Buchanan’s London shop wins Cheese Counter of the Year
Less than two years after opening, Rhuaridh Buchanan’s London cheese shop has collected the title Le Gruyère AOP Cheese Counter of the Year.
The news was announced at the World Cheese Awards 2015 dinner in Birmingham’s NEC last night (November 26) which also saw traditional farmhouse cheddar queen Mary Quicke presented with the annual Exceptional Contribution to Cheese award.
Buchanan spent a decade honing his skills with leading cheese-makers, affineurs and cheesemongers, including a stint as manager of Paxton & Whitfield’s flagship Jermyn Street store, before opening Buchanan’s Cheesemonger.
Paxton’s shop in Stratford upon Avon took second place in this year’s competition, with La Cave a Fromage in Hove, East Sussex, coming third.
Buchanan set up his shop and maturing room on a quiet street close to the Edgware Road and Marble Arch in 2014.
Judges were impressed with its “beautifully presented cheese counter and incredibly knowledgeable staff, encouraging customers to taste the cheese without overwhelming them with too much information”.
They said Buchanan had “one of the finest palates in the business”, evident not just from the cheese selection but also from the range of wine, beer, tea, saki and cider he has chosen to match with cheese. “We also liked the details: Roquefort-print wallpaper in the small tasting room, a customised bicycle to deliver to restaurants and a basket full of Kentish cobnuts at the till. They help give the shop a unique personality.”
Buchanan’s supplies some of London’s top restaurants and offers a daily changing line-up of 25-30 British and European cheeses.
Highly commended in this year’s competition were: Arch House Deli, Clifton; Aston Marina Farm Shop, Staffordshire; The Cheese Hamlet, Manchester; The Cheese Yard, Knutsford; The Old Cheese Shop of St Andrews, St Andrews; Rippon Cheese, London; and Sourced Market, London
The World Cheese Awards, organised by The Guild of Fine Food, took place at the NEC in Birmingham on Thursday November 26, with around 2,700 cheeses and over 250 judges coming together under one roof.
The 2016 World Cheese Awards will be held in San Sebastián in the Basque Country, during its tenure as European Capital of Culture, forming part of the International Cheese Festival from November 16-19.