SAY CHEESE: Local cheese maker Deb Allard with her award-winning Velvet Chausette cheese.
SAY CHEESE: Local cheese maker Deb Allard with her award-winning Velvet Chausette cheese. Kate O'Neill

Cheesy grinners are winners in delicious Produce Awards

TWO local cheese makers are celebrating wins in the annual delicious Produce Awards.

Deb Allard, of Cheeses Loves You, and Paul Wilson, of Nimbin Valley Dairy, were announced as state winners in the awards on Tuesday.

Deb is a stall holder at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market and Paul and partner Kerry have a stall at Mullumbimby and New Brighton Farmers' Markets.

A team of judges that included some of the state's top chefs declared Deb a winner for her Velvet Chausette Reblochon style - a French style buttery cheese she has perfected over several years.

It's made using fresh jersey milk from the dairy on the Burringbar Farm she runs with husband Jim.

It takes about a month to make, has to go through a special wash and be looked at every couple of days.

"It's a lot of work, but the end result is worth it,” Deb said. "It's lovely and rustic and traditional. "

For Nimbin Valley Dairy, the winning entry was its soft curd Saint Billie goat's cheese, which Paul creates using fresh milk from the herd of goats they run on their farm near Nimbin.

Paul said they were thrilled to win.

"It's great. The judging panel are all pretty high level chefs so they've got a well-tuned palate.”

He said the award was recognition for the whole team at Nimbin Valley Dairy.

"I make the cheese but there's actually half a dozen of us,” he said.

"You have to milk the goats, then you make the cheese, mature the cheese, sell the cheese. There are a lot of people behind it.”

Nimbin Valley Dairy and Cheeses Loves You are now in the running for the national awards to be judged in Sydney next month.


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