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Great British Cheese Awards 2017: the results

Great British Cheese Awards 2017: the results

by Great British Chefs 12 October 2017

The great and good of British cheesemaking met in London to hear the results of the second Great British Cheese awards, which celebrates the hardworking people in the UK’s artisan cheese industry. See who won and what the awards meant to them.


The Great British Cheese Awards, put on in partnership with Peter’s Yard, returned for a second year in 2017 to award the best and brightest in British cheesemaking. This year’s ceremony was held at The Gilbert Scott, in London, and saw the cream of the cheesemaking crop come together for an afternoon – and to find out who would take home an award.

Our awards differ from the majority of cheese competitions, as we let the public nominate and vote for their favourite cheeses, retailers and producers. Those with the most votes are then judged by an expert panel, who choose the overall winners. Every one of the runners-up and winners should be very proud of what they’ve achieved – take a look at who was awarded the top prizes below.

The winners

People’s Choice – Cornish Blue

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For the second year running the Cornish Cheese Company amassed more votes than any other cheese in the competition, clinching the People’s Choice award once more. ‘It feels tremendous as it’s such a great accolade to win,’ said owner Phillip Stansfield. ‘We do a lot of social media and work with our customers whenever we can, so it’s a great award to shout about. I think our cheese appeals to a broad spectrum of people as it’s not very harsh and has a full flavour.’

Runners-up: Godminster Organic Brie and Cornish Yarg

Best Artisan Cheese Producer – Fen Farm Dairy

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Fen Farm Dairy has become well-known for its ecological approach to cheesemaking, using heat exchange technology which uses the warmth of fresh cow’s milk to heat the water used for cleaning the creamery. But it’s the cheese they produce that really stands out. ‘For us this is a really important award as it’s for our cheese rather than our approach to business,’ said Jonny Crickmore. ‘We’ve only been making cheese for fourteen months, so it’s astounding – it’s kind of blown me away. I guess we might’ve won because we do the whole package; we’re passionate about being farmers and cheesemakers, have our own milk, look after the land and soil, then make and sell the cheese.’

Runners-up: Errington Cheese and Cote Hill Cheese

Best Speciality Cheese Retailer – The Bristol Cheesemonger

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The best cheese shop in the UK went to The Bristol Cheesemonger founded by Rosie Morgan, who actually had her first taste of selling cheese at Country Cheeses – last year’s winners and this year’s runner-up. ‘It’s a bit of a shock as I didn’t expect to win, and I was already incredibly honoured just to make it to the final,’ said Rosie. ‘I suppose I might’ve won because I do everything on my own, have a huge amount of love for what I do and am part of a younger generation of cheesemongers. Everyone else in the category are such wonderful retailers, and we all champion local cheeses – it’s certainly a passion.’

Runners-up: Country Cheeses and George & Joseph Cheesemongers

Best Blue Cheese – Barkham Blue

Two Hoots Cheese produces Barkham Blue outside of Reading, and for the second year they took home the award for Best Blue. ‘It’s unbelievable really because we were up against some really stiff competition, and to win it for a second year is amazing,’ said Andy Rose, who owns Two Hoots cheese with his wife Sandy. ‘I think this awards ceremony is really nice and intimate – usually everyone is spread out over lots of tables, but this way we get to talk to all the other cheesemakers.’

Runners-up: Beenleigh Blue and Lanark Blue

Best Soft Cheese – Tunworth

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Tunworth, in its iconic wooden box, has won countless awards over the years, and to be named Best Soft is yet another confirmation of cheesemaker Stacey Hedges’ skill. Made in Hampshire, it is a camembert-style cheese with a rich, earthy, mushroomy flavour.

Runners-up: Renegade Monk and Wigmore

Best Hard Cheese – Lincolnshire Poacher

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Lincolnshire Poacher has been a firm favourite amongst cheese connoisseurs for many years, and this award cemented its place as one of the UK’s best cheeses. ‘It’s hugely, hugely exciting to win,’ said cheesemaker Tim Jones. ‘It was a very tough category with several really strong cheeses up against us, so we are absolutely thrilled to win. It’s a huge accolade for us, and we’re very excited to tell people about it.’

Runners-up: Hafod Cheddar and Cornish Yarg

Best New Cheese Producer – Norton & Yarrow

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This category was for those who only started producing cheese in the past five years, and Norton & Yarrow’s Sinodun Hill – a soft goat’s milk cheese created in 2016 – wowed the judges. ‘It feels brilliant – we weren’t expecting it at all,’ said Rachel Yarrow. ‘All the other producers in the category were fantastic. My husband Fraser and I are really obsessed with cheese, and a lot of our conversations in the evening usually revolve around it. We look at every tiny detail when it comes to making it, too – I think that’s why we won this award.’

Runners-up: Whin Yeats Dairy and Nettlebed Dairy

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