Klein River Cheesery has been named the winner of the third annual Cheese Maker’s Challenge with their Oak Smoked Stanford, a cheese inspired by a study tour in France and named after the cheesery’s local village in the Western Cape near Hermanus.
Woolworths, known as the home of award-winning cheese, introduced the Cheese Maker’s Challenge in 2011 to encourage small, local cheeseries to create new and exciting cheeses that would appeal to South African cheese lovers.
This challenge aids in the support and development of small artisanal cheeseries, exposing them nationally.
A winning cheesery
Klein River, a small, family-run business owned by Riaan and Shelley Lourens and their daughter, Sandy.
The milk for their cheeses comes from a combination of Jersey, Friesland and Ayrshire.
Cheese maker, Jacko van Beulen, developed the award winning Oak Smoked Stanford, which is matured for three to four months and cold smoked using the old-fashioned technique of controlling the temperature and draft by hand.
The addition of shavings from oak wine barrels helps give this stunning hard cheese its unique flavour.
Convincing the judges
This year’s entries faced a tough panel of judges comprising of cheese experts and some well-known foodies including Peter Templehoff (Chef at the Greenhouse), Abigail Donnelly (Taste Food Editor), Clare Mack (Spill Editor) and MasterChef South Africa winner Kamini Pather.
Oak Smoked Stanford emerged the winner and is now available exclusively at selected Woolworths stores.