We caught up with Pierre Leger, one half of Crieff based Strathearn Cheese Co. to chat cheese (obvs!), chilling and what's next for his award winning company.
Operating from the Cultybraggan camp (an old WWII prisoner of war camp) near Comrie in Perthshire, they currently produce 3 cheeses; The Strathearn, Lady Mary and Truffle Lady Mary.
Why no pictures of Pierre himself you ask? This man is the Banksy of the cheese world, preferring a good rennet set cheese washed in Glenturret 10 year old single malt whisky to take the spotlight...
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Transfer the milk into the vat, work out the levels of starters, cultures and rennet required. Heat up the milk, stir in the cultures and then cut the curds and stir periodically. During this, we also have to salt the previous batch and wash the batches in the maturing room. Then back to the cheese, mould the curds on the draining table. Tidy up and clean, clean, clean.
What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
Still in our first year of business, so days off are very few. Usually I take a Sunday off after tidying up from the Saturday market and a trip to the Cash & Carry
What makes for a perfect night in?
A meal with my wife and children and few hours rest in front of the stove and/or the T.V.
What makes for a memorable day or night out?
Meeting with friends for drinks and catch up over a nice bottle of wine. Hillwalking with my wife, but it has been a while since our last munro. I enjoy most of the climb, except the end as I not great with heights.
Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
With another couple (my business partner and his wife), we spent a weekend in Rome, visiting the sites and watching the 6 nations in a Scottish pub in the centre of Rome. It was a good mix of Rugby, culture and wine tasting.
And now your best ever day at work?
We entered very quietly 1 of our cheeses at the World Cheese Awards in November 2016. Not expecting too much, we were following the of the event on a live internet feed whilst working. We were lucky to witness the judging of our cheese live on the T.V.
Five judges were deliberating what medal to award our Strathearn cheese and it seemed that we were given a Silver medal! A few days later, we received the confirmation that it was in fact a gold medal.
Any workday or weekend rituals?
Coffee break at 11.00am regardless – Lunch is always a piece of cheese from a different batch.
What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
Smoked haddock with poached eggs. Tomato juice. Black coffee
Any words of wisdom for us?
Age only matters if you are cheese, wine or Whisky
The glorious scenery around Perthshire
The pace of life.
The wonderful local food