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ARTISANS

Shaw River Buffalo Wins GOLD at the World’s Biggest Cheese Show

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Yep, that’s right. One of our Mould cheesemakers, Shaw River Buffalo, won gold at the 120th annual International Cheese Awards held in Nantwich in Cheshire, England, last week.

The Annie Baxter Special Reserve, a classic Shaw River cheese that underwent an additional four months maturation to give it a natural rind, sharper flavour and increased depth of flavour and texture, won the award for Best Australian Cheese (any variety). This win was particularly exciting for cheesemaker Thea Royal, who says it’s “the first time we have explored ageing one of our cheeses”.

And it wasn’t the only prize Shaw River took home. Its Lady Julia Cheddared Buffalo Cheese took out the silver medal in the Best Australian Cheese (Mature Cheddar) category; and the standard Annie Baxter took out bronze in the Best Australian Cheese (any variety) category.
The awards are considered the biggest and most influential in the cheese world, with over 5,500 entries from 50 countries, and 250 expert judges.

“When you enter the International Cheese Awards it’s always with a sense of trepidation. There’s just so many cheeses in the mix. To come away with three medals is an incredibly humbling result,” says Royal.

 

Maker and Monger

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Tell Us Your Story!
The monger from down under!
I’ve been living and breathing (smelling of) cheese for the last 10 years 🙂 I was brought down to Melbourne in 2010 to run Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder’s prestigious cheese room and from there I was lucky enough to design and help build Australia’s first underground cheese maturation caves and retail room at Spring St Grocer. In 2015, I decided to follow my dreams further and start my own business by opening Maker & Monger’s chariot of cheese at Prahran Market. I’ve represented Australia at the Cheesemonger world championships in Loire Valley, France and came 4th in 2013.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
Deliciousness factor
Igniting the senses
Everyone loves molten cheese

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
It ain’t easy being cheesy!

Hard or Soft?
Both!!!

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Comte and Ganevat Chardonnay

Funniest cheese making experience?
Coming face to face with a Brown snake at 6am on my first day on the job with Holy Goat Organic Farm and watching one of the ladies take a shovel to it whilst I stood there contemplating changing my pants 😉

Nimbin Valley Dairy

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Tell Us Your Story!
Nimbin Valley Dairy produces a range of cow and goat cheeses under the brands of Nimbin Valley , Byron Bay Cheese and Byron Bay Butter Co. All milk is sourced from our farm that overlooks the Nimbin Valley and the famous village of Nimbin, in northern new south wales

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
handmade, authentic, pasture raised milk from our free range animals

 

Mount Zero Olives

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Tell Us Your Story!
Mount Zero Olives is a family owned olive grove three hours west of Melbourne on the northern edge of the Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia. Commitment to flavour, sustainable farming and a passion for quality ingredients defines Mount Zero and all that we gather.

Tell us three things about your olives and what makes them unique?
1. We support Australian farmers because we believe that Australia has the best produce in the world
2. We have Greek people tell us we have the best Kalamatas!

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
We find puns too cheesy, mostly briecause we’re not gouda at them

Hard or Soft?
Our olives are medium. If brined correctly they shouldn’t be hard or soft.

Best cheese and booze match ever?
When they’re both matched with olives.

Yarra Valley Dairy

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Tell Us Your Story!

We make a range of delicious, fresh artisan cheeses from both cows and goats milk, including our much loved Persian Fetta. Most of our cheeses are soft, in a style that reflects the farmhouse cheese of France and Italy.

We pioneered the marinated fetta style of cheese first creating it around 22 years ago.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
Our fetta is made with cows milk as opposed to the traditional style made with either sheep or goats milk or a combination of both. We then marinate it in olive oil to make it even more luscious.

Our white mould cheeses are the result of various recipe sourcing trips we have sent our cheesemaker – Jack Holman on over the years. We even named one of them after him – Le Jack, a semi-mature white mould goats cheese. Unlike a camembert style which it resembles in appearance, it can be eaten at various stage of its maturation making for a versatile cheese – kind of like Jack himself..

We named our fresh goats cheese – Gentle Goat. Because its gentle on the pallet and is a definite crowd pleaser, nabbing in those stuffy “I don’t like goats cheese” folk everytime. It ain’t ‘goaty’ as they say.

