Meet the Judges

Meet our panel of specialist judges who will the taste the wonderful cheeses shortlisted through your votes. Watch this space as we will announce more judges in the coming weeks.

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Brian Turner

Brian Turner CBE, chef restaurateur, is one of Britain's best known chefs, a familiar face on our TV screens over the years including 'Saturday Kitchen, 'My Life On A Plate' and 'Taste of Britain', where with Janet Street Porter he explores the best seasonal ingredients around the UK. Brian is known throughout the industry for his work with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, of which he is President.

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Chantelle Nicholson

Chantelle Nicholson is one of the UK’s leading female names in the hospitality industry. Her impressive achievements and ascent on the culinary career ladder set her apart as a remarkable talent and a source of inspiration to women across the UK. Chantelle’s contribution to hospitality alongside cookery books and film consultancy places her in the spotlight as one to watch, and one who is making waves in the industry.

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Galton Blackiston

Galton Blackiston, a long time champion of local Norfolk produce, has enjoyed over twenty years in the Good Food Guide for the high quality, unpretentious food he serves up at Michelin-starred Morston Hall. Galton has held a Michelin star for 14 years and has also held titles of UK Craft Guild of Chefs ‘Chef of the year’, East Anglian Chef of the Year and Fellow of the Craft Guild of Chefs. Galton has appeared on 'Great British Menu' and is a popular regular face on 'Saturday Kitchen'.

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Adam Woodyatt

Actor, Adam Woodyatt, is a very familiar face on our TV screens as one Britain's biggest soap stars. He's also an avid foodie. He co-authors the food blog - Peregrinations with a Pesky Pescatarian with his wife Beverley, carrying out reviews of restaurants and their food experiences around the country. No stranger to a cheese board, they certainly know their blues from the bloomy rinds and value the importance of artisan cheese across the UK.

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Jane Devonshire

Since winning MasterChef in 2016, Jane has taken the bull by the food horns and tested herself further by working with a number of amazing chefs including Marcus Wareing, Atul Kochhar, Jason Atherton, Michel Roux and Michael O’Hare at their restaurants. Jane has presented at numerous Food & Drink Shows around the UK including BBC Good Food Show, Foodies and many others. Her travels have taken her from Edinburgh to Brighton and loads in-between where she is a champion of British food, farmers and producers.

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Patrick McGuigan

Patrick McGuigan is a freelance food journalist and cheese writer. He writes for Harrods Magazine, The Telegraph and Restaurant magazine, and is a judge at various cheese awards. He's been lucky enough to meet, interview and make cheese with some of the UK's best cheesemakers. He also runs regular cheese tastings for the public and trade and is the co-founder of the London Cheese Project festival.

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Regula Ysewijn

Regula Ysewijn is the author of two books on food history and culture. She has been writing for publications for years and also publishes her award-winning blog www.missfoodwise.com. Everywhere she visits she tries to explore the local cheese and she is also loves to make cheese herself. Regula has been a judge for the Great Taste Awards for the last six years and also completed a cheese training with them. In her home country Belgium she is one of the two judges on the Belgian version of the Great British Bake Off.

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Paul Thomas

Paul Thomas is a freelance dairy technologist with over a decade of experience as a cheesemaker and affineur. He works with farmhouse & artisan cheesemakers in the UK, and internationally, to develop new products and troubleshoot cheese recipes. He is the tutor on practical cheesemaking courses at The School of Artisan Food and River Cottage and is one of five writers preparing a dairy hygiene guide for the European Commission.

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Felicity Spector

Felicity Spector is chief writer at Channel 4 news, but writes about food in her spare time for all sorts of publications from the Telegraph to Great British Chefs. She has been a judge-co-ordinator in the Great Taste awards for the last eight years, as well as the World Cheese Awards. Her food travels have taken her all over the world, from the bakeries of San Francisco and LA, to the Comte cheese dairies and ageing cellars in the Jura mountains of France.

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Mathew Carver

Mathew Carver started his cheese-selling career driving the length and breadth of the UK in a 1970s Bedford ice cream van called Alfie, from which he sold the ultimate grilled cheese sandwiches, made with small producer cheeses sourced from the best British dairies. Fast forward three years, and in 2017 he opened his first full cheese-focused restaurant - The Cheese Bar in Camden Town with a menu promoting the very best British cheesemakers. He’s passionate about promoting British produce.

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Katherine Alano

Katherine Alano has worked on industry title The Caterer for over 10 years. She has a great knowledge of the industry, food and chefs. An avid cook, she will often try new recipes inspired by the places she visits. She loves a good strong cheddar, served simply with some crackers and sweet onion chutney!