Blessed are the Cheesemakers
When you think of cheese, the chances are that you will think of France before any other country. They have, after all, over 400 Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) covering a huge variety of cheeses. Each one has a story to tell, a history, a tradition, and a terroir all its own. To celebrate this culinary icon, Topaz and Lactalis are hosting a cheese extravaganza curated by renowned maker and global ambassador for French cheese, Xavier Thuret.
Groupe Lactalis, is the number one cheese manufacturer in the world with its famous brands President, Galbani and Lactel.
Topaz is promising “a passport to cheese heaven” issued by France’s Xavier Thuret who has created the eight course dinner at Topaz on 15 March. For each course, Thuret has crafted each course to showcase the best attributes of each selected cheese and paired it with a wine that compliments its flavours and texture in a unique exploration of one of the world’s favourite foods. Tickets are $165 per person including wine pairing for this unique event.
Thuret, a dairy farmers’ son from Brie who grew up surrounded by cheese, has won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award for his cheesemaking. He has made it his mission to bring the diversity and versatility of cheese to every corner of the world. He has travelled from Korea to Kazakhstan, Japan, the United States, Brazil, and further, giving training and tasting sessions and now it is Cambodia’s turn to benefit from his encyclopaedic knowledge.
Putting cheese in what he believes to be its rightful place, Thuret treats it as a delicacy and breaks with the traditional codes of service by offering myriad recipes and pairings. Always coming up with innovative cheese pairings, Thuret matches them as a sommelier would do with wine. He plays on sweet and savoury notes to make cheese more accessible. By combining cheese and dessert in one tasty cocktail, Thuret ensures no one need choose between the two again.
Xavier Thuret has definite rules for putting together a cheeseboard selection. If you are short on quality cheeses, better to serve a good quality single cheese than an insipid assortment. Cheeses should be grouped in odd numbers, varying the flavours and production methods: goats’, cows’, bloomy-rind, blue-veined, etc.
Finally, care should be taken with the order of tasting: goats’ cheeses should be tasted first fresh, then semi-mature and lastly blue. In general, the most mature and those with the strongest flavour round off the tasting.