26 March 2007, 18:53 PM
  • Brie de Meaux by Renard Gillard was crowned this year’s World Champion Cheese at a special awards ceremony, which took place at IFE07 last week.

World Champion winner Catherine Feve representing Renard Gillard, commented, “I am very proud and honoured to have received three World Cheese Award trophies for our Brie de Meaux and believe this will help us to develop our export business, as England is our 1st export Market. All our efforts to produce a high quality Brie de Meaux with a high level of quality standards (IFS, BRC) have been recognised.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the finals was winner of the Fortnum & Mason trophy for Best English Cheese, the Isle of Wight Cheese Co., beating the mighty Cheddar and Stilton with its Isle of Wight Blue. The shock being that producer, Richard Hodgson, only started making cheeses in September 2006. Indeed Charles Campion, Supreme Judge, commented, “On a blind tasting this very nearly won.” Mr Hodgson comments, “I am completely shocked and delighted. To win Gold is an achievement considering how long I have been making cheese, but to go on and win Best English Cheese is overwhelming”

The judges sliced, bored, sniffed and tasted nearly 2,000 cheeses from more than 600 makers worldwide, ranging from tiny artisan producers to large-scale creameries, to decide which were worthy of bronze, silver and gold awards. All the gold-winning cheeses were then reassessed to select 20 category winners, including the best English and Welsh cheeses, and the 2007 Supreme Champion.