The Young Cheesemonger of the Year Finals, sponsored by Snowdonia Cheese Company, will take place at the World Cheese Awards, in Newport, Wales next month. The award aims to promote cheese knowledge, recognise young talent and provide career development within the industry.
This year’s applications bought in some really strong entrants from all around the globe, reflecting the quality of young cheesemongers out there and promising a great future for the industry as a whole. This year’s finalists were selected by a panel of industry professionals, including Tracey Colley from the Academy of Cheese; cheese consultant, writer and judge, Justin Tunstall and Lorne Gray from Snowdonia Cheese Company.
Applicants under the age of 30 had initially been asked to provide a short biography, along with recommendations for their perfect cheeseboard. The six entrants with the most impressive, yet considered, selections have been shortlisted to attend the finals, where they will compete against their peers across four rounds. The winner of the award will be announced on the same day and will receive the coveted title of Young Cheesemonger 2022, a trophy, a feature in Fine Food Digest and Academy of Cheese Level Two certification course. They will also be invited to judge at the World Cheese Awards 2023.
Meet your 2022 Young Cheesemonger of the Year Finalists
LOCATION: Toronto, Canada
EMPLOYER: Cheese Boutique
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Working with French Chef Daniel Boulud
CHEESE STUDIES: ACS Scholarship
Julia Treloar was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and has dedicated 12 of her 29 years to enriching others on artisanal cheeses. As a knowledgeable young woman in the industry she brings a fresh and fun perspective, as well as an approachable understanding to the palate of each individual.
At Cheese Boutique Julia orders a rotating selection of over 500 imported and domestic cheeses, and focuses on affinage (there is a cheese cave on site) to bring her guests a unique and out of this world experience.
Julia was awarded an ACS Scholarship in 2019 and attended the 4 day conference in Richmond, Virginia. She has also worked closely with Canadian chefs to provide a variety of cheeses for their restaurants, including working with French Chef Daniel Boulud on 4 separate occasions for charity events.
LOCATION: Vanves, France
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Manager of Le Comptoir, Tokyo / Assistant at Mons Fromager-Affineur, Lyon
Academy of Cheese Level One
Seika grew up in Tokyo and despite always enjoying cheese, she had never actually tasted handmade, artisanal cheese until she turned 20 years old. She was fascinated to discover that so many different kinds of cheeses could be made principally from the same ingredients.
This fascination motivated Seika to knock on the door of Fermier, a pioneer of imported natural cheese in Japan, where she was hired as their first part-time student employee. The satisfaction that this role gave her: from the positive feedback given by her clients, to the ability to build strong customer relationships, was the springboard to Seika’s career as a cheesemonger, which has taken her from Tokyo to Lyon and London.
Seika’s career aspirations are to get to know as many small/artisanal producers as possible and create apposite connections with Japanese consumers.
LOCATION: London, UK
EMPLOYER: Buchanans Cheesemonger, London
After graduating from university, Aimée worked in a small independent delicatessen in Edinburgh. Here, her role consisted of serving customers on the deli counter and planning and preparing dishes for the in-store café. It was in this role that she began to learn about artisan cheese and hasn’t looked back since!
In April 2021, Aimée began working at Buchanans, where her role is extremely varied. Every day looks a little different: from maturing cheese in their cellar, to hosting tasting events, to managing the retail offering, She loves being involved in many different areas of the business. Buchanans Cheesemongers stock a curated range of around 100 cheeses from across the UK and Europe, buying directly from the producer where possible and maturing the cheeses in their cellar. Aimée has first-hand experience of the care needed to ensure the cheeses are in peak condition before they make their way to some of the top restaurants in London.
One of the main things Aimée loves about being a cheesemonger are the endless opportunities to learn – there are always new cheeses to taste, new producers to meet and new pairings to discover. She is also passionate about championing small independent businesses and is proud to work in an industry that supports and promotes artisan producers.
LOCATION: London, UK
EMPLOYER: La Fromagerie
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Assistant Manager of The Cheeseroom
CHEESE STUDIES: Academy of Cheese Level One and currently studying Level Two & MonsFormation Affinage course in France.
Joshua has been a cheesemonger at La Fromagerie for a year and a half. Before this he worked in container logistics giving him a grounding in time management, focus and communication.
Over the last year and a half Joshua has worked up to Assistant Manager of The Cheeseroom. During this time, he has visited dairies such as Lincolnshire Poacher, Westcombe, The Old Cheese Room and Stichelton. Additionally, he has expanded his knowledge through courses, contacts made within the industry, books and events such as Affineur of the Year and the Real Wine Fair.
Whilst focusing on cheese, Joshua has also developed an interest in wine, cider and the drinks industry in general, aiding his ability to recommend cheese and drinks pairings. He has an Instagram account @fieldandorchard, discussing cheese, cider and wine and creating pairings. As well as the courses he has passed and currently studying towards, Joshua has also completed the WSET Level 2.
EMPLOYER: La Fromagerie, London
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Setting up own cheese and wine business “Mouse & Grape”
CHEESE STUDIES: Academy of Cheese Levels One & Two.
Jessica is the founder of Mouse & Grape and works part-time as a cheesemonger at La Fromagerie in Marylebone. Jessica has always loved cheese and wine, and after losing her job in the property industry at the start of the pandemic she decided to start building her own business doing something that she loves. Mouse and Grape is a luxury online cheese and wine business that specialises in paired hampers, a cheese and wine subscription service, and corporate and private tasting events. She carefully curates artisanal cheese and wine from independent producers, and shows her customers how to combine and enhance these heavenly flavours for ultimate indulgence and maximum enjoyment. She also writes about cheese and wine for an online blog, and was a judge at the British Cheese Awards last month.
Mouse & Grape began in July 2020 when she started the @mouseandgrape Instagram account dedicated to her love of cheese and wine. During her search for delicious wine and cheese combinations, she noticed that while there were many places to buy cheese or wine, there was nowhere she could find that paired them as equal partners, with an emphasis on their unique flavour combination. With the growing success of her social media, she knew this was the time to launch her online business. Over the last two years, she has worked in a wine shop, passed her Level 3 The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) with merit and passed her Academy of Cheese Level Two. Jessica has also completed her food safety Level 3 training; she secured her food, premises and personal alcohol licences and works with The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme.
LOCATION: Winslow, BUCKS, UK
EMPLOYER: The Farm Deli
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Trainee Manager at The Farm Deli
CHEESE STUDIES: Academy of Cheese Level One & The Guild of Fine Food Cheese in Retail Course
Isabel works at The Farm Deli, Winslow and as of 1st September 2022, become a Trainee Manager there. Her role includes managing the cheese counter during the busy Christmas period; ensuring cheeses are wrapped well, stock is effectively rotated and that the counter looks as full and impressive as possible.
Isabel has a solid knowledge base of dairy science, graduating in 2022 from Harper Adams University with a degree in Animal Management, Health and Welfare. Part of the course included conducting a Professional Research Project into the ideal breed of dairy cow to use for cheese production in the UK. , looking at the different milk fat and protein contents of different breeds of dairy cattle.