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The Virtual Cheese Awards was established in 2020 to celebrate British cheesemakers who were struggling in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now in its third year, the awards are encouraging British cheesemakers to send in their entries by the 20th March 2022 to be in with a chance of winning a selection of unmissable prizes worth over £9,000.
On the judging panel
This year’s judging panel consists of an eclectic mix of cheese buyers, cheesemongers, and cheese experts.
Some of the UK’s most respected cheese buyers, including Alan Kirby, cheese buyer at Booths, Chris Dawson, senior cheese buyer at M&S and Russell Haggata, technical category manager for cheese at Morrisons will be on the panel, giving their expertise on quality and innovation.
Britain also has a wealth of independent, highly experienced cheesemongers and experts who are at the forefront of promoting the best of British cheese.
The awards welcome cheese experts Hero Hirsh, Paxton & Whitfield, Perry Wakeman, Rennet & Rind, Bronwen Percival, Neals Yard Dairy, Morgan McGlynn, Cheese of Muswell Hill, Emma Young, Cheese Explorer, Nikki Phelp, Harvey & Brockless, Ruth Holbrook, The Newt and former Paxton & Whitfield head of wholesale, Jayne Hicken Botham, Dee Dairy and Terry Hudson to the judging panel.
Sarah de Wit, founder of Virtual Cheese Awards told Speciality Food: “We’re incredibly lucky that so many of the UK’s most prominent and experienced cheese experts are joining our judging panel this year. This is a testament to the fantastic quality and innovation that is flourishing in our great British cheese industry. I urge cheesemakers to get their entries in asap and be part of this celebration of cheese.”
For this year’s awards, there will be four new Excellence Awards to celebrate the people behind the cheese; Young Cheesemaker, Cheese Hero and New Cheesemaker awards. There is also an award recognising Sustainability in the dairy industry which is sponsored by Wyke Farms.
These new Excellence awards will help celebrate the diversity and quality of British dairy and promote what is an exciting and thriving industry for future cheesemakers to join.
This year’s winner of The Virtual Cheese Awards Best of British cheese will receive:
Free editorial features and digital coverage in Speciality Food magazine and Great British Food magazine worth £4,000
Opportunity to have the winning cheese showcased at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair by the VCA team worth approximately £5,000
A Level 1 Academy of Cheese courses and a year’s subscription worth over £300
A pair of return Eurostar tickets
The Virtual Cheese Awards’ live final will be held on Friday 13th May 2022, and entries close on Sunday 20th March 2022. Anyone can nominate an individual or business free of charge.
You can enter the awards here: https://www.virtualcheeseawards.com/