Best cheeses from the UK and Northern Ireland to be judged on 29 April 2016 in Melton Mowbray
The first-ever Artisan Cheese Awards has been inundated with entries from cheesemakers throughout the UK and Northern Ireland. For the first year of judging, 335 entries have been received from 85 producers. The category winners and Supreme Champion cheese will be judged on Friday 29 April and will be announced at the Cheese Makers’ Supper in Melton Mowbray on Saturday 30 April 2016.
The finalists include producers from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland with particularly strong numbers of entries from Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Ireland, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire and Somerset.
The awards are 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 is 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 sponsored by JKM Foods who supply cultures to the cheese making industry.
Classes for the first year of the awards are: 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.
The Artisan Cheese Awards will be held during this year’s Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray from 30 April to 1 May.
Matthew O’Callaghan, organiser of the Artisan Cheese Fair said: “We’ve been delighted with the response for entries for the first year of the competition. The breadth of cheeses nominated shows the strength of the artisan cheese making industry and it’s particularly encouraging that there have been almost 50 new cheeses launched in the last year.”
Entrance to the Artisan Cheese Fair is priced at £3. For more information on the Artisan Cheese Fair 2016, visit www.artisancheesefair.co.uk