11 Sept 2011

A temperamental little cheese

'A bit of a prima donna'
Petite, curvaceous and with delicate dusky skin, Golden Cenarth has become a pin-up of the cheese world, but there’s more to this Welsh beauty than stunning looks. Made with organic milk from the verdant Teifi Valley and hand washed in cider, the cheese has a rounded character taking in nutty, savoury flavours and a rich creamy depth.

Judges at last year’s British Cheese Awards were certainly swept off their feet by its charms. They awarded it the ultimate compliment by naming Golden Cenarth Supreme Champion ahead of over 900 other cheeses in the competition. What made the accolade even more remarkable was that the cheese had only been launched two years previously – a meteoric rise that is almost unheard of in the dairy world where cheeses often take up to five years to achieve such recognition.

The overnight fame and adulation has not come without its fair share of heartache, however. Carwyn Adams, MD of Camarthenshire-based Caws Cenarth, which makes the cheese, admits that like all true superstars Golden Cenarth can be a bit of a prima donna.

“It’s quite a temperamental little cheese,” he says. “If we don’t get conditions spot on, it doesn’t thrive at all. To be honest, it’s been the bane of our life trying to get it right, so winning the award made it all worthwhile.” 

To read the rest of this article, which was first published in the September edition of Harrods Magazine, click here

10 Sept 2011

Can I get the bill and some Stinking Bishop, please?

La Cave a Fromage has opened a cheese room as part of the new Bistro du Vin restaurant in Soho and is in talks with another restaurant group about the concept.

Part of the Hotel du Vin group, Bistro du Vin was launched earlier this year as a stand-alone restaurant brand with sites in Clerkenwell and Soho. The temperature-controlled cheese room at the Soho branch, which opened in July, houses around 80 British, French and Italian artisan cheeses and a selection of charcuterie supplied by La Cave a Fromage's parent company Premier Cheese. 

Choose your cheese board to eat in or take away
The restaurant serves a cheese and charcuterie platter starting at £8.95 per person and an eat-as-much-as-you-like cheese board for £12.50 per person. Customers can also buy cheese to takeaway and specialist staff trained by La Cave are on-hand to explain the range. 

“We are always looking to spread the word on cheese and get more people to experiment and taste, so this is another interesting avenue,” said director Amnon Paldi, who operates two shops in Kensington and Brighton and the wholesale business with Eric Charriaux. “We are also talking to another restaurant group about the concept and will hopefully announce something in October.”

Bistro du Vin plans to open two more sites in London this year in Chiswick and Shoreditch, and is aiming for a total of 10-12 sites in the capital in the next 18 months.
Since opening, the cheese room has proved particularly popular with women, said Paldi.

“It's something we've also noticed in our shops over the past 3-4 years,” he said. “More and more women are eating cheese and are interested in stronger more unusual products, like washed rind cheeses.”

* First published in the Cheeswire section of Fine Food Digest's September 2011 issue. Click here