For years now, WBC has been a big supporter of the Guild of Fine Food. From our shared collaborations at the annual Speciality & Fine Food Fair and the Harrogate Fine Food shows, to our partnership in running the Guild Retail Cheese Training Courses in the WBC showroom; it goes without saying we love The Guild! So when I was asked by Director John Farrand to participate as a judge in this year in the World Cheese Awards I was honoured.
Hosted by the Guild and held at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham’s NEC convention centre last week, this world event has been going strong for the past 25 years. It consists of 250 judges and attract some 2,727 cheese entries from all over the world.
Judging took place in groups of 4-5 and for diversity sake comprised of cheese producers, retailers, distributors and industry experts. Each judge brought their expertise to the competition allowing for all vantage points of each cheese to be considered.
The World Cheese Award’s founder Bob Ferrand gave an impassioned speech at the gala dinner held in the evening once all the cheeses had been judged.
Cheddar maker Mary Quicke of Quicke’s received the Exceptional Contribution to Cheese Award and Rhuaridh Buchanan received the Cheese Counter of the Year award for his fashionable London cheese shop, Buchanan’s Cheesemonger.
The winning cheese of the competition went to a Gruyere AOP Premier Cru from Cremo SA’s von Muhlenen brand, which collected 69 points out of a possible 80 from the judging panel.
Over sixty cheeses were awarded Supergolds this year selected from the best cheeses on each judging table. The list of all major winners can be accessed here: Results 2015.
Award ceremonies like this help tremendously in promoting excellence in the industry and have a direct effect on retailers up and down the country. Once a product has been awarded, the retail industry shout loud and proud about that product in towns, cities and villages across the world.
A big thank you to the Guild of Fine Foods for setting the benchmark each year and for bringing producers and manufacturers together to celebrate food & drink and master craftsmanship.