Michelin-Star cookalongs, lockdown cheeses, ethical cheesemaking and pairing music with cheese are all on the bill at this year’s British Cheese Weekender, as the virtual festival reveals its full-line up. Promising three days jam-packed with what cheese dreams are made of, the event will feature cheesemakers, cheesemongers, chefs, authors and a host of other experts from across the UK cheese scene.
On its deep dive into one of the Britain’s best loved foods, the festival will take the nation’s love of cheese to bold new places, with presentations on ‘Cheezy Jazz’ with Marcus Brigstocke, as the comedian pairs six cheeses with six jazz tracks, ‘Eating My Emotions’ with Ellen Hunter from Neal’s Yard Dairy, exploring how cheese is good for the soul, and ‘A New Framework for Tasting Cheese’ with Mary Quicke of Quicke’s, which will unveil a simple new tool to chart the full cheese tasting journey.
Thinking beyond the cheeseboard, top chefs will pay homage to the art of the cheesemaker during a series of recipe tutorials over the weekend, including ‘Cheddar – The Perfect Ingredient’ with chef Tommy Banks and cheesemonger Andy Swinscoe, ‘Westcombe Cheese Dumplings’ with chef Simon Rogan, and ‘The Cheese Barge: Aligot Cooking Demo’ with Mathew Carver, aboard his new floating restaurant. Just added to the line-up, chef Mark Hix will guide viewers through his ‘Black Cow Dorset Fondue & Cocktails’, bringing some of Britain’s best booze into the mix.
Many of the UK’s most respected artisan cheesemakers will also appear at this year’s festival, with virtual visits to Holden Farm Dairy, The Old Cheese Room, The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, White Lake Cheese, The Ethical Dairy and more, accompanied by the finest purveyors of cheese, including The Cheese Geek, No2 Pound Street, The Fine Cheese Co., La Fromagerie, Paxton & Whitfield and George & Joseph.
Cheese writers and commentators, such as Patrick McGuigan, Ned Palmer, Jenny Linford, Sam Wilkin and Katie Quinn will all offer their unique insights into the world of British cheese, alongside industry leaders from the Academy of Cheese, the Guild of Fine Food and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association, while sessions on whisky, wine, pickles, crackers and the art of the cheeseboard will complete the line-up.
British Cheese Weekender 2021 programme:
3:30pm Holden Farm Dairy: Hafod’s Patrick Holden on the farm
4:00pm Harvey & Brockless: Creating seasonal dishes with cheese and foraged leaves
4:30pm GRAPE & Fig: Art of the British cheese grazing board
5:00pm Quicke’s: A New Framework for Tasting Cheese with Mary Quicke
5:30pm L’ecole du Fromage: Why cheese is good for you
6:00pm Opies: Proper pickles – a cheese and pickle masterclass
6:30pm The Old Cheese Room: The Farmstead Cheese Tasting
7:00pm Neal’s Yard Dairy: Eating my Emotions with cheesemonger Ellen Hunter
7:30pm Andy Swinscoe and chef Tommy Banks: Cheddar – the perfect ingredient
8:00pm Francis Gimblett: Gimblett’s British Cheese Road Trip
8:30pm The Cheese Geek: Cult cheeses
9:00pm George & Joseph Cheesemongers vs Mario Olianas: Cheesemaking & Mongering during Covid
9:30pm I.J.Mellis: A cheese and whisky night cap with Rory Mellis
3:30pm Katie Quinn: The Magic of Fermentation
4:00pm Jenny Linford: Blessed are the Cheesemongers
4:30pm The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Co: The Only Cheddar Made In Cheddar
5:00pm Rennet & Rind: The importance of time to artisan cheese
5:30pm Marcus Brigstocke: Cheesy Jazz
6:00pm Tracklements: The magic spoonful – perfect cheese and condiment matches
6:30pm Sam Wilkin: Then and Now with Fen Farm, The Old Cheese Room & Martin Gott
7:00pm No2 Pound Street: Think you know your pasta from your pasta filata?
7:30pm Simon Rogan: Simon Rogan’s Westcombe Cheese Dumplings
8:00pm The Fine Cheese Co: ‘Boarding School’ The Art of The Cheeseboard
8:30pm The Cheese Barge: Aligot Cooking Demo
9:00pm Patrick McGuigan: Lockdown cheeses – how the pandemic led to a new generation of British cheeses
9:30pm WSET & Charlie Turnbull: Academy of Cheese goes to Wine School
3:30pm Emma Young: The Cheese Explorer: Graceburn story & recipes
4:00pm Feltham’s Farm: Branding Cheese & Live Cheese Tasting
4:30pm White Lake Cheese: The Goat’s Cheese Journey from Milk to Mould
5:00pm Ethical Dairy: Closing the Loop
5:30pm Academy of Cheese: An Introduction to Cheesemaking with Paul Thomas
6:00pm Peter’s Yard and The Cheese Geek: The perfect British cheeseboard
6:30pm Ned Palmer: Cheese – You’re Doing it All Wrong!
7:00pm Paxton & Whitfield and Berry Bros. & Rudd: Cheese & wine pairing masterclass
7:30pm Mark Hix: Black Cow Dorset Fondue & Cocktails
8:00pm La Fromagerie: Old school v new wave. The changing face of British cheese with Max Melvin
8:30pm Sharpham cheese & wine: What grows together, goes together
9:00pm After the crisis: the future of British cheese
Organised by cheese writer Patrick McGuigan and Tracey Colley, Academy of Cheese director, supported by the Guild of Fine Food and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association (SCA), and sponsored by Opies, Peter’s Yard and Tracklements, 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.
The British Cheese Weekender 2021 will take place from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 April, running from 3.30pm until 10pm each day. For more information and to tune in, visit britishcheeseweekender.com