The Great British Cheese Awards were established to recognise, promote and reward excellence in the artisan cheese industry and to celebrate the best of British cheese produced and distributed by independent cheese makers and retailers. Connage Highland Dairy has been shortlisted for a Great British Cheese Award 2017 in the Best Soft Cheese category for its Connage Clava Brie.
The Great British Cheese Awards stand apart from similar events as the general public have a large influence on recognising and rewarding outstanding British cheese. Over 9,000 people voted for their favourite cheeses, producers and retailers and only those who received the most votes in each category have been shortlisted for an award.
“We were absolutely thrilled to learn that we had made it through to the finals of the Great British Cheese Awards. The fact that the cheeses were voted for by members of the public just reinforces the fantastic support that businesses across the Highlands and Islands and throughout Scotland have from local people,” explains Jill Clark, owner of Connage Highland Dairy.
“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who voted for Connage and our Clava Brie. We’re really looking forward to the ceremony and seeing all the other cheese makers involved in the competition!”
A team of specialist judges have together tasted and judged the overall category winners. The prestigious judging panel included:
Brian Turner – Chef Restaurateur and President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chantelle Nicholson – Group Operations Director for Marcus Wareing Restaurants & Head Chef at Tredwells by Marcus Wareing,
Galton Blackiston – Owner & Chef Patron of Morston Hall, Adam Woodyatt – Actor & Food Blogger, Patrick McGuigan – Food Journalist and Cheese Writer, Felicity Spector – TV News journalist & Great Taste Awards Judge, Paul Thomas – Dairy Technologist, Jane Devonshire – Masterchef Champion 2016, Regula Ysewijn – Food Writer, Photographer and Great Taste Awards judge, Matthew Carver – Owner, The Cheese Bar, Signe Johnsen – Norwegian cook & author, Katherine Alano – Digital Editor, The Caterer and Owen Davies – Category Manager at Harvey & Brockless.
The overall category winners will be announced on 11th October at an awards ceremony to be held at The Gilbert Scott, an elegant British restaurant and bar by Marcus Wareing’s team which is set within The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London. For more information and to view a list of the finalists and eventual winners visit
What are the Great British Cheese Awards?
The Great British Cheese Awards were established in 2016 with the specific aim to recognise, promote and reward excellence in the artisan cheese industry and are organised by Great British Chefs (the UK’s fastest growing food website) and Peter’s Yard, whose crispbread was recently named as “the best biscuit for cheese out there”.
How do the Great British Cheese Awards differ from other similar awards?
The awards do not rely on tastings alone; they bring together hundreds of thousands of online food lovers with industry experts, food writers and celebrity cheese fans to give the artisan cheese industry unparalleled prominence. Ultimately, the people who eat cheese and buy cheese will be the ones who decide who deserves to win a prestigious award.
What are judges looking for?
Cheeses are blind tasted. Judges are looking for great texture and appearance but above all they will concentrate on the overall taste.
How do they judge the cheese?
Judges are divided into two teams and work to a stringent judging criteria in terms of appearance, taste and texture. Both teams separately blind-taste and score all cheeses and the marks are combined with the cheese awarded the highest mark being awarded overall category winner.