Ribble Valley food connoisseur Jan Curtis recently rubbed shoulders with the big cheeses of the gastronomic world at an international awards ceremony in London.
Jan was one of 230 expert judges from 29 nations who formed the panel for the prestigious World Cheese Awards – organised by the Guild of Fine Food.
“Cheesie Jan” is a familiar face to local foodies and after more than a decade behind the counter at Cheesie Tchaikovsky, Jan is now curating the amazing selection of cheeses in the delicatessen at Bowland Food Hall in Clitheroe.
Held at Tobacco Dock, in East London, Jan and her fellow judges sampled 3,001 cheeses at the glitzy awards ceremony before declaring an overall winner. “I was one of the sector judges involved in the first round of judging,” said Jan. “We were split into teams of four who all tasted around 50 cheeses from lots of different categories so our palates didn’t get too jaded. We awarded bronze, silver or gold medals and selected a ‘super gold’ champion that would go on to the next round of judging, which narrowed the shortlist down to a final 16, which were then tasted and judged at a big awards bash in the evening where the overall winner was announced.”
Jan is hoping to be invited back to next year’s awards – due to take place in Norway.