December 16, 2011 Comments (4) Views: 2905 Good Food Books, Good Food Media Article, Good Food TV

Juliet Harbutt on Cheese

by Malcolm Jolley

Juliet Harbutt is not only the author of the World Cheese Book, which is arguably the English-speaking world’s definitive reference book on the subject, she is also the founder and chief of the British Cheese Awards, which may be the world’s most vigorous. As a past cheesemonger, she also consults with supermarkets on how to bring artisan cheese into their big stores. With this in mind, Andy Shay, who is managing the cheese program at Sobey’s, asked Harbutt to curate a British cheese selection for the Canadian chain. This brought her to Toronto and an exclusive tasting at The Cookbook Store. Sue Reidl has a great account of the cheeses and the tasting at her blog Cheese and Toast, but I got a preview before the big show and in between bites of lovely fermented milk got a chance to speak with Harbutt about how we view cheese in the ‘Anglo-sphere’, her program to bring artisan cheese to supermarkets and what happens when retailers mishandle cheese… plus a surprising comment on what wines to drink with cheese. It’s all in the video below.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

GFR videos are generously sponsored by a grant from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the non-profit organization that publishes GFR. twitter.com/malcolmjolley. Photo: John Gundy.

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4 Responses to Juliet Harbutt on Cheese

  1. […] Good Food Revolution Tags: good foods Posted in good foods « Dean Tudor’s Holiday Food Book Guide – Part […]

  2. Sue Riedl says:

    Hey Malcolm-I watched half this interview when you posted and just finished the rest. I would listen to Juliet talk on any subject as she is so engaging and witty (particularily if she is displeased with something. I’d like to hear her opinion of the Kardashian’s).

    I don’t know that I agree that all people are so ignorant of cheese. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I just know a lot of cheese lovers but there are so many good little cheese shops in the country and the retail cheese business (on the artisinal side) is really growing so I feel like YES–there is a lot to learn about cheese “language” and so on but I guess I take issue with people being so ignorant that everything that is orange is a cheddar…..do we?

    Perhaps I took it as an insult to cheese loving Canadians and should have more perspective. But I feel that we do know more than randomly grasping at an orange block of fromage to get us through the week.

    Thanks for the link to my post, it was a real treat to taste cheese with her.


    • Good Food Revolution says:

      Hi Sue,

      To be fair, Juliet Harbutt never said that “all people” or even most people were ignorant of cheese, but rather was puzzled by those who professed to be. The point I was trying to make by including that sequence, was (is) that I like her attitude on cheese, which is not to worry about the technicalities too much and just enjoy it. I spoke with her for about an hour in total, and notwithstanding her unhappy experience at The St. Lawrence market (which did not surprise me in the least) she had nothing but nice things to say about Canadian artisanal cheese, cheese culture and all that.


  3. I cannot thank you enough for the blog post. Fantastic.

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