I was lucky enough to attend a class run by multi Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw and Davidstow's Master Cheese Grader, Mark Pitts-Tucker. I interviewed Mark recently, about his remarkable job. Read that interview here: What it's like to taste 700 cheeses a day. Nathan Outlaw has long teamed up with Cornish cheesemakers Davidstow to help showcase their award-winning long-aged cheddars – the oldest of which (the Three-Year Special Reserve Vintage) is a mainstay of the Cornish cheeseboard at two Michelin-starred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac, Cornwall.
Packed with complex, deeply savoury layers of flavour, with a distinct crumbly texture, their three-year reserve cheddar won Gold in the Vintage Cheese category at the International Cheese Awards at Nantwich in 2014. Their extra mature cheddar, which is aged for eighteen months, is a sweeter cheese, though still intense with bursts of crystalline flavour. When it comes to experiencing and learning food pairings, there's a lot to be said for focusing on one type of food, or one kind of cheese; it's much easier to spot the nuances of flavour. When I make a cheese board myself at home, I usually stick to one cheese so I can truly tailor the accompaniments to it. This reasoning held true in this cheddar and drink pairing class.