Lily Morris crowned Young Cheesemonger of the Year 2023
Lily Morris, image credit: Haaken Borgen
Lily Morris, from Usk in Monmouthshire, South Wales was crowned Young Cheesemonger of the Year at the World Cheese Awards on 27 October 2023, at the Trondheim Spektrumin, Norway. Lily, aged 21 years old,competed against 5 other finalists to win the award, which was set up to recognise and champion fresh talent in the cheese industry. The competition, organised by the Academy of Cheese and sponsored by Snowdonia Cheese and the Guild of Fine Food, attracted competitors from across the globe, with shortlisted finalists hailing from France, Spain, Norway, the US and the UK.
Cheesemongers under the age of 30 were invited to apply for a place at the finals by submitting their resumes and cheeseboard recommendations. The six shortlisted finalists travelled to Norway to compete for the title over four rounds, designed to test their cheese knowledge and highlight their mongering skills.
Crowds watched on as Ros Windsor, one of the founding directors of the Academy of Cheese announced the results. Third place went to French monger, Louis-Charles Vagost, whilst Jake Heller from the US bagged second place, just two points behind the winner, Lily.
Lily impressed the judges with her considered cheeseboard suggestions, made up of British and Irish cheeses,all threaded together with a Norwegian twist. Whilst her accurate cut and wrap skills and impeccable knowledge of cheeses in both the identification and “Master Rind” rounds helped to secure her victory.
Commenting on the result,judge Keith Kendrick of BBC Good Food & Olive magazines says “The standard of talent, passion and commitment in the Young Cheesemonger of the Year competition is exceptional. It’s so reassuring to know that the future of the artisan cheese industry is in such capable, innovative hands. Lily personified that ambition for the future with deft wrapping skills, a confident friendly customer-facing personality and outstanding cheese knowledge.”
Keith was joined on the judging panel by Hero Hirsh, Head of Retail at Paxton & Whitfield, Galina Danard, Cheese Educator and member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers and Andy Swinscoe, Proprietor of award-winning cheesemongers, The Courtyard Dairy.