Associate - Individual
I am an independent consultant specialising in cheese education - for the public, professionals in the cheese industry, and hospitality professionals - through my business "Cheese the Day". I have spent more than a decade as a cheesemonger, mostly in Sydney, and I now live in Newcastle, NSW. I'm also an accredited cheese judge, and judge regularly in Australia and overseas.
How did you get started in the industry?
It was the "jump off the cliff without a parachute" scenario. I qualified as a geologist, and then worked in the IT industry, but decided to trade science and technology for cheese and follow my dream. I got my foot in the door at a large department store food hall in 2004, then moved on to a specialty cheese retailer, and haven't looked back
What is your favourite Australian cheese?
That's like asking a parent to choose their favourite child! It changes all the time, but I'm especially fond of the many artisan cheeses from NSW, which are the subject of my monthly blog, called the NSW Cheese Trail.
What opportunities do you see for the future of the Australian specialty/artisan cheese industry?
The specialty cheese industry in Australia is still very young, but has really flourished in the past 5-10 years. We can take inspiration from what is happening in other countries such as the USA, and from the wine and craft beer industries in Australia. With support from the public - by buying artisan cheeses at farmers markets and specialty retailers - things can only continue to grow and improve.
What does being part of ASCA mean to you?
I believe in putting my money where my mouth is - I have long been a supporter of small, boutique cheese producers, by buying their cheeses and selling them through various retail outlets where I've worked. By belonging to an association, I can make a much greater contribution to helping the industry to grow and flourish.