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
You have a friend in cheeses.

Hard or Soft?
we make both so ridiculously unfair question. Like choosing your favourite wine..

Best cheese and booze match ever?
We are loving our Ashed Pyramid with the current release of Serrat Chardonnay. Acid meets acid head on. This doesn’t always work, it can be a little jarring, but these guys are having a ball together.

La Sirène Brewing

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Tell Us Your Story!
La Sirène Brewing began as a response to a calling to create modern day artisanal farmhouse-style beers with character and identity, which quickly evolved into our life-long obsession. Starting life as gypsy brewers in the Victorian Highlands, our artisan brewing adventures swiftly led us to creating our own Urban Farmhouse Brewery next door to the Darebin Creek & National Park in inner-city Melbourne, Australia.

An independent family owned & operated Urban Farmhouse Brewery, we are akin to modern-day ‘Saisonniers’ striving for Artistry in brewing; the intrigue of the unknown is what drives us, exploring & pioneering techniques and unique flavour profiles is what inspires us.

We focus on producing New World Farmhouse beers in our House Style with finesse, texture and above all crisp drinkability in humble honour of these age-old styles.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
We are a slow beer operation, which is very unusual in this fast paced industry, with a focus on allowing time for carbonation and conditioning across all of our products . All of our bottled beers undertake secondary fermentation in the bottle, it’s a real art and gives our beers the La Sirène house character we seek. We have a specifically built “warm room” that allows for this process where all the bottles (& sometimes kegs) are laid to sleep to evolve. This essentially is the Méthode Champenoise technique to carbonate and condition our beers which can sometimes take months before release, it takes a lot of patience, but we think it’s worth it.

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
Q: Which cheese has a drinking problem?
A: Morbier

Hard or Soft?
Soft

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Wild Saison with Delice de bourgogne – but all our beers are extraordinarily scrumptious with all cheeses

Tongola Goat Products

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Tell Us Your Story!
Iain and Kate Field run Leap Farm, in south-eastern Tasmania, with a small herd of Swiss Toggenburg goats and some beef cattle, over looking the idyllic Marion Bay.

Iain – “We moved on to the farm in 2012, after a realisation that life in a big city wasn’t delivering the lifestyle that either of us craved. We wanted to know where our food came from and wanted the best produce we could find. So we decided to give it a go and do it ourselves.”

In the time from then to now, the farm has changed as Iain and Kate strive to develop a sustainable and ecologically robust enterprise. Along the way they met Hans Stutz and Esther Hausermann, the original owners, and more importantly, artisan cheesemakers of Tongola. And over the past three years have been working towards Tongola’s next evolution at Leap Farm.

Hans – “We have shared our herd with them, have mentored them in goat husbandry and now have “grand-goats” at Leap Farm. They have been supplying us with milk for the last three years and we have been teaching them the art of Tongola cheese making.”

And so the Tongola story continues……………

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
We make Swiss inspired hand-crafted farmhouse goats’ milk cheeses, on-farm. Our recipes have been handed down to us by real cheesemakers from the Swiss Alpages.

Our milk comes from our small herd that roam the pastures on slopes of Ragged Tier overlooking Marion Bay. The combination of coastal location and gentle slopes means that our native and perennial pastures benefit from being in a small rain pocket, which we can maintain without the use of intensive farming practices.

We’re seasonal, once-a-day milkers, and we leave the kids with their mothers until they’re ready to wean, ensuring a more natural lactation. We believe this gives us the best milk due to improved udder health, but more importantly happy goats.

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
You don’t like cheese? Not even Wensleydale?

Hard or Soft?
There’s a time and a place for both

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Too many to choose from.

Funniest cheese making experience?
Making cheese in Antarctica from powdered goats’ milk!! Let’s just say it was ok.

 

Pecora Dairy

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Tell Us Your Story!
Pecora Dairy is a growing family owned business, where the milk is sourced and processed on site from their own animals. The McNamaras say “We are currently running about 120 ewes in the dairy and plan to expand that to a final number of 200 ewes within the next few years.
Set on 200 acres at 700 metres altitude, Pecora Dairy is in the lush green rolling hills of Robertson, in the Southern Highlands of NSW. This area has a stunning micro-climate with the highest rainfall in NSW – almost 2 metres a year falling into the gauge. This is a dramatic landscape, where the mountain meets the sea and where lush green paddocks sit alongside dense precious rainforest. It supplies permanent spring fed creeks and dams which supports a rich biodiversity, intergral to Pecora Dairy’s philosophy of farming.

