Affineur of the Year 2022

Affineur of the Year 2022

Affineur of the Year 2022 Whole CheeseThe first ever Affineur of the Year competition has been founded by Quicke's and the Academy of Cheese, to shine a spotlight on the work of the UK's affineurs and the age-old art of maturing cheese and guiding it to its full potential.

How the competition works

Competitors receive a 27 kg Quicke's Mature truckle from the same vat. They then mature the cheese at their facility for 9 months. During the maturation period, the cheese will be graded and documented on these pages and our social platforms.
At the end of the 9 months the cheese will be judged by a select committee of industry experts at a public event hosted by Quicke's and Academy of Cheese. The winner will be crowned Affineur of the Year 2022 and you will be able to get the chance to taste each participants cheeses.
"The art of affineur is perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of artisan cheesemaking, so we're delighted to be launching a competition that's dedicated to them."

Mary Quicke
 Affineur of the Year 2022- Mary grading Cheese


Neals Yard Dairy

Lincolnshire Poacher


No2 Pound Street

Heritage Cheese

Paxton & Whitfield


Rennet & Rind

This highly respected line-up of cheesemongers and cheesemakers will bring their considerable experience to bear on each truckle of Quicke’s cheddar, using a combination of science and artistry honed over many decades. The cheeses will be graded along the way, with grading sheets shared online, and will ultimately be judged on aspects including flavour, aroma, texture, appearance and innovation, before the Affineur of the Year 2022 is crowned.

Mary Quicke MBE explains: “The art of the affineur is perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of artisan cheesemaking, so we’re delighted to be launching a competition that’s dedicated to them. We know from experience that the hard work of our farmers and cheesemakers can be elevated or squandered in the maturing rooms, so it’s incredibly exciting to be packing our cheddar off to such a diverse range of cheese businesses across the country. Having experimented with this once before when we swapped truckles with Montgomery’s Cheddar in 2017, we know we’re in for plenty of surprises in nine months’ time!”

Tracey Colley, director of the Academy of Cheese, commented: “We’re so happy to be shining a spotlight on the work of the UK’s affineurs, as we owe so much of the recent British cheese renaissance to their skills and expertise. Time is the secret ingredient in so many great cheeses and the affineur has the all-important role of making sure that those weeks and months in the maturing rooms are put to good use! With so many of the cheese industry’s brightest and best taking part, this is going to be a wonderful way to bring the Academy of Cheese’s Maturing, Affinage & Grading modules to life.”

The Affineur of the Year 2022 competition commenced on Tuesday 18 May, with judging set to take place on Thursday 24 February 2022 at a live consumer and trade event, hosted by Quicke’s and the Academy of Cheese.


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