International Cheese Awards Press Release Sept 2017: Find out what it’s really like to be a Cheese Judge!

One of the things I’m asked most often is what it’s like to be a cheese judge at the biggest cheese awards in the world, closely followed by how one lands such an amazing job. This year at The International Cheese Awards we invited two cheese enthusiasts to join our team of over 250 experts in judging the 5685 entries, and then asked them to tell us about their experiences. Next month we’ll hear from Louise and let you know how to be in with a chance of judging at ICA2018, but first here’s Tim’s tale of his dream day in Nantwich…

I was thoroughly delighted when I was invited to judge at this major event, though not entirely sure what to expect. I was met with a much larger array of cheeses from local, national and international cheese makers than I realised could exist. There were all shapes, sizes and colours imaginable! 

The 'vastness' of the competition entries I would say was the most surprising and eye-opening thing about the whole day.  I was grouped with team expert Sean Wilson, an experienced cheese maker who has a visible passion for this dairy product. He told us he had been a judge a few times and learned from some other extremely knowledgeable judges. He demonstrated fantastic knowledge when it came to the required attributes of particular cheese types, and had a way to bring excitement to the judging process. 

I really did thoroughly enjoy the day and can say that I have come away from this experience with a much greater knowledge of 'The World of Cheese', what to look for and even how to appreciate cheese! As for the organisation of the event, there were thousands of entries, and it must have been a great feat just to get them all into such order. The 'Tradesman's Lunch and Prize Giving' was a fantastic affair, with a deliciously enjoyable menu and some very cheesy jokes. Of course, the cheese course was outstanding! 

Thanks Tim – glad you enjoyed it!

Gearing up for ICA 2018…

Next year’s show is already in the planning stage – ICA2018 will take place on Tuesday 24th July (Trade, Judging and Press Day) and Wednesday 25th July (Show Day). For more details about how to get involved as an exhibitor or a sponsor contact, or email Liz at if you’d like to attend as press.

As ever, thank you in advance for any coverage you are able to give us, and please do follow us on Twitter @icheeseawards, Instagram @internationalcheeseawards, Facebook ( or LinkedIn ( ) for further news and updates!