Cheese lovers, makers and mongers unite for the Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge  

Saturday 16 September, 19:00 – 20:30 (BST) 

Cheesemakers and cheese shops across the land are calling for people to sign up to the Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge; a huge online blind tasting event that will reveal the most beloved artisan cheddar in the British Isles. With the event set to take place on Saturday 16 September, the public can now reserve their tasting boxes of six artisan cheddars.

This celebration of sustainable and ethically produced artisan cheddar is supported by Slow Food in the UK and the event will be live-streamed from Bra, Italy, during the 14th edition of Cheese, an international cheese festival organised by Slow Food that will attract around 200,000 visitors between 15 – 18 September.

Cheese lovers can get a Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge tasting box delivered to their doors from one of many independent cheese shops across the UK and Ireland for £35 or directly from participating shops for £28. Each box contains six wedges of cheddar, enough for four people to share. La Fromagerie in Marylebone will also host a tasting evening that will link up with the live online event.

Among the numbered, but unlabelled, cheddars in the box will be; Hafod, made by the Holden family in Ceredigion, Wales; Isle of Mull, made by Brendan Reade near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Scotland; Montgomery’s Cheddar, made by Jamie Montgomery in North Cadbury, Somerset; Mount Leinster, made by Tom Burgess in West Wicklow, Ireland; Pitchfork Cheddar, made by the Trethowan Brothers in North Somerset; and Quicke’s Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar, made by Mary Quicke in Newton St. Cyres, Devon.

The first ever Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge will be hosted by comedian, Celebrity MasterChef contestant and British cheese champion, Marcus Brigstocke, alongside the event’s founder, James Grant of No2 Pound Street in Buckinghamshire. They will be joined by the participating cheesemakers and expert panellists from across the artisan cheese community, including; Charlie Turnbull, a director and patron of The Academy of Cheese; Emma Young, a cheese specialist, consultant and author; Patrick McGuigan, cheese author, journalist, educator and judge; Sarah De Wit, founder of the Virtual Cheese Awards; Abigail Pitcher from Chiswick Cheese Market; and Jonathan Pearcey of The Crafty Cheese Man, a wholesale artisan cheese supplier.

Set to be the biggest cheddar event the world has ever seen, the Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge will invite cheese lovers to challenge their perceptions of cheddar before culminating in a live online vote, with all those tuning in asked to submit their People’s Choice Award selections via the online platform.

James Grant, founder of the Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge and owner of No2 Pound Street, commented: “We’ve been blown away with the support we’ve received from cheese shops and consumers since announcing our plans for the Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge, and are excited to be streaming live from Bra during Slow Food’s illustrious Cheese festival. Slow Food is a grassroots non-profit organization that was founded in 1986 in reaction to the rise of fast food, and our Cheddar Challenge follows in its footsteps, extolling the virtues of artisan cheese over industrial for the benefit of the planet, our health, and especially our taste buds. We hope as many cheddar fans as possible will join us on the night and discover more about one of the world’s favourite cheeses. We plan to challenge people’s palates and perceptions in order to safeguard the future of artisan cheddar, but first and foremost we’ll be sharing in the joy of eating great cheese!”

The Great British & Irish Cheddar Challenge virtual event will broadcast on Saturday 16 September from 19:00 – 20:30 (BST). Tasting boxes for the online event are available to purchase now from participating independent cheesemongers across the country, including, priced at £28 for collection or £35 including delivery.  

Full list of participating cheesemongers & retailers: 

The Bristol Cheesemonger – Bristol

Cheese Etc., The Pangbourne Cheese Shop – Pangbourne, Berkshire

cheesegeek – Online

The Cheese Hamlet – Manchester

The Cheese Hut – Portslade, East Sussex

The Cheeseworks – Cheltenham

Fat Unicorn – Sunderland

Field & Orchard – Online

Forest Deli – Coleford, Gloucestershire

George & Joseph – Leeds, West Yorkshire

Georgonzola – Clitheroe, Lancashire

Godfrey C. Williams & Son – Sandbach, Cheshire

Goo Cheese – Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Grate – Newcastle

La Fromagerie – London

Love Cheese – York

No2 Pound Street – Wendover, Buckinghamshire

Pong Cheese – Online

The Truckle Truck – West Country / Online