Young Cheesemonger of the Year 2023: Meet The Judges

Cheese Industry Experts Head to Norway

This year’s panel of judges for the Young Cheesemonger of the Year Finals, taking place at the World Cheese Awards in Norway are all experts from across the industry. We would like to thank Galina Danard from Partout Fromage, Hero Hirsh from Paxton & Whitfield, Keith Kendrick from BBC Good Food and Andy Swinscoe from The Courtyard Dairy for their time and passion in finding this year’s Young Cheesemonger of the Year. Let’s meet the judges.


Galina Danard

Cheese Educator, international cheese judge & member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers

Hero Hirsh

Head of Retail, Paxton & Whitfield, cheese educator & international cheese judge

Keith Kendrick

Group Magazines Editor, BBC Good Food & Olive & World Cheese Awards judge

Andy Swinscoe

Owner / Proprietor, The Courtyard Dairy & international cheese judge



Galina Danard

Cheese Educator, International cheese judge & member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers

After a long career in IT, Galina Danard trained in cheese at the University of Tours and the CIFCA school in Paris. She worked with top cheese specialists in France before opening her own cheese store and restaurant in Paris. Galina is a member of the French Association of Cheesemongers (FFF) and the International Guild of Fromagers. Now focused on teaching, she teaches Cheese Science at the CIFCA school (Paris) and partners with the British Academy of Cheese. Galina also serves as a jury member in professional cheese competitions.


Hero Hirsh

Head of Retail, Paxton & Whitfield, Cheese educator & international cheese judge

Hero Hirsh has spent the last 14 years working with some of the best cheeses in the world. She is an experienced judge, having judged at the World Cheese Awards for a decade. No stranger to this type of competition, Hero won ‘Cheesemonger of the Year’ at the WCA’s in 2012, after competing against fantastic cheesemongers from across the country. With a lifelong passion for food, and a background as a pastry chef in some of London’s Michelin star restaurants, she had the ideal foundations for a career running the cheese counters in one of the UK’s most prestigious cheesemongers.
Hero loves to talk about all things cheese and even started the UK’s first dedicated cheese podcast.
Paxton & Whitfield has been a Training Partner for the Academy of Cheese since its inception, delivering both level 1 and 2 courses to hundreds of delegates.


Keith Kendrick

Group Magazines Editor, BBC Good Food & Olive, International Cheese Judge

A passionate turophile, Keith is a judge for the British Cheese Awards, World Cheese Awards and an Associate of the Academy of Cheese. He spent his early career working for evening newspapers, reporting on everything from local council meetings to the first Gulf War, before editing magazines as diverse as women’s interests, men’s lifestyle and TV. In 2010, he swapped roles with his wife and became a housedad to their three children, cooking all day, every day, which inspired him to write a food blog. This led to him becoming Group Magazines Editor of BBC Good Food and its sister titles.


Andy Swinscoe

Partner of The Courtyard Dairy, cheese maturer and international cheese judge

Andy started his professional life working in the hospitality and leisure industry, having gained a first class honours BSc in Hospitality Management. It was a seasonal job whilst at university that led him to gain experience at Paxton & Whitfield in London and then later at The Fine Cheese Co. in Bath. After completing an apprenticeship in the art of affinage in France with Hervé Mons, Andy returned to the UK and in 2012 he opened specialist cheese shop and maturers, The Courtyard Dairy.  


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