What is “Affineur of the Year”?

“Affineur of the Year” is a unique opportunity for cheesemongers and cheesemakers to showcase, across the world, the skill and artistry involved in guiding a cheese to its full potential.

Building upon the success of last year’s competition, the Academy of Cheese and Quicke’s wanted, this year, to extend it out to different make/postmake categories to include mould ripened; washed rind and crumbly cheeses. This will allow the competitors to highlight and showcase a full range of affinage techniques, specific to those categories.

Affineur of the Year 2023 sponsors

Harvey and brockless
Tracklements logo

Click on our sponsor logos to read their story

How “Affineur of the Year” works

  • Competitors have a choice of 4 base cheeses to age.
  • Competitors then care for the cheese (s) at their facility for different times depending on the cheese category.
  • Every 3 months the cheese will be graded, documented and published on social media.
  • At the end of the 12 months the cheeses will be judged by a select committee of industry experts at an event hosted by the Academy of Cheese and Quicke’s.
  • There will be winners for each category and an overall winner, who will be crowned ‘Affineur of the Year 2023’.
  • The final event, open to trade and public, will be held in London on 14th June 2023.

Affineur of the Year 2023 Dates

What happens, when?
  • Entry deadline 20/06/2022
  • Competition launch 15/06/2022
  • Quickes’s cheddar to be sent to entrants 20/06/2022
  • Cropwell Bishop cheese to be sent to entrants 29/03/2023
  • Fen Farm Dairy cheese to be sent to entrants 17/04/2023
  • White Lake cheese to be sent to entrants 01/05/2023
  • Judging and Finals Day 14/06/2023
Quickes cheddar stack

Which Cheeses are involved?

Click on the logos to read more about the cheesemakers and their competition cheeses.

Quicke's cheese
Cropwell Bishop Cheese

Meet the Competitors

Click on the logos to read each competitor’s story

Lincolnshire Poacher Logo
Neals Yard Dairy
Sharpham cheese
Fine Cheese co logo
Brindisa cheese

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Judging criteria

What will score points and how many are available?

Sensory characteristics.

Comments

The most important element of the judging, with the highest points rating.

Score available

Flavour including length and differential nose to rind
Flavours out of /10
Aroma out of /5
Body/texture, out of /5
Appearance/rind out of /5

Grading sheets / records

Comments

Detailed grading sheets / records are crucial to understanding how the result has been achieved.

Score available

out of /5

The condition and structural integrity of the cheese (blueing and damage, cheese mite).

Comments

The most critical part of maturing a whole cheddar, this is where competitors’ affinage skills will be put to the test.

Score available

out of /10

Innovation / interesting additions to the original.

Comments

This is a chance for competitors to express creativity and trial new ideas.

Score available

out of /10


Beginners guide to affinage

The Academy of Cheese has launched Affineur of the Year, but what does it mean to be an Affineur and why is it important?

Read our guide to affinage

beginners guide to affinage

Affineur of the Year competition 2022

In 2022 the first Affineur of the Year competition took place. All the competitors received a 27kg Quicke’s mature truckle from the same vat and the competitors needed to take care of the cheese for 9 months. Most competitors chose to keep the cheese in their own maturing room and competitors were free to do what they wanted. Every 3 months the cheese was graded, documented and published on social media.

After 9 months the cheese was judged by a select committee of industry experts at an event hosted by Quicke’s & the Academy of Cheese. The event was open to the public, and the competitors had the opportunity to sell their competition cheese at the event.

Read more about Affineur of the Year 2022 event here

Meet the Competitors

Brindisa cheese
Buchanans Logo

Competitor Videos

We’re hosted a number of free webinars to meet and discuss the competition. Join us to find out more about this exciting competition.

affineur competitors

Affineur of the Year results 2022

Affineur of the Year winner 2022

Perry James Wakeman of Rennet & Rind

Perry James Wakeman of Rennet & Rind has been crowned Affineur of the Year 2022 in our prestigious first event.

Neals yard dairy

Affineur of the Year 2nd Place winner 2022

Neals Yard Dairy Retail

The retail team at Neals Yard dairy took 2nd place in our Affineur of the Year 2022 competition

Cheese judging

Affineur of the Year 3rd Place winner 2022

Neals Yard Dairy Warehouse

3rd place in our Affineur of the Year 2022 competition was taken by the warehouse team at Neals Yard dairy

affineur winner

Affineur of the Year People’s Choice winner 2022

Rennet & Rind

Perry James Wakeman of Rennet & Rind also took the people choice award at Affineur of the Year 2022.


Coming Soon!