Cuisine Champions of Cheese announced tonight
Media release : 4 March 2008
Cuisine Champions of Cheese Awards 2008 winners announced tonight
New Zealand’s top cheeses in the Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards 2008 will be announced tonight (4 March) at a gala dinner at SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland.
The only national competition of its kind in New Zealand, the Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards recognise and showcase the crème de la crème of the cheesemaking industry.
Over 400 entries in this year’s awards were judged by a panel of 26 industry experts, headed by international cheese expert and Master Judge Neil Willman, last Sunday at Massey University in Albany.
New Zealand’s top cheddars, best blues, creamiest bries and sharpest fetas will be revealed at a gala dinner tonight attended by the biggest players in the industry and the smallest artisan producers.
Cheeses will be awarded in 20 categories covering all milk and cheese types. These include fresh unripened, feta, soft white rind, washed rind, blue, European style, Dutch Style, flavoured and cheddar cheese as well as awards for new and original cheese, top cheesemaker, best cheese packaging and leading export cheese.
The two top accolades – the Taylor’s Port Champion of Champions Cheese and the new Cuisine Artisan Award – will be selected from the top performing category winners. The Cuisine Artisan award has been added to recognise this ever-increasing group of small, artisan producers springing up around the country who are producing 10 tonnes of cheese or less per annum.
The public will get a chance to taste all of the 400 entries at CheeseFest on March 5. This exciting event will be held at the SKYCITY Convention Centre from 5-8pm on Wednesday March 5th 2008. For a modest fee of $35, CheeseFest attendees will be able to sample over 400 of NZ's finest specialty cheeses from the awards accompanied by a complimentary glass of wine and a glass of Taylor’s Port.
Master Judge Neil Willman Profile
Australian Master Cheesemaker and Cheese Grader Neil Willman has been appointed the new Master Judge for the 2008 Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards. Willman is Australia’s only fulltime cheese educator and trainer and has, for 26 years, been responsible for all the cheese education and training programmes at Gilbert Chandler College, Australia’s only dedicated dairy college.
He has been an international judge at the World Championship Cheese Contest and the British Cheese Awards, as well as at previous Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards. Willman has also been chief judge at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, the Royal Sydney Easter Show, CheeseFest in Adelaide, and the Dairy Industry Association of Australia National Dairy Product Competition.
Neil will be in New Zealand from Saturday 1 March to Saturday 8 March for judging and is available for interviews.
Cuisine NZ Champion Cheese Awards 2008 categories:
SKYCITY Champion Fresh Unripened Cheese Award
NZ Cheese School Champion Feta Cheese Award
Innovative Packaging Soft White Rind Cheese Award
NZSCA Champion Goat Cheese Award
Massey University Champion Sheep Cheese Award
New World Champion Washed Rind Cheese Award
Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award
Foodtown Woolworths Champion European Style Cheese Award
Foodtown Woolworths Champion Dutch Style Cheese Award
NZ Food Safety Authority Champion New Cheese Award
Fonterra Champion Original Cheese Award
Hally Labels Champion Flavoured Cheese Award
Hally Labels Champion Cheddar Cheese Award
New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Champion Export Cheese Award
New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award
Curious Design Cheese Packaging Award
Curds & Whey Champion Hobbyist Cheese
Katherine Mowbray Champion Hobbyist Cheesemaker Award
Hospitality Magazine Champion Cheesemaker
Cuisine Champion Artisan Cheese
Taylor’s Port Champion of Champions Award