The Cheese Festival

So how was the Cheese Festival 2012………in a word…BIG!

Big open skies, amazingly big clouds with a warm sun peeping out now and then, big tents, big selection, big appetites, big hearts and HAPPINESS!  That about sums it all up.

And of course a BIG UP to the organizers for the stunning organization – definitely a must-return-to event for the diary next year.

First up was the Checkers Emporium.  So what is it about the human species that we all gravitate towards the same sheep gate because everyone else seems to be going that way?  Yes the tent was huge and yes there was variety but with everyone jostling for a morsel of cheese or a crumb of bread and savory dip or goat’s cheese to the point where hygiene became a concern, the EXIT door definitely looked inviting.

The whoosh of fresh air outside revived the drooping spirits and spurred on renewed energy for further exploring.

And then we found the cows and calves….aaah.  The calves skittish, the cows quiet and shy – you wanted to give them names and hug them, they were that beautiful.  The smell of warm hay – it felt like a manger scene straight out of Bethlehem. 

Then it was lunch time – and boy, what to choose?  So much thought was put into the décor for each stand.  This was not just your average trestle table and plastic forks and slap chips type of event.  Here someone had brought the restaurant to the fair, there someone else had brought along their milk urns and tin plates to add that authentic dairy farm feel – a feast for the eyes and hungry tummies.

In the end we were drawn to simple, but Masterfully braaied pork belly slices by one of the MASTERCHEF SA judges.  Here there were no airs and graces, although the man is something of an SA celebrity – Pete Goffe-Wood (check out the pic).  He simply got on with what he does best – cooking.  I guess that’s what makes a good chef great.

Then it was Home, James – with a bulging cooler bag full of wines and cheeses to sleep it all off.

 (Oh and we didn’t get to see Nataniel in action but never mind, all that wine tasting was starting to take its toll…)

Linda Johnson(otherwise known as my mom)


“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”  ―    Willie Nelson