Mike Reeve has been a traditional cheesemaker for 23 years and received global recognition for his work in the UK, but winning a champion award for blue cheese he made on Tamborine Mountain is among his proudest achievements.
Mr Reeve’s Tamborine Mountain-based company Pure Artisan Cheese took out seven awards at the recent Dairy Industry Association of Australia 2018 Queensland Dairy Product Competition.
His small team won champion for their Pure Blue, as well as gold for that same variety, gold for their Black Ash Triple Cream Brie and silver for their Truffle Triple Cream Brie, Washed Rind, Triple Cream Brie and Cloth Bound Cheddar.
The accolades came less than one month after they also won gold for their Black Ash Triple Cream Brie at the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show Cheese & Dairy Produce Competition.
After their Queensland wins, Pure Artisan Cheese also picked up at the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards, winning five gold medals in late July for their Pure Blue, Millie’s Blue, Truffle Triple Cream Brie, Black Ash Brie and Traditional Cloth Bound Cheddar.
Awards are nothing new for Mr Reeve. He won countless gongs in the UK, including World’s Best Traditional Cheddar, has had Prince Charles eat his cheese and has picked up a host of awards since moving to Australia with his family five years ago.
But he said attaining Champion status Down Under was a dream come true.
“My ambition since we moved to Australia has been to win a champion prize for my cheese, and it’s taken five years but we’ve done it,” he said.
“Making blue cheese and soft cheeses is still relatively new to me. I always specialised in traditional clothbound cheddar in the UK, but now I make about 20 different types of cheeses and a lot of that has been self-taught.”
Mr Reeve has been making cheese using Scenic Rim 4Real Milk under his label Pure Artisan Cheese for the last 18 months, and also has a brand, Millie’s Heritage Cheese, named after his daughter.
He also makes all the 4Real label cheeses, Jambreen Cheese for Witches Falls Winery, cheese for Brisbane brand Artisan Selection and some cheeses for Kenilworth Dairies, using their milk.