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What’s on your dream cheese board?
To start with, I would have to include Pitchfork; one of my all time favourite cheddars, made by the Trethowan Brothers in Somerset, it has a punchy, full-bodied flavour with a really creamy texture. Continuing with the hard cheeses, next up I would pick Old Winchester; I love the crystalline texture and nutty, tangy flavour of this cheddar/gouda hybrid.
Every cheeseboard needs a blue, and in my case it would have to be Hartington’s Creamery Blue Stilton, it has such a superb texture and taste. Being the smallest stilton producer in the UK, their cheese is much less bitter than other recognised blues, which I prefer.
My soft cheeses would include Baron Bigod from Fen Farm in Suffolk, their cows milk brie is especially delicious when ripened, as this brings out the mushroom, nutty flavour in the rind, as well as Eve Goat’s cheese by White Lake Cheese, Somerset. Washed in Somerset Cider Brandy and wrapped in a vine leaf, this cheese is soft and nutty; the beautiful green will also stand out on your cheese board.
What’s your all-time favourite cheese pairing?
I am really into pink pickled onions at the moment and they go so well with a good quality cheddar, the flavours just complement one another so well.
Any unusual pairings you’d recommend?
One thing I like to do before preparing a cheese board is to freeze red grapes. When frozen, they turn into mini sorbets, which pair beautifully with cheese as well as providing the perfect palate cleanser.
What do you love to drink with cheese?
I would have always said Red Wine, but recently I have really enjoyed a white with a cheese board, particularly a Kentish white. Chapel Down’s Bacchus works especially well with a board that has lots of soft, lactic cheeses.
What must-have cheese kit would you recommend?
Firstly, I would recommend you invest in a good quality board to display everything on. I have a huge wooden board that I love to use to showcase cheese; especially great for dinner parties.
I like to keep a bit of space between the cheeses and will normally slot British charcuterie, fruits and nuts in between. You can be really creative with a large cheese board, and display things beautifully.
Secondly, I would invest in a good set of cheese knives. There is nothing worse than trying to cut a hard cheese with a blunt knife, or having to use the same knife for different cheeses. Your guests will definitely thank you for your investment.