The Cheese Wire - February 2017

Christmas at the Beach

After 35 years of Christmas’ in front of roaring fires, long, leisurely lunches in Cotswold pubs, decorating my quintessentially English cottage with holly and ivy and singing carols around a bonfire on the village green I couldn’t quite get into the spirit of Christmas this year. Fortunately hot honey roast ham and mince tarts work in any climate but eating them under a fiery red Pohutakawa tree, in shorts with the rhythm of the waves in the background and sharing pavlova instead of Christmas pudding was just weird! 

Thank goodness cheese comes into its own at Christmas whatever the weather as the perfect fast food, an elegant lunch or last minute snack so as always I overindulged in cheese this Christmas!


Pimp your own Cheese Class

Antipodeans it seems have a very different interpretation of a CHEESE TASTING than their European cousins. To Europeans they are like wine tastings or degustations – entertaining, educational, fascinating and something you do regularly. For antipodeans a cheese evening or tasting conjures up images of earnest talks on Healthy Eating or standing round in a school hall eating nasty rubbery cheese on tooth picks drinking unspeakably sweet or acid wine whose only criteria is to be alcoholic. 

So to convince New Zealanders my classes are hilarious, illuminating and even life changing I have had to rethink what I do and the result is “Pimp your own cheese tasting”. So wherever you live and whatever your budget you can design your tasting like you would a menu, holiday itinerary or even handbag! 

Decide whether you want to know the inside story of cheese, become an expert, learn how to judge it or discover how to cook with it then call or drop me an email using the options below as a guide

CHEESE - New Zealand, British, French, goat, blues, or a mix
DRINKS - Red wine, white wine, both? Or beer, whisky, apple juice?
STYLE - Horizontal, vertical, mixed, comparison or unusual
LOCATION - Come to me in Hawke's Bay or I can come to you
NUMBERS - 8 – 80 or beyond
FORMAT - 2 hours, 4 hours or a Gastronomic weekend?

Team Building, Party, Educational. Entertaining … 

PRICE - from $45 – $125 depending on numbers etc 

If that’s all too hard then simply choose a CHEESE Masterclass or Tasting from the various options on my website or call me and we can talk it through.

Professor Harbutt on tour

July 10 to August 18 2017

University of Science and Gastronomy [UNISG]
Pollenzo, near Bra, Piedmont –  25 - 29 July

It makes me laugh but also feel like a fraud when the students at UNISG call me Professor Harbutt! But I love it and the international Masters students are so motivated and inspirational. Click here to read more.

Tuscan Cheese Weekend
Castello di Potentino Seggiano, Italy [GR] – 21 – 24 July]

Join me in July for a weekend discovering the local food and drink and the diversity, quality and story behind the greater and lesser known cheeses of Italy. Castello di Potentino is Tuscany at its absolute best – isolated, inspiring, magnificent and welcoming [and in English!!]  .

Singapore – Paris – London – Cotswolds – Devon
Early July to end August

I am travelling via Singapore to Europe so if you would like me to host a Cheese Evening, train your staff, help set up a new deli or entertain your clients drop me an email.

Foodie Bucket List

There are a handful of food festivals that should be on your bucket list like the Swiss Vacherin Mont d’Or Festival that celebrates the cows returning from the mountain pastures and the new seasons Vacherin Mont d’Or. I don’t pretend to know about them all but I will feature one or 2 a month as I find out about them. Click here to read more

Are we nearly there?

Last but least … this Newsletter is also to launch my new website and I would REALLY like your feedback. So please “LIKE” my page, send me a tweet, stick me on INSTAGRAM, share me with friends or send me an email. Tell me what you like or don’t like and the first person to book a class gets a free copy of my book!

Things To Do With Cheese

Ever since Annabel Langbein organised 15 of NZ’s top chefs to come to a CHEESE TASTING DINNER I have been in awe of her energy, creativity and passion for food. So when I wanted a quick “OMG how do I fed the unexpected invasion” at Christmas I discovered this sensational simple CHEESE SCONE recipe on her lovely website.


I have used various odds and ends of left over hard cheeses [Gouda, parmesan, pecorino, Danbo] rather than tasty cheddar and it still works but DON’T ever use a fresh cheese [like feta or Mozzarella] or a Soft white like camembert or Brie – they are the wrong texture!

The Cheese Wire - August 2016

Meet Your Maker

Monday 28th November, 6.00 – 7.30 pm

Join me and the makers of Hohepa Cheese – Hawke’s Bays oldest cheese for a special “pre-Christmas” tasting of superb artisan cheeses. From their lemony fresh Quark to the last few precious wheels of 24 month vintage Danbo, nurtured for the Christmas market and their new, buttery, spicy, gift sized Blue – perfect for your favourite Port, sticky wine or even beer!


I’ve also ordered a couple of fabulous, luscious cheese from Wangapeka Cheese in Nelson to taste and show how to create the Perfect Cheeseboard for all and any occasion.

From Christmas lunch to family picnics or a snack for unexpected guests! Come and learn the gentle art of bringing up cheeses, discover how to store, cut and mature cheese, the perfect “fast food”, when you are busy over the hot summer months.

