Promising a unique peek behind the rind of artisan cheese in the UK, the British Cheese Weekender will return next month with a packed programme of online masterclasses, cook-alongs, tutored tastings and virtual farm tours.
Taking place from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 April, this year’s festival will include Michelin-Starred Chefs, Simon Rogan and Tommy Banks, comedian and champion of British cheese, Marcus Brigstocke and The Cheese Bar’s Mathew Carver. Sponsored by Opies, Peter’s Yard and Tracklements, the three-day event will also feature many of the nation’s top cheesemakers, cheesemongers and cheese commentators.
Organised by cheese writer Patrick McGuigan and Tracey Colley, Academy of Cheese director, and supported by the Guild of Fine Food and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association (SCA), the second edition of the free online event will be held in honour of the British public, who responded so enthusiastically to last year’s rallying call to support small cheesemakers throughout the lockdown. Following artisan cheesemakers losing up to 80% of their business overnight when the hospitality sector was closed down, the huge outpouring of public support has brought many of Britain’s finest cheeses back from the brink.
With online sales currently soaring, cheese lovers everywhere have gone a long way to safeguarding the future of specialist cheesemaking in Britain, although the vast majority of producers are still way down on income following the long absence of sales from hospitality and foodservice. As pubs and restaurants look set to fully reopen from 17 May, the British Cheese Weekender will call on people to show their support for cheesemakers when eating out, providing a much-needed boost for the hospitality industry in the process.
In the meantime, curd nerds can look forward to a festival like no other, with a line-up assembled from across the cheese community, featuring ‘A British Cheese Road Trip’ with cheese expert Francis Gimblett, ‘Pandemic Cheeses’ with cheese writer Patrick McGuigan, ‘The Art of the Cheese Board’ with The Fine Cheese Co., ‘Flavour Mapping’ with Mary Quicke of Quicke’s and ‘Cult Cheeses’ with The Cheese Geek.
Virtual festivalgoers will be encouraged to buy plenty of cheese to get the full sensory experience and will be able to cook-along with top chefs each night, as Simon Rogan, Tommy Banks and Mathew Carver put cheese centre stage in their dishes.
The British Cheese Weekender 2021 will take place from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 April, running from 5pm until 10pm each day. For more visit britishcheeseweekender.com