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Feltham’s Farm scooped the title of Best British Cheese for the second year running at the 2021 Virtual Cheese Awards. Held live on 7th May, the virtual event was hosted by BBC broadcaster and local food and drink champion Nigel Barden, and watched by thousands.
The Somerset cheesemaker’s Spanish-inspired fresh young cow’s milk cheese, La Fresca Margarita, beat hundreds of entrants from across the UK. In 2020, Feltham’s Farm won the top accolade with Renegade Monk, a soft blue cow’s milk cheese.
“We are completely blown away by this win,” said Marcus Fergusson, cheesemaker and owner of Feltham’s Farm. “La Fresca Margarita is a lovely queso fresco we developed over lockdown as a counterbalance to our pungent washed rind cheeses. We loved how it engaged the judges in a different conversation about what to expect from a fresh cheese.”
Feltham’s Farm’s prize includes £4,000 worth of coverage in Speciality Food and its sister consumer title, Great British Food, as headline media partners of the event.
Joint silver was awarded to Harvey & Brockless by Cellar Dairy for its goat’s cheese Blanche and Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses for its oak-fired Red Leicester Smouldering Ember. Wyke Farms took bronze for its Ivy’s Reserve Vintage Cheddar.
The winners of Best of British cheese across the final seven categories were:
Isle of Mull Cheese won a trophy for sustainability thanks to its commitment to farming responsibly; Ryan Gee from Hartington Creamery won young cheesemaker of the year; and Shepherds Purse was awarded the title of Cheese Hero for the launch of its Fettle cheese, which gave a lifeline to sheep milk producers during Covid-19.
The Virtual Cheese Awards was created by Sarah de Wit in 2020 to celebrate and support Britain’s cheese industry amid the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the success of the second edition, Sarah said, “We’re so grateful to everyone who took part in and supported the awards this year. It was a real celebration of all that is brilliant about British cheese. Feltham’s Farm winning for a Spanish-inspired fresh cheese just shows how innovative our dairy industry is. They take inspiration from cheeses from around the world and give them a bit of British spice.
“It’s vitally important that we continue to support our Great British cheese industry by seeking out and buying new and exciting cheeses, which is now so simple with the growth of online cheese shops. We will be donating money from the event to a Specialist Cheesemakers Association bursary fund which will support British cheesemakers of the future,” Sarah said.
To view the full list of winners, head to virtualcheeseawards.com.