Tell us three things about your style of cheeses and what makes them unique?
1) We are farmhouse. In other words, we are a single source, full circle operation. this means that our task is broad and complex. We painstakingly do everything from managing pastures, looking after animals, milking and making this beautiful product into cheese and yoghurt. This is why our cheeses are the ultimate slow, paddock to plate food.
2) We only make cheeses that celebrate the gorgeous underlying sheep milk, Therefore we concentrate on the complex and the subtle rather than the strong and obvious.
3) We are inspired by some of the great sheep milk cheeses of the Pyrenees.Our cheeses are styles that have integrity and pedigree

Do you have a favourite Cheese pun?
How do you eat a welsh cheese? Very very Caerphilly

Hard or Soft?
I cant answer that… depends on mood.

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Aberlour Abunadh Single Malt with our Bloomy.
Think Christmas pudding with lashings of cream.

Funniest cheese making experience?
Once we had an intern that by mistakenly spiked (like what you would do for blue) a whole batch of semi hard.
We were grating that on our pasta for about 12 months I think.

Harper and Blohm Cheese Shop

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Tell us your story. 
Harper & Blohm is a cheese shop in Melbourne’s western suburb of Essendon. Its owner, Olivia Sutton, who’s also a veteran of the Calendar Cheese Company and Ireland’s Sheridans Cheesemongers, sells a range of cheeses from Australia, the UK, Europe and the USA. She also pops up often at farmers’ markets across the city, selling melted raclette and grilled cheese sandwiches in addition.
As a cheesemonger (not a maker) she won’t be exhibiting at Mould, but she will be there with lots of cheesey edibles like the aforementioned raclette and grilled cheese sandwiches. We caught up with her prior to the event.
Harper & Blohm is one of Melbourne’s leading cheese shops and has been supplying the locals with some of the finest farmhouse and artisan cheeses from Australia, the UK, Europe and the USA since 2014.
I work closely with suppliers to choose and source the best available products, often from small producers, including a range of selected cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy of London. The purposefully small and ever-changing choice of cheese ensures consistent quality, whilst the variety depends on the seasons, with expert advice on hand to assist you with your purchase.
My tiny shop also carries a distinctly local range of charcuterie, biscuits & accompaniments for your kitchen pantry, and Tivoli Road Bakery bread is available on Saturdays.
In the winter of 2016 we started our Raclette & Grilled Cheese Sandwich stall with Victorian Farmers Markets where we showcase some of the fantastic local products that we have available to us in Victoria.

Hard or Soft?
Soft!

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Oh sooooo many! Raw milk Normandy Camembert on a baguette with a Normandy farmhouse cider (under a tree in France). Or Colston Bassett Stilton and La Sirene Praline (chocolate stout). Also required is a cold rainy day and an open fire.

Bruny Island Beer Co.

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It’s not just cheese that Bruny Island is known for. Nick Haddow of Bruny Island Cheese Co. also runs a beer business, with brewer Evan Hunter (formerly of Tasmanian stalwarts Seven Sheds, Moo Brew and Lark Distillery). Learn a bit about Bruny Island Beer Co. below.

Tell us your story!
Bruny Island Beer Co. started with a conversation between a cheesemaker and a brewer. Nick Haddow and Evan Hunter designed the brewery around a shared enthusiasm for fermentation and regionally distinctive, artisan produce. The brewery was built behind the cheesery in Great Bay, Bruny Island and our first beer was released in February 2016.

The unique brewhouse has been built to Evan’s specifications using recycled dairy equipment sourced from local farms. While we maximise the quality and consistency of our products with a mix of old and modern technology, we practise a simple approach to brewing – one that harks back to older methods of making and maturing beer. We brew slow beer in small batches, and lift, tip and stir everything by hand, knowing that quality is only attainable through determination and hard work.

Try it at Mould Cheese Festival.