10 April 2018, 03:16 AM
  • The British Cheese Awards 2018 has announced that the competition to find Britain’s best young cheesemonger for 2018 is now open for entries
Entries for Britain’s Best Young Cheesemonger 2018 now open

The Young Cheesemonger 2018 competition is open to cheesemongers under the age of 30 and is sponsored by Rowcliffe, Britain’s leading direct importer and distributor of fine cheeses to the specialist independent trade.

Cheesemongers who are interested in taking part in the competition can download the entry form here

The entry form consists of a brief history about the entrants’ work in cheese and a response to the following question: You have £20 to shop for a cheeseboard for six people – which British cheeses would you buy?

The closing date for submitting completed entry forms is Friday 27th April.

Judges from the British Cheese Awards committee will select eight finalists from the entries to attend the competition on Thursday 31st May 2018 at the Royal Bath & West Show.

On the day finalists will take part in four rounds: round one - Cheeseboard Proposal & Discussion where they will discuss their cheeseboard selection; round two - a Cut & Wrap exercise where they will have to cut and wrap different weights of cheese from whole cheeses by sight with no use of weighing scales; round three – Identification, where contestants will have to taste and identify a number of unmarked cheeses; and round four - where each contestant will take part in a Mastermind-style quiz and give responses to questions asked about British cheese. The winner will be announced later the same day.

The competition is part of the British Cheese Awards 2018, the pre-eminent cheese event in the UK and a great celebration of British cheese. The British Cheese Awards take place on Wednesday 30th May 2018 at the Royal Bath & West Show, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

Peter Mitchell, chairman of the British Cheese Awards said, “We’re delighted to welcome this competition back for its third year at the British Cheese Awards thanks to the generous support from Anthony Rowcliffe & Son. It’s an important competition for the British cheese industry as it promotes the key role of cheesemongers whilst engaging with the younger generation on the wonderful world of cheese. I’m very much looking forward to reading the entry forms, helping to select the finalists and to watching the competition on the day. ”

Tim Rowcliffe, chairman of Rowcliffe said, “Three years ago I was judging at the British Cheese Awards and realized that there were many events celebrating the fantastic cheese products, the producers and cheese shops who sell these products. However, there was a clear gap in celebrating the thousands of hard working people who actually cut and wrap these wonderful cheeses in deli counters across the UK.

“For that reason the ‘Young Cheesemonger’ award was created with the focus being on the up and coming talent amongst the younger dedicated people. It’s been long overdue and the inaugural event kicked off in 2016 with great results. As Britain’s foremost distributor of award winning cheese from small producers, I feel this craft needs to be kept alive! After all they are the ones who wave the flag for the products, the producers, the stores and the industry.”

Last year’s winner was Andrew Van Kralingen, a trade manager from the UK’s oldest cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield, London. He said, “Competing in and winning the Young British Cheesemonger competition last year was a great experience. I felt quite nervous going into it as I wanted to do well for the company and myself. However, once the first round started those nerves went away. The competition ran throughout the day, which meant that as contestants we were able to use the time we had spare to talk to each other about our work.

“I am looking forward to returning to the BCAs as a judge and I wish this year’s competitors good luck. I encourage any young person currently working as a cheesemonger to seriously consider applying for the competition. It is a great way to meet like minded people, learn more about the industry and partake in the sharing and growing of cheese knowledge in the UK.”