Determining the ultimate in dairy excellence

My family has been showing dairy cattle and judging dairy cattle for over 110 years. When I was girl ( mmh I do remember that far back) I began showing horses when I was seven and by this time we had moved from the dairy farm to a beef and sheep farm at Cowra and we showed steers as well at the Cowra Show.

The highlight every year has always been taking the show team to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

“And nothing beats getting a blue ribbon at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Its Royal. Its blue. Its beautiful.”

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RAS Councillor Downes, the blue ribbon winner Tangalla Leduc Fond and proud Nick Strong

Winning a champion ribbon well that takes the cake

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Since we have been milking three times daily finding time to prepare our cattle for a show is pretty tricky

But this doesn’t mean my involvement in the judging arena has ceased. For the past two years I have been a judge of the Junior District Exhibits at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and how clever are these kids

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LtoR Runner Up and the winning Junior District Exhibit at the 2011 Royal Easter Show

You can see it wasn’t easy to pick between these two, Just as well I have my good friend Wendy Taylor who designs the Central District Exhibit to “train me up” to do the role justice

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Wendy is the genius behind this display in 2010

This year I have an exciting new gig and I am officiating as a steward in the Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show  This competition is held annually in the second week in February. Attracting between 900 and 1,000 entries in 130 classes, the Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Produce Show hosts the most prestigious and competitive events on the dairy show calendar. As well as butter, milk, cheese, cream, dips, dairy desserts, gelato, ice cream and chocolate, products judged also include sheep, goat and buffalo milk….

The judges start with mild cheeses in the morning and leave the likes of chilli cheese to the very last.

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Cheese judges chew and then spit into buckets, just like their wine colleagues.

Because cheese is so “cloying” on the palate, green apples and olives help freshen the tastebuds.

This year the world renowned French Fromager and Affineur Herve Mons will be doing the honours. This is his first ever visit to Australia

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The ‘big cheese’ when it comes to this art of affinage, is French Fromager and Affineur, Hervé Mons

The art of affinage, or cheese maturing, is gaining momentum in Australia as cheese lovers demand quality food experiences. Those who are serious about cheese want to know how, and for how long, a cheese has been cared for to maximise its flavour potential. Artisan cheeses are complex and unique depending on the conditions in which they are made and kept.
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And how excited am I just love Australian cheese and I cant wait to tell you all about my experience . But my lips will be sealed about who wins what (I probably wont be be told anyway – it will be a big secret)