Building upon the success of this first year, and to widespread industry approval, the Academy of Cheese and Quicke’s are delighted to be extending the competition out to include four different kinds of cheese, to encompass a larger spectrum of affinage techniques. The cheeses have been selected, based on the Academy’s Make / Post-Make model, and include:
ONE WEEK OLD QUICKE'S CHEDDAR 8kg
TWO-WEEK-OLD CROPWELL BISHOP- BLUE STILTON- 8KG
THREE-DAY-OLD FEN FARM DAIRY BARON BIGOD BRIE -3KG
SOFT/EXTERNAL MOULD RIPENED
TWO-WEEK-OLD WHITE LAKE SOLSTICE- 180G
How the competition works
Competitors receive the above cheese through this year and the beginning of next. They then mature the cheese at their facility for varying lengths of time depending on the cheese. During the maturation period, the cheese will be graded and documented on our social platforms.
Neals Yard Dairy
No2 Pound Street
Paxton & Whitfield
The Cheese Lady
Fine Cheese Co. Bath
and last years winner 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 2023 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 2023 competition commenced in June 22, with judging set to take place at the China Exchange in London, on 14th June 2023 as a live consumer and trade event, hosted by Quicke’s and the Academy of Cheese.