You can’t have missed the fact that the hottest new foodie arrival in Camden Market is something as simple as the Cheese Bar, a stylish restaurant dedicated to all things fromage.
Our office is opposite and every lunchtime we watch the queues snake out the door. Thank goodness for the takeaway hatch too to speed things up a bit.
Anyway, owner Matthew Carver is one of the three peeps behind a whole new festival celebrating London’s pongiest scene; the others are cheesemaker Kristen Schnepp, owner of Peckham-based Gringa Dairy, and cheese hack Patrick McGuigan.
The London Cheese Project – as they’re snappily calling it – aims to highlight “the great British cheese renaissance”, which has seen a new generation of young producers, retailers and streetfood operators breathe new life into a once staid world.
“London is at the vanguard of the movement,” says McGuigan, “with cheesemakers operating underneath railway arches, new-wave cheesemongers pushing the boundaries of counter culture, and converted ice cream trucks serving up molten grilled cheese sandwiches.”All these elements merge gooily together in a free two-day open air festival this weekend in the scrubbed-up yard outside newish triumvirate of arrivals the Cheese Bar, Voodoo Ray’s and top sourdough bakery the Flour Station.
As well as being able to chat to and buy directly from cheesemakers and mongers, you can try unctuous dishes created by London’s leading street food traders, who’ll each pair up with a different London cheesemaker. Expect grilled sandwiches and malakoffs (deep-fried cheese balls) made with Alpine-style examples from Bermondsey, New York-style pizzas laden with handmade mozzarella from Acton, and mac ‘n’ cheese from Tottenham.
There’s also live music, and a programme of ticketed talks and tastings in the marquee on topics ranging from matching beer and cheese, to a battle between new wave British producers and the grandmaster fromages of Europe.
And – obvs – a pop-up bar will serve craft beers, wine, and cocktails, with stalls selling all manner of related wares for the cheese-obsessed person in your life.
Hang on a minute: that’s you, isn’t it?