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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Rawson


Updated: Oct 5, 2021

A fabulous afternoon with the internationally-renowned cheese expert, New Zealander, Juliet Harbutt.

You know I love food … and France. Since being here we’ve joined the French Association and through it, do all sorts of things - movies, cafe & croissant mornings, wine tastings and speaker events. Steve and I signed up for the French Cheese Tasting - tout suite!

It wasn’t just the stunning cheese that made the afternoon, it was sitting in Juliet’s own dining room in her beautiful home on the slopes of Black Barn here in Havelock North. What a view. I’m very proud that Juliet is a New Zealander as she has achieved greatness in my humble opinion.

After owning and running a deli in Wellington, Juliet decided to follow her passion for cheese, sold the business and moved to London, setting up the illustrious Jeroboam’s - the Wine & Cheese shop. Some of you may know of it? Reputably London’s finest, with over 150 raw milk cheeses supplied to the likes of the Ritz and Claridges - and it's still going strong. She owned this for 10 years buying and selling Europe’s and the UK’s top cheeses and wines. Can you imagine the sensory experience of opening Jeroboam’s door???

Juliet is a speaker, judge and educator around the world and lectures at the Gastronomic Institute in Italy every year. Well she did …. She’s had, and still has, an interesting, full and busy life.

Last Sunday afternoon, Juliet was testing our scant knowledge when asking if we thought each cheese was either French or New Zealand. I did quite well - guessing, of course but she certainly educated us on the smell, touch and taste of each one. You taste cheese just as you would wine - looking for the different ‘notes’ - a hint of strawberry, mushroom, citrus. It was so interesting and when Juliet suggested what a particular cheese might taste like, you could actually get that flavour.

Our tasting was done with Cider, Chardonnay and Syrah. Enjoy!

Steve (in the pink) and me (orange!) first two on the left.

Juliet imparting her knowledge!

What you should know when choosing cheese.

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