website to manage How Now’s subscriptions, and we’re so excited to see what the future holds for Oliver and his happy herd!”

Matthew Shaw, owner of Shaws Provisions, adds:

“With the UK now importing and exporting such huge quantities of milk, How Now’s commitment to short milk miles is so refreshing. The concept got me very excited during The Seed Fund Academy sessions and Oliver never ceases to amaze me in what he’s able to achieve when he puts his mind to it. He’s a true entrepreneur, willing to tackle almost anything, so I’ve taken great pleasure in being his sounding board and providing guidance on everything from funding and utilities to planning permission and building the dairy. This is a wonderful community-minded initiative, with How Now’s customers able to see the cows from across the fields, and I hope in the fullness of time many more communities will have the opportunity to have their milk delivered the How Now way.”

Oliver Lee, founder of How Now Dairy, says:

“The Seed Fund Academy was an incredible experience, not only giving me the opportunity to learn from industry experts, but also the other finalists as they embarked on their own journeys. I’m passionate about the dairy industry and agriculture, but things like marketing, brand identity, brand voice and social media were alien to me and I could easily have missed their importance without the Academy’s guidance. The Seed Fund is a great philanthropic organisation and will always be part of our business as we grow and continue on our mission to change the way people think about milk.”

How Now Dairy delivers twice daily, mornings and evenings, twice a week in the South Hams area in Devon. One litre of whole and semi-skimmed milk costs £1.50, with one pint costing £0.85. 

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk

With wellness at its roots, Adam’s Chocolate hits natural sweet spot

Amy Brice

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Aiding digestion, encouraging weight loss and giving Adam’s Chocolate its unique flavour profile and velvety fudge-like texture, yacon is a natural sweetener that is bringing a new dimension to raw chocolate. A syrup derived from the roots of the yacon plant, which is a member of the sunflower family and native to Peru, this ground-breaking sweetener is low in calories, packed with antioxidants and is the lowest scoring natural sugar on the glycemic index, scoring between 1 and 5, meaning it won’t cause a sharp rise or fall in blood sugar levels.

Discovered by head chef, Adam Farag, while exploring the potential of food to overcome health issues over ten years ago, yacon has become a cornerstone of Adam’s Chocolate’s brand since Adam became the first chocolatier to master the marriage of this syrup with the rare criollo tree’s precious bounty, cacao. Processed at a low temperature to retain more of its nutrients than any other natural sugar, yacon has a subtle pear-like sweetness which allows the natural flavours of this Soil Association and Vegan Society certified cold pressed chocolate to shine through.

Combined with the other ‘Lost Crops of the Incas’, lucuma and maca, which have been consumed for their medicinal properties for thousands of years, along with colourful superfoods which are woven into the raw cacao to create flavours such as Goji Berry and Pistachio and the Great Taste award-winning Mint, each cube of Adam’s Chocolate contains a healthy dose of magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorous and potassium, as well as 17 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids.

Launching their new look packs last month, following a year of support from The Seed Fund after taking the philanthropic organisation’s top prize in 2016, Adam and co-owner, Mark Claydon, have even have found time to grow their own yacon for the past three seasons. Standing up to two metres tall in their back gardens, as it stores nutrients inside its tubers under the soil in preparation for winter, this Peruvian plant has laid down strong roots in the South West.

Each 82g resealable pouch of Adam’s Organic Cold Pressed Chocolate is available from independent grocery stores and health food retailers in the South West, as well as online at www.adamschocolates.com,  RRP £5.75.

New online kitchen academy cracks the art of home cooking

Amy Brice

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From sharpening knife skills and refining recipes to geeking out on the science behind the techniques, brand new online cookery school, The Devilled Egg opens a world of poaching, preserving and patisserie at the touch of a button. With in-depth video tutorials and downloadable recipes added weekly, an A-Z of useful terminology and techniques, plus access to support and advice from the chefs, this new-look online platform delivers a culinary masterclass to any home kitchen.

