5 cheese pairing ideas with Rory Mellis, I.J. Mellis

09 December 2022, 09:24 AM
  • Rory Mellis, director at I.J. Mellis, shares what's on his festive cheeseboard and what he likes to drink with cheese with Speciality Food readers
5 cheese pairing ideas with Rory Mellis, I.J. Mellis

What’s on your dream cheeseboard?
During the festive period, it would have to be Gorwydd Caerphilly, Colston Basset Stilton, Wigmore, Durrus Og and Bonnet.

The milk in Caerphilly, Stilton and Wigmore has higher fat content at this time of year, so the cheeses are at their very best. Bonnet has always had a special place on a Mellis family cheeseboard because we mature it ourselves.

Durrus Og is a relatively new cheese and it’s become one of the seasonal cheeses we only bring to the bench at Christmas. It is younger than the original Durrus and the flavours are more subtle – a perfect contrast to the other cheeses on the board.

What’s your all-time favourite cheese pairing?
You can’t beat a classic: ham and cheese.

Any unusual pairings you’d recommend?
Tunworth – an English take on a Camembert, made by Stacey Hedges – and chilli oil. We like to use Halfway Chilli Oil, a mild, Sichuan-inspired chilli oil made by the team at Halfway Kitchen. The warmth from the oil adds a satisfying kick to the delicate and nutty cheese.

What do you love to drink with cheese?
A glass of not-too-heavy red wine, the kind that you should be drinking with cheese, like a Gamay, a Beaujolais or a new world Malbec. The idea is to not let the wine overpower the cheese. We serve some of our favourites in our Cheese Lounge.

What must-have cheese kit would you recommend?
A good knife. A pocket Laguiole, if you’re feeling fancy.

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