Cost: $15 which includes a glass of Black Barn Rose and Edgebrook Cider plus of course a tasting of cheese.

Booking: Places are limited to 24 so please email me ASAP to reserve a place:

Venue: 79 Black Barn Rd – Havelock North

Info: 0210 747 856

Discovering Cheese

Ever wondered how something as simple as milk can turn into a 1,000 different cheeses?

What the difference is between Brie and Camembert or why Halloumi doesn’t melt and Mozzarella does? Want to know how to make the Perfect Cheeseboard? Classify cheese? Iron a cheddar? Judge a cheese by its cover or just become a CHEESE BORE!!


If you answered yes to any of these then one of my Masterclasses or Tastings is exactly what you need.  Discover the inside story of cheese, how it is every bit as complex and delicious as wine without the hangover and step on to the path towards being a CHEESE BORE & MASTER!!.  From lighthearted and entertaining to inspirational, educational and even life changing. Choose from any of the tastings listed below or create your own.

Courses can be run from my new home Te Whare Kiwikiwi in Hawke’s Bay or at a venue of your choice any where in the world.


CHEESE & WINE PAIRING  – finding the perfect and not so perfect matches – most popular

GREAT EUROPEAN CLASSICS –  the greatest cheeses in the world on which all other cheeses are based

NEW WORLD vs OLD WORLD– the best of both worlds a fascinating comparison tasting of artisan cheese 

FERMENTED FRIENDS – beer & cider are traditionally drunk with many cheeses and are often easier to match than wines

SINGING THE BLUES – a range of mild to very spicy and lesser known blues matched with red, white and sticky sweet wines

HORIZONTAL & VERTICAL TASTING – not what you think!! It’s the same cheese from different makers or same maker but different ages

N Z ARTISAN CHEESES – not always easy to find outside the local Farmers Market but definitely worth seeking out

UNUSUAL BEDFELLOWS – eclectic range of drinks and sensational cheeses makes for some extraordinary combinations

SPEED DATING – a fun, fast paced wine & cheese pairing ideal for those with a short span of attention looking for a cheese rush

WASHED, POSH & PUNGENT – washed in brine, wine or beer they are smelly, pungent and irresistible 0 not for the fainthearted

And if none of those appeal talk to me & we will create something that will rock your boat and the taste buds of your friends, family or colleagues. 



THE PERFECT GIFT for anyone who loves cheeses AND if you buy a copy from me in NZ I can add a special message for the Cheese Lover in your life.  I can post it to you or direct to your dad for just $48.00 including postage.  [or $52 to guarantee next day or 2 delivery]

Sadly not yet scratch & sniff but it won the Guild of Food writers prestigious BEST FOOD BOOK AWARD in 2010, has sold nearly 90,000 copies and I recently added a cheesemaker in Beijing and deleted 12 French cheeses so I could add 12 from New Zealand!! Sacre bleu!

N Z Artisan CHEESE Market
@Havelock Village Green – Saturday 12th November 2016

A new event for FAWC and for New Zealand Cheesemakers

A market full of ARTISAN CHEESE where you have a chance to meet yourr maker!
The craftsmen [and women] who make by hand the smallest, smelliest or runniest cheeses imaginable – many rarely found more than a cheese can roll from the dairy. From a spicy buffalo blue to raw milk Red Leicester, goats’ milk brie to cashew nut cheese!!  a unique opportunity to discover the very best of New Zealand cheese.

$5.00 entry fee on the day [children under 14 free]

PLUS there will be Masterclasses at the SCHOOL FOR BIG CHEESES and CHEESE TOSSING or SKITTLES to smooth away the excesses of the day. 

School for Big Cheeses @ Havelock Function Centre
Fermented Friends – 1130

Great hand-crafted cheese, beer and cider with their centuries
old traditions should offer great gastronomic unions. So how do they match up? Does a sharp cider like a soft goat cheese or a pale ale seek a cheddar with a GSH.  Try a range of 8 cheeses with local Giant Brewery Beers and Edgebrook Ciders and decide for yourself.  Plus Juliet will talk you through how to identify a cheese no matter where you are.  What a way to spend the day.

Judging a Cheese By its Cover  – 1530

Take the first step to becoming a cheese Master with Juliet who has selected 10 exceptional cheese form those available in the Market to demonstrate the 7 major types of cheese.  Alongside you get to taste some of Hawke’s Bays finest wines.  Learn how to create your best ever cheeseboard and become a complete cheese bore!

$35.00 per person for your best ever Cheeseboard!

23rd September – Vallee de Joux

Sometimes all your glasses, apples or whatever line up in a nice upstanding little row and you get to be in the right place at the right time … and I am delighted to be one of a handful of non-Swiss cheese experts to be a judge at the Swiss Cheese Awards.

I am beyond excited – the thought of tasting the best of the best of Swiss Gruyere, Emmentaler, Sbrinz, Vacherin … over  2 days .. does it get any better??

Hope to see you at some of the events above or call me and we can create a unique event for you and your friends
And please support New Zealand Cheesemakers by forwarding this to anyone you know who loves cheese!