Scotland’s George Mewes wins Cheese Counter of the Year
Glasgow cheesemonger George Mewes has won the 2014 Cheese Counter of the Year competition, sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP and run by the Guild of Fine Food, four years after opening his shop in the city’s Byres Road.
The news was announced at the World Cheese Awards today (November 14), with two London retailers – Androuet in Old Spitalfields Market and Buchanans Cheesemonger in Porchester Place – taking second and third place respectively.
George Mewes Cheese assistant manager Stephen Sweet collected the winner’s trophy from Helen Daysh of Le Gruyère UK at the World Cheese Awards judges’ lunch, attended by over 200 international cheese experts.
Mewes was a chef for 25 years before focusing on cheese nine years ago, and set up his shop in 2010. It now opens seven days a week.
Cheeses are displayed in the open, allowing shoppers to see the product without a barrier, with wedges cut to size for each customer.
Judges praised the look of the counter with its “towers of cheddar truckles, pretty stacks of goats’ cheeses, and shards of Parmigiano Reggiano, all stored in the temperature controlled atmosphere of George’s shop”.
Mewes has built his business on close working relationships with producers, buying Scottish cheeses directly from farmers such as Tricia Bey at Barwheys Dairy, who also visits the shop to hold tastings.
Varieties such as Gorgonzola and Parmigiano are sourced directly from cheese-makers in Italy in collaboration with Andy Swinscoe of The Courtyard Dairy in Yorkshire – last year’s winner of Cheese Counter of the Year.
The other finalists in this year’s Cheese Counter of the Year competition were Partridges (London), Paxton & Whitfield (Bath), The Hungry Guest (West Sussex), Rippon Cheese (London), Liverpool Cheese Company (Liverpool), Cheese Plate (Hertfordshire) and Hinchliffes Farm Shop (Huddersfield).