Welcoming autumn’s glut of orchard fruits and late vegetable harvests, The Devilled Egg’s head chef, Barbora Ormerod, has prepared tutorials to take the season’s staples to lip-smacking new places, including a recipe for autumnal gyoza, packed with pumpkin, tofu and quinoa. Designed to teach home cooks a new skill for their repertoire, whilst experimenting with fresh flavour combinations, these gyoza parcels reinvent a Japanese street food classic with trademark Devilled Egg twists, including Amaretti biscuits in the filling.

Whether it’s learning the fundamentals, deciphering the jargon or mastering tricky techniques, subscribers have the flexibility to work through The Devilled Egg step-by-step, as they explore, experiment and embrace the art of home cooking. Thanks to Barbora’s creative, practical and encouraging approach to teaching, seasoned home cooks and novices alike can challenge themselves at their own pace and make the most of autumn’s bounty, whether served up with steak, packaged in pastry or preserved as presents ready for Christmas.

Subscription to The Devilled Egg costs £4 per month or £40 per year and includes unlimited access to the extensive library of tutorials and recipes, which are updated weekly, as well as the A-Z, monthly journal and expert advice from the chefs.

One month’s free trial is available by registering at www.thedevilledegg.com/free-trial

Taste of the West crowns free range egg producer South West Producer of the Year

Amy Brice

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Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, has been named South West Producer of the Year at the Taste of the West Awards final ceremony, held in the Great Hall at the University of Exeter on Thursday 14 September. Receiving high praise from the judges, owners Dan and Briony Wood (pictured above), were recognised for their innovative and entrepreneurial approach to business development, as well as their efforts to minimise the company’s carbon footprint and their continued work to ensure a sustainable future for independent family-run farms.

Pioneering a new chapter in free range eggs with the recent launch of its Birds & Herds free range eggs, which are produced as happy herds and traditional birds restore the south west’s pastures through the centuries-old process of mob grazing, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company was commended for “taking what was once viewed as a commodity, and presenting it as a top-quality artisan product on a regional, national and international level.” The Taste of the West panel also heaped praise upon the company’s “hard work to create the right product and cleverly re-direct it to a modern discerning market through innovative branding and marketing techniques.” 

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

“Winning South West Producer of the Year is a huge feather in our cap as we continue to champion independent family-run farms who employ traditional farming methods. Not only does it recognise the fantastic work of our team and our network of farmers who produce truly exceptional free range eggs, but it also gives us valuable platform to educate consumers on the importance of supporting these farmers in order to help ensure a sustainable future for food and farming for generations to come.”

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

From the crashing waves to the abundant orchards, toast the apple season with Jack Ratt

Amy Brice

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Lyme Bay Winery’s award-winning Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider, a traditional west country carbonated cider made in Shute, Devon, is just the tipple to embrace autumn’s harvest and usher in those cooler months. With an invitingly sweet apple aroma and a crisp, bold and refreshing flavour, this Sparkling Cider is a celebration of the county’s cider making heritage and the area’s swashbuckling past.

As golden as the autumn leaves falling from the trees and with a lively fizz reminiscent of the crashing waves along the Jurassic Coast, Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider is made using a blend of freshly-pressed juice from local apples. Taking its name from 19th century smuggler, Jack Rattenbury, the chosen apples include Tramlett’s Bitter, Foxwhelp and Tom Putt, all of which would have been used in cider making during Jack’s own lifetime.

Packaged in new-look 500ml bottles, which illustrate their namesake’s quest to hide his contraband in caves and sunken barrels off the coast, retrieving them by ‘creeping’ the ocean floor with a grappling hook, Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider is the perfect drink to ward off the chill with family and friends at autumn feasts, gatherings and celebrations, as the nights begin to draw in.

Jack Ratt Sparkling Cider, RRP £2.55 for a 500ml bottle, is available from Waitrose stores in the south west, as well as independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores across the UK, and online at www.lymebaywinery.co.uk.