Andy Swinscoe wins “Cheesemonger of the Year” at The World Cheese Awards.
The Courtyard Dairy, the specialist cheese shop on the A65 near Settle, North Yorkshire, has followed up its success in winning ‘Best New Cheese Retailer’ at The British Cheese Awards last summer by adding not one, but two prestigious awards at the World Cheese Awards held at the BBC Good Food Show: The Courtyard Dairy itself won ‘Best Cheese Counter’, and their young managing partner, Andy Swinscoe, won ‘Cheesemonger of the Year’ after a hard-fought contest.
Now in its third year, the ‘Best Cheese Counter’ competition is run by the Big Cheese Challenge and sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP. Eighty contestants submitted a written report and photographic evidence of their counter and promotion, which were then short-listed and visited by the judges. The Courtyard Dairy’s success was announced at the popular BBC Good Food Show.
Running alongside that competition was ‘Cheesemonger of the Year’. The short-listed shops sent the most appropriate member of their team to take part in a more practical assessment of their cheesemonger skills, which took place within the World Cheese Arena at BBC Good Food Show. There were six rounds, involving practical skills (cutting and wrapping), knowledge skills (a quiz and a blind tasting), and assessing the cheesemonger’s passion for his product, which culminated with the ‘Cheesemonger of the Year’ title being awarded to Andy Swinscoe, of The Courtyard Dairy.
Andy and his wife Kathy work exclusively with small farmhouse cheese makers, the smallest with a herd of just 40 cows, that make cheese in a traditional manner, often using unpasteurised milk. Andy and Kathy regularly visit each of these cheese-makers so that they can individually select the best batches for The Courtyard Dairy, which are then aged to perfection at the shop premises.
This ethos was something the judges commended, with Patrick McGuigan enthusing, “Andy has visited and made cheese with almost all of his suppliers and remains in constant contact with them, which helps him to source the very best of each batch. The Courtyard Dairy is a brilliant example of how a shop can do great things. Andy and Kathy Swinscoe ‘s shop is truly inspirational”.
In keeping with The Courtyard Dairy’s ethos and attitude towards championing the best possible cheese its online presence was upgraded to ensure that placing orders through the website simple and easy. Cheese orders are sent out via mail order year round including Christmas. If you are looking for advice on choosing the perfect cheese gift click here.
As part of the website upgrade, detailed articles containing lots of information on cheese can be found in the blog section: Learn About Cheese, this includes information on all the cheese makers, Andy’s experiences, on choosing and serving cheese, on ageing cheese as well as much more cheesy advice!