When I was invited to a breakfast event showcasing cheese it would be fair to say I was a bit apprehensive. Don’t get me wrong I love cheese, but let’s face it I’m more of a porridge kind of gal before 8am. But I was eating my words, and most of the menu as the Dairy Council laid on a fabulous cheesy spread at the Merchant Hotel to promote a new competition encouraging entrants to ‘Cheese Up Your Life’. 

The competition will give NI foodies and local chefs the opportunity to develop an innovative and inspiring recipe which showcases their passion for cheese. If you have an enthusiasm for cooking at home or if you earn your living from cooking, you are being challenged to come up with your most creative cheese recipe. The winner of each category will receive €1,000, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Brussels where your winning recipe will be showcased at an exclusive event. 

It was great to have a chat with Lucy Cairns from Food NI and Dr Mike Johnston of the Dairy Council. He said, “The competition is part of a wider programme which celebrates European cheeses from four countries: Denmark, France, Ireland and our own delicious cheese from Northern Ireland. I would encourage any blogger with a keen interest in cooking and a creative flair for recipe ideas to enter, as well as chefs who would like to show off their skills and have their dish featured as part of the Brussels celebrations.

The winners from each of the blogger and chef categories will also attend a symposium to learn about European cheese culture including the science of what makes our cheese delicious, to future trends and the place of cheese in a modern lifestyle.”

The Northern Ireland judging panel will include cook and food writer Trish Deseine, Joy Alexander, Head of Food Technology Development at Loughry College and Dr Mike Johnston. Chief Executive of the Dairy Council of NI.  Judges will be looking for originality, an explanation of why cheese is star of the show in the recipe and something that tastes fantastic.  Remember to post the good, the bad and the ugly efforts on all the socials with the hashtag #CheeseUpYourLife. The competition is open until 14 April. Good luck!

For more details and to enter the competition visit http://bit.ly/2mx5cLQ 

Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch @GSpotsBlog or grainne@gspots.biz