Sharyn de Kort has a particular skill. She's very, very good at making cheese boards.
Always in demand for parties, de Kort decided to turn her talents first to organising cheese festivals around Australia, and then to starting a catering company and market stall, The Cheese Pleaser, with her son and Moda-trained chef Sebastiaan. Now the two have opened a fromagerie and takeaway cafe by the same name on Adelaide Street.
From the outside The Cheese Pleaser might seem like any other tiny takeaway shop in the city, but step inside and you're hit with the unmistakeable scent of good strong cheese being toasted between very buttery bread. "When I first started at the markets I was really the only one making toasties," Sharyn de Kort says. "Now you see even top restaurants have some kind on the menu. Ours are classic. We only use top ingredients: great cheese, organic pane bread from Le Vain, all hand sliced. A lot of work goes into making the perfect toastie."
The toasties and cheese platters may be the original stars, but The Cheese Pleaser is also in a unique position to offer workers full takeaway meals. "It’s great seeing a lot of cheese lovers and people who understand what we’re doing coming in," Sharyn says. "We’re a small shop but we’re producing fresh food every day."
The specials change all the time thanks to the de Korts' commitment to local suppliers and regular visits to the market. Recent highlights include roasted Scenic Rim chicken with fennel and rosemary kipfler potatoes, and confit duck leg with roasted Jerusalem artichoke.
While the selection doesn’t run into typical deli territory, de Kort says this is all by design. "It’s all curated, we stock what we like and what we know is good," she says. "What we have is just the best stuff."