To keep the wheels of smaller, boutique cheese companies turning, the not-for-profit Australian Specialist Cheesemaker’s Association has unveiled a week-long festival devoted to cheese. Anna Perejma, the association’s events officer, has single-handedly curated the festival, called & Cheese.
Beginning on May 31 and running through the first week of June, Perejma wants & Cheese not just to support local makers, but help us re-think the way we all eat cheese, and what we eat it with.
“It’s ambitious,” she says. “We’re trying to encourage people to pair cheese with unusual things. There are the usual suspects such as wine, but we’re heading towards coffee and gin.”
An interactive masterclass on “how to make the perfect cheeseboard” will take place at The Tramsheds, with Australian cheesemaker Penny Lawson slated to attend. Mecca Coffee in Alexandria is bringing cheese and coffee together with the help of an expert, unveiling a tasting at its very own roastery. Young Henrys is also on board to host a beer-and-cheese session among the tanks in Enmore.
“We’re not here to push the big guys, it’s more about the little guys, “ says Perejma. “It will be all Australian, all artisan.
“I think Australia is restricted in terms of how we can use milk to make cheese. The smaller guys have done an incredible job within these confines, and we’re seeing some really interesting cheeses being trialled now,” says Perejma.