The International Cheese Awards
is a cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....
show and competition held each year at Dorfold Park in Nantwich
Nantwich is a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The town gives its name to the parliamentary constituency of Crewe and Nantwich...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
. It represents the most important cheese events in the UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
and one of the most important events on the global level. Held since 1897, the show continues to grow year-on-year, and attracts over 3,700 competitive entries from around the world in 260 categories.
The ICA is a two-day event. Day one is the judging and trade day, attended primarily by industry participants and press, while day two is scheduled to coincide with the Nantwich and South Cheshire Agricultural Show, and attracts about 40,000 visitors to sample the wares and hear the announcements of the winners.
The International Cheese Awards is an activity of the Nantwich Agricultural Society, a UK registered charity.
As well as having the chance to sample and purchase more than 3,700 cheeses in the Cheese Pavilion, visitors to the show are treated to various attractions throughout the day including cheese making demonstrations, trophy presentations and live cookery demonstrations by top celebrity chefs.
Celebrities to the show over the years have included Anthony Worrall Thompson, Lesley Waters
Lesley Waters is an English celebrity chef. She regularly appears on such cookery programmes as Ready Steady Cook, and is currently one of the featured chefs on This Morning....
, Darren Gough
Darren Gough is a retired English cricketer and former captain of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The spearhead of England's bowling attack through much of the 1990s, he is England's highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals with 234, and took 229 wickets in his 58 Test matches, making him...
, and most recently Dhruv Baker (MasterChef
winner 2010), Alex James
Professionally known as Alex James is an English musician, songwriter, journalist and cheesemaker. He is best known as the bass player and occasional vocalist of band Blur...
(former member of Blur
Blur is an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing...
, now cheesemaker), Sean Wilson (ex-Coronation Street
Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...
now cheesemaker), James Martin
James Edward Martin is an English actor best known for portraying Peter Beale in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He took over the role from Joseph Shade in October 2004, playing the character until August 2006. He was succeeded by Thomas Law...
and Gino D’Acampo.
The original cheese show was founded in 1897 when the Cheshire Agricultural Society, who had been holding shows for some years at different venues in the county, split the county into four shows in their own right, one of which was Nantwich & Northwich, and in 1903 the show was held under its own auspices and with no link to the Cheshire Agricultural Society.
The Nantwich Dairy Shows continued to be staged each year, and it is recorded that the Dairy Show of 1908 was held in the Market Hall on 28th & 29th October.
The Dairy and Horticultural Shows continued to be held annually, however, the two World Wars overshadowed such events, and there is little in detail of them to be found during this period. The show continued to be held intermittently until, in 1946, the show found a permanent home at Dorfold Park, where it has been held annually since, apart for break in years due to outbreaks of Foot & Mouth disease
Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids...
The Nantwich Cheese Show celebrated its centenary in 1997 with an appearance by the Royal Household Cavalry.
In 2009 the Nantwich Cheese Show was re-branded to the International Cheese Awards.
Committee and charity
The International Cheese Awards is organised and run by a committee of volunteers contributing expertise from the dairy and cheese industries as well as event management, sponsorship, PR and Marketing industries.
- Show Chairman is Richard Paul of Bradbury & Son
- Show secretaries are Adrian Lawrence and George Lawrence MBE