Festive cheese must-haves from Andrew Pern, James McKenzie, and Jordan Tyson
For many, the highlight of the festive period is the cheeseboard – from a creamy, crumbly Yorkshire Wensleydale to a classic blue cheese, it is a Christmas centrepiece for many families. Who better to take inspiration from than the Head Chefs of some of Yorkshire’s best restaurants?
We have teamed up with top Yorkshire chefs to share their recommendations for the ultimate British cheeseboard this Christmas.
Andrew Pern, The Star Inn Restaurants
Andrew has a wealth of cooking experience, having taking ownership of The Star Inn at Harome when he was just 25, and quickly fashioning into one of the first ever ‘gastropubs’, which has always championed seasonal, local ingredients. Unfortunately, The Star Inn at Harome was recently hit by a fire and had to close, but is looking to be back next Christmas, with the remaining The Star Inns open across the county. Andrew’s festive cheese choices are ones based around his own childhood memories and include a must-try Yorkshire tradition!
- A Yorkshire Wensleydale – “mainly due to fond childhood memories, I would always choose Wensleydale”, he says. “I remember eating it on a Saturday teatime in sandwiches with sliced cucumber and white bread, while Dr Who was on TV at my Grandparents!”
- “My next choice is more of a cheese partnership but over the festive period I love nothing more than meeting up with old friends at Christmas over a pairing of Yorkshire Wensleydale with fruit cake, or with warm boozy mince pies – the combination of sweet and savoury is very Yorkshire!”
James McKenzie, Pipe and Glass, Beverley
James, who is the head chef at Michelin starred restaurant Pipe and Glass in Beverley, loves to champion refined, modern British cuisine, shaped by the local traditions and ingredients that make the glorious Yorkshire counties so special. James’ suggestions include:
- A traditional & iconic British ‘crumbly’ variety – such as fan favourite Yorkshire Wensleydale – to bring a unique creamy and crumbly texture to your cheeseboard.
- A blue cheese is key for Christmas – such as Wensleydale Blue a delicate, mellow, yet full flavour with a creamy texture has broad appeal for newcomers to blue cheese and connoisseurs alike! Or Mrs Bells Yorkshire Blue – which is considered to be one of the best ewes’ milk blue cheeses in Europe.
- Tunworth – this rich, oozy, intense British Camembert is classically creamy with flavour notes of vegetal, truffle and garlic.
- Mature Lincolnshire Poacher – a mature cheese that is somewhere between a cheddar and a Swiss mountain cheese.
Jordan Tyson, Calvert’s Restaurant
Before joining us as head chef in our Calvert’s Restaurant this summer, Jordan worked in various renowned Yorkshire farm shops where he developed a passion for Yorkshire produce. Jordan is a big fan of Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries especially at Christmas; it’s a must for the cheeseboard & also fantastic for cooking with too! Jordan has designed a Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries cheesecake, and pork stuffing with the fruity cheese for the festive menu! For the cheeseboard he likes to offer something new and interesting to guests this Christmas:
- A sweet, fruity number – the all-year round favourite of Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries adds a burst of colour and is a fail-safe favourite with all generations.
- A naturally smoked cheese adds further dimension to a cheeseboard with a wonderful golden coloured rind & aroma and true smoked flavour.
- A cheese with heritage, to tell a story such as the handcrafted & naturally aged Kit Calvert Old-style Wensleydale is bound to impress. This cheese celebrates the father of Wensleydale cheese ‘Kit Calvert’, who helped to save the Wensleydale Creamery from closure in 1935. The cheese recipe emulates that of a farmhouse cheese from the turn of the century, to create a natural rind and buttery, creamy texture.