Little Rollright cheese maker scoops top award after only eight months in the industry

Champion cheese maker David Jowett
Champion cheese maker David Jowett

A cheesemaker from Little Rollright who has been in the industry for less than a year has cut out a name for himself by winning a major award.

David Jowett of King Stone Dairy took the Supreme Champion trophy at the Artisan Cheese Awards with his Rollright rind-washed cows’ milk cheese

King Stone cheese with the Artisan Cheese Champion rosette

King Stone cheese with the Artisan Cheese Champion rosette

The delicious cheese was also winner of the New Cheese class. And by scooping first prize, King Stone won a trophy and cheque for £1,000.

The awards are part of the Artisan Cheese Fair held in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The newcomer triumphed over the 338 entries from 85 cheese producers across Britain and Ireland,

Mr Jowett said: “We’re thrilled to win this prestigious industry award after selling our cheese for just eight months. It gives us credibility as a UK producer and affirms that we’re doing things right.

“This recognition will hopefully draw attention to our cheese from potential sales outlets such as delicatessens, farm shops and wholesalers and help us to grow our production.”

Matthew O’Callaghan, organiser of the Artisan Cheese Awards added: “It’s particularly pleasing to see King Stone Dairy succeed as they’re a new artisan cheese maker who have only been producing for less than one year.

“A panel of experienced judges from some of the big names in the cheese world including Neal’s Yard, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and others judged the competition and were astounded by the quality and breadth of entrants for these first year awards,” he said.

Cheese making in the British Isles has been undergoing a revival in recent years with the establishment of a small number of bespoke dairies. Of those who entered the awards, 75 were small producers (under 50 tonnes of cheese per year). There were almost 50 entries for the New Cheese class showing that innovation is very much alive in the cheese-making world.

“The French boast that French people can eat a different cheese each day of the year can now be matched in the British Isles by the counter claim that people can eat a cheese from a different British cheese maker each day of the year,” said competition spokesman Simon Gribbon.

The awards were open to any cheesemaker in the British Isles producing less than 250 tonnes of cheese per year to celebrate the craft and skill of the small artisan cheese maker.