National recognition for Osgodby cheese

From left:  Brian Turner - Chef, Restaurateur and President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts; Michael & Mary Davenport of Cote Hill Cheese; Ollie Lloyd of Great British Chefs and Wendy Wilson-Bett of Peters Yard EMN-171016-063911001
From left: Brian Turner - Chef, Restaurateur and President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts; Michael & Mary Davenport of Cote Hill Cheese; Ollie Lloyd of Great British Chefs and Wendy Wilson-Bett of Peters Yard EMN-171016-063911001

Osgodby cheese producers, Cote Hill, are celebrating after adding another award to their growing collection of accolades.

The family-run business was named runner-up in the Best Artisan Producer category in the Great British Cheese Awards 2017.

Dairy farmers Mary and Michael Davenport, who diversified into cheese production in 2005, travelled to London to collect the award - but only for the day, so as not to disrupt production.

Mary said: “We are really delighted to be recognised with this national award.”

Now in their second year, the awards stand apart from other events as the general public have a large influence on recognising and rewarding outstanding British cheese.

This year saw a record number of entries and more than 9,000 people voted for their favourite cheeses, producers and retailers.

Only those receiving the most votes in each category were shortlisted for an award, with the final decision being made by an esteemed panel of judges, head up by Brian Turner, chef, restaurateur and President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

Mary added: “We are only a small producer, so obviously less people eat our cheese, but more of them pressed the button to vote - thank you to all.”

Cote Hill Cheese is the only soft cheese made in Lincolnshire and it was their signature Cote Hill Blue, which makes up two thirds of two thirds of their overall sales, that was tasted by the judging panel.

However, they are not the only Lincolnshire cheese being recognised for its goodness.

Ulceby-based Lincolnshire Poacher was named Best Hard Cheese Award at the Great British Cheese Awards.

Lincolnshire Poacher is made by Simon and Tim Jones, who are committed to producing the very best cheese with a little help from their 230 Holstein Friesian cows.

Mary added: “It is wonderful that Poacher received this award.

“How good it is for Lincolnshire to be recognised as fine cheese producers.”

The Great British Cheese Awards were organised by Great British Chefs (the UK’s fastest growing food website) and Peter’s Yard, whose crispbread was named as “the best biscuit for cheese out there”.

Co-founder of Peter’s Yard, Wendy Wilson-Bett said “At Peter’s Yard, our award-winning traditional sourdough crispbread complement a wide variety of cheese and we are keen to further strengthen our association with passionate producers, retailers and ‘great cheese’.

“We feel this is a fantastic initiative to be involved with especially as there is such a positive involvement by the general public.

“We hope that these awards will also encourage more people to seek out and buy great British cheese like Cote Hill.”