The Tenth Edition of Cheese Launched with the Winners of the 2015 Slow Cheese Award

18 Sep 2015 | English

The tenth edition of Cheese was officially launched today with the presence of Slow Food president Carlo Petrini and the leading local authorities. Cheese takes place from today until September 21 in Bra, Italy.

During the inaugural ceremony the Slow Cheese Award, this year in its fourth edition, was presented.  Slow Food presents this award to herders and artisan cheesemakers who have turned their back on the shortcuts offered by modernity. Instead they stubbornly continue to make cheese and other foods with respect for naturalness, tradition and taste even when it means hard work, risk and isolation. They are taking a stand, for us too, keeping alive an extraordinary heritage of knowledge, skills and nature.

The 2015 edition recognizes:

André Valadier, renowned producer of Laguiole (France).

A legendary dairy farmer in the small region of Aubrac, André Valadier is responsible for the revival in the 1960s of the Tome de Laguiole, cornerstone of French cheese tradition, and the Aubrac cattle breed. The founder of the Jeune Montagne cooperative, for years the mayor of the town of Laguiole, a regional councilor for Midi-Pyrenées and the chair of INAO’s national committee for dairy products, Valadier remains a reference point for new generations of French cheesemakers.   

Guilherme “Capim” Ferreira, young veterinarian and cheesemaker in São Roque de Minas (Brazil).

Born and raised in the city of São Paulo, Guilherme “Capim” Ferreira, 28, has taken his grandfather’s farm in São Roque de Minas as the starting point for constructing his future. In 2011, after studying veterinary medicine, Guilherme decided to take over the family farm and dedicate his life to raising livestock and producing cheeses like the traditional Serra da Canastra on the Slow Food Ark of Taste. He also chose to revive a local cattle breed, the Caracu. Now, though he continues to respect tradition, his farm is one of the most pioneering in the country; he has expanded into pig farming and will soon start running educational activities. 

María Jesús Jiménez Horwitz, cheesemaker and campaigner for traditional Spanish cheeses, Spain.

A cheesemaker from Jayena, near Granada, and chair of the Red Española de Queserías de Campo y Artesanas, an association of Spanish producers that defends and promotes the artisanal dairy sector, María Jesús Jiménez Horwitz is fighting to protect the extraordinary biodiversity of Spanish cheeses, currently under threat from standardization and food-safety regulations. She already has a degree in pharmacy, but also obtained a master in food safety in order to be able to dialog better with the administrations and authorities about the regulatory restrictions that endanger the survival of small artisanal dairies and their traditions.

Agitu Ideo, Cheesemaker and Mòchena goat farmer from a pastoral community in Ethiopia who immigrated to Trentino-Alto Adige (Italy).

Agitu Ideo, 36, is originally from Ethiopia. She discovered Trento as a student, fell in love with the area and decided to settle here. Having fled Addis Abeba with her family of nomadic herders, their way of life threatened by land grabbing, she decided to raise Pezzata Mòchena goats in Valle San Felice, in the Gresta Valley. The breed is typical of the area and at risk of extinction. On her farm, La Capra Felice (“The Happy Goat”), she raises 70 goats and 50 egg-laying hens on 11 hectares of formerly abandoned land, and cultivates 4,000 square meters of vegetables. La Capra Felice also has a small dairy and an agriturismo.

Ferdinando Quarteroni, Farmer of Orobica goats, a Slow Food Presidium breed from Lombardy at risk of extinction (Italy).

Formerly an electrician accustomed to city life, 20 years ago Ferdinando Quarteroni decided to change his life, and with his family he moved to the countryside to start a new adventure in livestock farming. In Lenna, in the Brembana Valley, Ferdy (his nickname and the name of his agriturismo) raises Bruna cattle, Avelignese horses and Orobica goats (a Slow Food Presidium), producing traditional goat’s milk cheeses like roviola, matuscin and formagin. School groups are welcomed at the farm, which also has a restaurant, rooms and a small spa.

Madeleine Hanssen, Producer of raw-milk Herve, a Slow Food Presidium (Belgium).

A strong character, eminently practical and hard working, Madeleine Hanssen is as at home in the role of producer as raw milk is in cheese. Having taken over her family’s hundred-year-old farm in the province of Liège, she began making traditional Herve, a Slow Food Presidium, along with her husband Philippe. Madeleine’s Herve is the result of an age-old family passion, but is still at risk from the perils of hygiene-obsessed legislation. These regulations are what led to the closure of the family farm of José Munnix, the last producer of raw-milk Herve apart from Madeline. In response, artisanal producers from Wallonia, including Madeleine, have joined together to come up with shared strategies to protect small-scale raw-milk cheese production.

Cheese 2015 has been made possible by the support of companies who believe in the future of the quality dairy sector, including the Official Partners: Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano, Lurisia, Pastificio Di Martino and Radeberger Gruppe Italia.

Cheese, the international biennial event organized by the City of Bra and Slow Food, will be held in Bra (Italy) from Friday, September 18 to Monday, September 21, 2015. Dedicated to milk in all its shapes and forms, the event has led to the formation of an international network of cheesemakers and dairy artisans, and is currently on its tenth edition.

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:

Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285, [email protected]

Città di Bra: Raffaele Grillo – Elena Martini, +39 0172 438278, [email protected] –

Slow Food involves millions of people who follow the philosophy of good, clean and fair food. The network is made up of enthusiasts, chefs, experts, young people, food producers, fishers and academics in over 150 countries. It includes 100,000 Slow Food members worldwide, who belong to 1,500 local chapters. Their membership fee helps to fund the association, and they participate in many locally organized events. The network also includes the 2,000 Terra Madre food communities, who are committed to sustainable, small-scale food production.





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