Who else loves visiting wineries, coffee roasters and other places where you can see where your food comes from and chat with the people making it? When I was planning my trip to Australia, the chance to actually meet local food producers, 'meet the maker' if you like, was definitely on my bucket list. So you can imagine how excited I was to join Hakim and Mark from Bill's Farm to visit Boatshed Cheese, one of the best cheesemakers in Victoria whose products we actually have been featuring in the shop this year.
Located just an hour’s drive away from Melbourne in Dromana, Boatshed has the most interesting and unique range of cheese i have seen and tasted. All the cheese is made from locally-sourced Victorian milk but honours the cheesemaking traditions of France. There is a touching story behind the company: Founder and owner, Tamara Newing lost her son in a diving accident and started making cheese to feel closer to him, as her son was a great cheese lover. Soon the family’s fridge was so full of cheese, that Tamara decided to take them to the local farmers’ market. Turned out the love she put in making her cheeses charmed everyone and demand went crazy... since then, she hasn't stopped making cheese and her business has boomed!
Of course we got to taste Boatshed's wonderful cheese during our visit, most of which you can find at Bill's Farm, one of the very few places in Melbourne to be lucky enough to have them. I’m a huge fan of goat cheese so it was no surprise that my absolute favourite was the Black Pearl, a beautiful chèvre covered with an wrinkly rind, that is dusted with French vine ash. It was recently voted the 4th best cheese in Australia by Aussie chefs. I also really loved the Buffalo Blue, a super creamy buffalo milk cheese covered with a blue mould rind. What’s unique (and apparently very Australian!) about Boatshed cheese is how they combine ingredients and techniques in a new, bold way. Both the Buffalo Blue and Black Pearl provide an exciting experience for the palate: the interior is fresh and rich, whereas the rind is slightly drier but packed with intense flavours. When these two meet on your tongue, there’s definitely a très chic French-Australian party going on in your mouth.
We wanted to give you a chance to try Boatshed cheese and chat with the makers as well, and that’s why we’ve invited Shaun and Tamara to do a couple of tastings at Bill's Farm. Save the dates folks, it’s going to be delicious!
Saturday 18th of May 10am - 1pm, Shaun Landman, head cheesemaker
Saturday 15th of June 10am - 1pm, Tamara Newing, founder and owner
See you at the cheese counter,