Meet the 2018 Judges

Meet the panel of specialist judges who will taste the wonderful cheeses shortlisted through your votes in 2018. Watch this space as we will add more judges for the awards in the coming weeks.

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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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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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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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Tracey Colley

Tracey has worked in the cheese industry for over 15 years; as an award winning deli owner, an Account Manager and Events Organiser for fine food Distributor Harvey & Brockless and currently as a Founding Director of the Academy of Cheese. Despite having a broad knowledge of most aspects of the cheese world Tracey still believes there is always more to learn! She has been a judge for World Cheese Awards, International Cheese Awards for many years and most recently Artisan Cheese Awards.

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Robin Gill

Dublin-born Robin Gill has worked under revered chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc, but his own string of restaurants – The Dairy, Sorella and Counter Culture – are relaxed, innovative and very exciting. Robin has a love of home grown British goods. As well as having his own curing room, Robin set up beehives and a kitchen garden on the roof of his restaurant. He is co-host and judge of MasterChef Ireland

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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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Shane Holland

Shane Holland is Executive Chairman of Slow Food in the UK, and a stalwart campaigner for quality artisan production. A cheese expert, he judges cheese competitions across the UK and in Europe; and via his sell out events at food festivals such as Abergavenny, Ludlow and Dartmouth he implores the public to think beyond block cheddar. A self-confessed curd nerd, he writes for numerous publications and is frequently to be heard on radio discussing why cheese tastes so very delicious.

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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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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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Adam Woodyatt

Actor, Adam Woodyatt, is a very familiar face on our TV screens as one of 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. Together they recently created a new gin company Neat Gin. 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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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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Owen Davies

Owen began his journey through the world of cheese 15 years ago; buying cheese for London wholesaler Huge Cheese. He now heads up sourcing the finest artisan cheeses from farmhouse producers in the UK and the Continent for speciality fine food distributor Harvey & Brockless. With a particular enthusiasm for our talented British producers, Owen’s selection of British artisan cheeses is burgeoning at Harvey & Brockless and has grown to the largest in the UK. His passion for all things British led him to open an ‘all British’ cheese counter within Cardiff Indoor Market last year. Owen is also a judge at the British Cheese & World Cheese Awards and associate member of the Academy of Cheese.

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Signe Johansen

Signe Johansen is a Norwegian cook and author of Scandilicious, Scandilicious Baking, How to Hygge and Solo: The Joy of Cooking for One. After graduating in archaeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridge, she trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London, worked in several of the UK's top restaurants and went on to do her masters in the anthropology of food at SOAS Food Studies Centre at the University of London. Signe is currently working on her next book.

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Martin Stanhope

Martin Stanhope is editor of the NFU’s Countryside magazine, a monthly celebration of rural life with home-produced food at its very heart. He was born and bred on a mixed farm in Worcestershire and is a passionate advocate for British food - including cheese, of course - and the farmers who produce it.

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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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Clare Stiles

Clare Stiles works as Marketing Manager at Peter's Yard so knows a thing or two about what to serve with cheese. A great believer in British produce, she enjoys discovering the ever-growing range of artisan cheeses available in the UK and loves to learn about the craftsmanship involved in making them.

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Ollie Lloyd

Ollie Lloyd is the CEO of Great British Chefs, an entrepreneurial business founded in 2010 with the ambition of being the go-to website for foodies. It's now a community of one million like-minded foodies. Ollie is a lover of British artisan cheese. He is a particular fan of big, bold, loud cheeses and can often be found in cheesemongers searching for the cheese most likely to walk off a cheeseboard.