Producer of the Month: Iona Hill, Ribblesdale Cheese
This month we take a look at Ribblesdale Cheese with Iona Hill:
We are an award-winning two and a half person artisan cheesemaker based in Hawes, in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Not many people know that there are two cheesemakers in Hawes - us and the big guys!
We were started in 1978 by the current owner, Iona's uncle, Iain Hill who had his own herd of goats. Sadly we cannot look after goats and make cheese ourselves, so we buy our goat milk from a single herd near Skipton.
We specialise in goat cheese, make a little bit of sheep cheese and an unpasteurised Wensleydale which is going to the Slow Food Show at Bra, Italy in September.Why do you do what you do?
I help to make cheese, develop new cheeses and run Ribblesdale Cheese.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety, no one day is the same as the other.
What do you least enjoy about your job?
What achievement are you most proud of?
Creating our micro-dairy and becoming cheese makers once again, after a hiatus when my uncle was not well enough to make cheese himself. Proud to have developed and make a range of hard and soft goat, sheep and cow cheeses.
Why should we buy British produce?
We have a long history of farming and cheese making in the UK. We should buy British to support British farmers, local economies and all the good work that farmers do; we should be supporting our British cheese makers, there are so many excellent cheeses to choose from. Buying British and local, especially artisan British food usually means fewer food miles and a great choice of quality produce.
How do you think we should be promoting British?
Showcase British produce
If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British Food?
What's on the menu this evening?
Beetroot and goat cheese (sorry, yes, ours) tart with saute potatoes and salad
How can people get hold of your produce?
At your local deli or farm shop, and if not there, ask and see if they can get some in for you