ONE MONTH TO GO TO UK’S LARGEST CHEESE FAIR Artisan Cheese Fair takes place from 30 April to 1 May 2016 in Melton Mowbray There’s just one month to go until Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire welcomes the return of the largest cheese fair in the country. The Artisan Cheese Fair will be held from 30 April to 1 May with a record number of over 60 local and national cheese producers showcasing around 300 of the UK’s best artisan cheeses. The Artisan Cheese Fair will be returning for its sixth year from 10am to 4pm on 30 April and 1 May 2016 at the Cattle Market, Scalford Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE13 1JY. Last year, over 8,000 cheese-lovers visited the Artisan Cheese Fair and visitors to this year’s event will have the opportunity to taste and buy some of the UK’s rarest artisan cheeses including cow, goat and sheep milk cheeses. Exhibitors will be coming from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, ranging from very small producers relatively new to cheese making, through to family firms that have been making artisan cheese for generations. Visitors can also learn about cheese in the daily programme of talks, demonstrations and tastings given by industry experts, as well as enjoying other local produce including pies, wine, cakes, cider, champagne and Melton Mowbray’s famous Pork Pies. Matthew O’Callaghan, organiser of the Artisan Cheese Fair said: “With a record number of producers signed up, this year’s event promises to be the best yet with so much choice for cheese lovers to sample and buy.” Entrance is priced at £3. For more information on the Artisan Cheese Fair 2016, visit www.artisancheesefair.co.uk
Webb Freckingham, owner of Nottingham Cheese Shop said: "The Artisan Cheese Fair is a premier event in the food calendar, great for bringing people in to the East Midlands. It's a fantastic vehicle for us to meet and build direct relationships with other producers and cheesemakers. This, combined with lots of our customers going to the event makes it a no-brainer for us to exhibit there.” Robert Bowring from Bowring Butchers said: "The Artisan Cheese Fair is a very upmarket, prestigious affair and is the best in the country, in my opinion. We sell our award-winning pies there, alongside lots of other local producers with really top quality cheeses and other foods. Melton is pretty much on our doorstep and offers such a good value ticket price for local and regional visitors." Paul Hartland, Managing Director of Mrs King's Pork Pies said: "We've attended the Artisan Cheese Fair every year since it started. We have a real connection with Melton Mowbray, the rural capital of food, with our Blue Stilton Melton Mowbray Pork Pies in particular. The vast array of cheeses on offer is very impressive and we would encourage Nottingham people to travel the short distance to come and see us there.” Bob Pitchfork from Mr Pitchfork's Pickles said: "The Artisan Cheese Fair is the best cheese festival in Great Britain. It's not overpowered by national producers so you can get real, proper 'eating' cheeses - ones that you can't rub pencil marks out with! - and that really complement the other products on show such as our own range of pickles. Other Nottingham exhibitors including Mrs King's Pork Pies and the Nottingham Cheese Shop were amongst some of our first customers so there's a real sense of a food community as well."
UK Supreme Champion cheesemaker to be crowned at Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray from 30 April to 1 May 2016 Artisan cheesemakers across the UK will be recognised at the first-ever Artisan Cheese Awards to be held at this year’s Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray from 30 April to 1 May. The awards will be open to any cheesemaker in the British Isles producing less than 250 tonnes of cheese a year to celebrate the craft and skill of the small artisan cheese maker. First prize at the awards for the Supreme Champion will be a cheque for £1,000. Sponsor of the trophy is A la Carte Packaging Solutions, a leading provider of ‘one stop shop’ packaging products to the cheese industry. To encourage small producers, a further prize of £500 will be awarded to the best cheese maker producing less than 50 tonnes a year. Judging for the awards will take place on Friday 29 April with the awards being presented at the Cheese Makers’ Supper on Saturday 30 April. Entry forms are available to download from www.artisancheesefair.co.uk and must be returned by Tuesday 4 April 2016 Classes for the first year of the awards will be: Soft, Semi-soft, Hard, Blue, Best British Territorial Cheese*, Best Protected Food Name Cheese**, and Best cheese recently launched on the market. In addition to the award winners for each class, awards will be given to the best goat’s cheese and the best ewe’s cheese. ‘The People’s Favourite’ best artisan cheese will be judged by the public during the Artisan Cheese Fair and will be announced after the event. Chairman of the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership and organiser of the Artisan Cheese Fair, Matthew O’Callaghan said: “The awards are a natural extension of the Fair. It means that small artisan producers can compete on a level playing field without the dominance of the large commercial producers which occurs in some of the cheese awards.” Will Atkinson from Hill Farm Dairy in Somerset said: "This is a terrific thing to have set up! Well done." Paul Carter of sponsor, A la Carte Packaging Solutions said: “It gives me great pleasure as the owner of A la Carte Packaging Solutions to be involved as a sponsor of the ‘Supreme Champion’ of the very first Artisan Cheese Awards. The ‘smaller in volume but producers of top quality products’ are just as important to the diverse cheese market of the UK and have not only their own cheese show, but now also their own awards to which they can aspire. “As the only ‘one stop shop’ for cheese packers both big and small, I have found the cheese people of the UK to be an absolute pleasure to work with. I hope to make acquaintance with more of the special cheese people in the artisan sector as a result of being involved with the show. May I take this opportunity to wish all competitors the very best of luck!” added Paul Carter. The Artisan Cheese Fair takes place on the first May Bank Holiday weekend. Entrance is priced at £3. For more information on the Artisan Cheese Fair 2016, visit www.artisancheesefair.co.uk