Clean sweep as Swinscoe is named Cheesemonger of the Year
North Yorkshire’s Andy Swinscoe has secured his place among the UK’s best speciality retailers by winning the Le Gruyére AOP Cheesemonger of the Year competition at the World Cheese Awards.
It comes just a day after his shop, The Courtyard Dairy in Settle, took the Best Cheese Counter title.
Run by the Guild of Fine Food, the competition – now its second year – was staged in front of a consumer audience at the NEC on the day after the 2013 World Cheese Awards judging.
Swinscoe (pictured) was up against four other top cheesemongers: Jenny Pettitt of London’s Cheddar Deli, Toby Archer of the Cheese Plate in Hertfordshire, Lavinia Cooke from Delifonseca in Liverpool and Matt Bunch of Paxton & Whitfield in London.
Pettitt and Archer were named joint runners-up in the contest, which was judged by four cheese experts: international cheese judge and distributor Carlos Yescas, World Cheese Awards chairman Bob Farrand, Le Gruyère AOP’s UK sales promotion manager Helen Daysh and FFD news editor Patrick McGuigan.
With judging rounds including ‘A Cut Above’, ‘Wrapper’s Delight’, ‘The Odd Couple’ and ‘Curd Nerds’, the Cheesemonger of the Year competition is unlike any other fine food contest.
Where most focus on exceptional quality products, this one tests the knowledge and skills of those behind the counter in delis, farm shops and food halls.
The five finalists had to prove they could cut cheese, wrap cheese, pair cheese with wine or beer, enthuse about cheese, and generally display a “Curd Nerd’s” knowledge of cheese better than anyone else in the UK.