Last month thanks to Mumsnet I was invited to attend a French Goat’s Cheese themed Masterclass hosted by Sophie Wright, this was as part of the Easy Cheesey Chevre campaign. Sophie is one of the youngest ad most talented chefs around at the moment, she is also author of cookbook “Home at 7, Dinner at 8” which has been regularly featured in the Evening Standard. She is also the French Goat’s Cheese ambassador in th UK .
Easy Cheesey Chevre is the new campaign for French Goat’s Cheeses. The campaign is running across UK and in Germany, it’s objective is to raise awareness and make comsumers more familiar with French Goat’s Cheeses, their flavours and styles and the different ways in which they can be simply prepared to eat in a wide range of dishes.
While I love all types of Cheeses, Goat’s Cheese is not one I normally choose and I hadn’t actually any idea you could cook with it so I jumped at the chance to attend.
I think writting this blog has brought me out of my shell a little as it was with no hesitations I jumped onto a train on my own heading towards L’atelier des chefs cookery school in Central London, and it didn’t bother me that upon arrival I knew no-one. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
This is the sight that greeted us after coffee/tea and a little chatting:
I had no idea there were so many different types. We were then given a guided presentation through the different types of Cheeses while tasting them and learning more about them, this talk was given by Cheese expert Charlie Turnbull. It was interesting to taste the various varieties of these cheeses, all were sightly different, some of with I loved, some were edible and some now trying I wouldn’t try again. The cheeses we tried out were: French Goat’s cheese log, French Goat’s cheese mini log, spreadable fresh French Goat’s cheese, Fresh Goat’s cheese camembert, Selles-sur-Cher, Crottin de Chavigol, Saint-Maure de Touraine, Valencay, Banon – Rocamadour & Tomme de Chevre. (Yes these were copied from a list as I would never have remembered, especially later on once the wine arrived.)
We learnt lots about the regions these cheeses came from, how they were made and the different types, there are 4 categories of French Goat’s cheeses: Soft cheese with a natural rind, fresh cheese (fromage frais), soft cheese with bloomy rind & Uncooked presssed cheese. The Easy Cheesey Chevre campaign has given these four types of cheeses personalities and characters to help identify them: Chantal Chevre, Pamela Pyramid, Billy Buche & Charlie Chevre Frais.
Once we had made the fishcakes they were put into the oven for us, while we went back outside for a French Goat’s Cheese warm salad and a glass of wine. the kitchen was cleaned and set up ready to make: French Goat’s cheese mini log rosemary and green olive muffins.
Were you surprised by any of the flavours of the French Goat’s cheeses? If so, how?
I was surprised how different some of them were to each other even those within the same group.
Have you been encouraged to experiment more with French Goat’s cheese as an ingredient following the Masterclass?
I will definately be trying some of the recipes and have even tried using fresh spreadable French Goat’s cheese in Emmys favourite creamy spinach pasta dish.
Were you previosly aware of the nutritional benefits of French Goat’s cheese?
Were you aware of the variety of French Goat’s cheese available here in the UK?
No, but I am also unaware of some of the other types of cheeses available too.
Did you enjoy Sophie’s French Goat’s cheese recipes? Do you plan to recreate them at home?
I will be making the cheesecake as soon as I get a free 5 minutes, it was lovely and the fishcakes will be adapted for Emmy. I found them too fishy (don’t laugh I know they are fishcakes!) so would possibly use cod and haddock or even cod and salmon.
Would you recommend French Goat’s cheese to a friend or family member?
I would but I know they wouldn’t listen, they are very set in their ways eating wise, I would possibly cook with it and not tell them!
Did you enjoy the caves de Tourangelles Touraine Sauvingnon Blanc? Do you think you would buy this? (RRP around £8.50)
I really enjoyed it, I like a nice white wine and this went really nicely with the cheeses. I probably wouldn’t buy it myself though as it is a little pricey, maybe to go with a cheeseboard at a dinner party but to be honest there are cheaper ones out there which are just as nice.