International Cheese Awards Press Release December 2015: End of Year Round-Up

Well, what an amazing year it’s been, with the 2015 International Cheese Awards breaking all previous records and proving beyond any doubt that we really are the biggest and best cheese show in the world! Preparations are already underway for ICA 2016 on the 26th and 27th of July, but we couldn’t let 2015 go without asking the big cheeses for their favourite moment of the year. And, as it’s Christmas, I’ve been pressing them for their favourite festive cheeseboard choices as well.

We’ll start with Show Secretary Adrian Lawrence, who has two particular highlights from 2015: “the announcement of the Supreme Retailer and the new Retailer of the Year Classes, and the Supreme and Reserve Supreme Champion announcements – so much hard work throughout the year to reach this pinnacle…and, of course, the fantastic crowds who just love cheese”.

Chairman Bruce Macdonald told us “there were many highlights at this year’s show, but two moments in particular come to mind. The first was the inductions into la Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. The ICA is now established as the home of la Guilde’s U.K. Chapter. The second was when I presented the Supreme Champion trophy to Peter Procter. This was a just reward for cheesemaking excellence over many years and it was great that Peter accepted the trophy with his family, including his grandchildren”.

And Vice Chairman Ian Luxton has also picked two favourite moments: “my lasting memory from the show was a comment made by one of the small family cheese-makers who was situated in the market stand area. He spoke with me immediately after the show and said how included he felt amongst the other cheese-makers and that for this reason he felt the International Cheese Awards stood out as the premier cheese show. For me, this statement epitomises why the ICA has been such success and has genuinely become an all-inclusive international event.  The other pleasing memory was the success and increase in the submission of trade stands providing greater presence of suppliers to the Dairy industry”.

And what will they be having on their cheeseboard this Christmas? For Adrian it will be a tasty Farmhouse Cheddar, Ian will be having Red Fox, a modern British classic based on a Red Leicester recipe, and Bruce wants a bit of everything: “as I am an independent cheese grader I won’t name any particular favourites, but my Christmas cheeseboard always features a soft cheese, a robust Cheddar and a rich and generous Blue. There will also be goat and sheep milk cheeses. They will all have one thing in common – lots of character. Fortunately, our industry provides a wealth of styles and choice. Doubtless there will also be a glass, or two, of Muscat”.

Right – I’m off round to Bruce’s immediately. Thanks to everyone for your support this year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!

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