Celebrating the stories and crafts of independent, spirited and extraordinary talent, #BlackBushStories is an immersive event series hosted by an eclectic mix of collaborators alongside the Bushmills Brand Ambassador.
TAKING A BITE OUT OF THE WORLD OF CHEESE CRAFT.
For renowned cheese affineur and tasting expert, Ned Palmer, a chance cheese tasting over twenty years ago was a career changing moment that has seen him become a true master in the world of cheese craft.
“That first taste of cheese was like a whole new world opening up to me,” says Ned. Asked to help out an old friend selling cheese at a market stall in London on a cold November morning, he was rewarded by being given a wedge of Caerphilly. “I’d never tasted anything like it before and everything I was used to seemed awful in comparison,” recalls Ned, “it was definitely my career lightbulb moment.”
Ned had been in and out of several jobs before that day, trying his hand at a number of roles in the worlds of philosophy, psychology, construction and musical theatre, but his heart was never in them.
Ned went on to spend seven years working at Neal’s Yard Dairy where he was sent out to work with cheesemakers all over the country. “I’m still learning,’ he admits. “The more you study cheese, the more detail you find. What the dairy really taught me though was independence, and I got to meet some of the best cheesemongers and makers in the country.”
After leaving the dairy, he took over his friend’s stall at Borough Market and began to host cheese tastings from there. Encouraged by the success of these small events, Ned started The Cheese Tasting Company in 2014, to bring cheese to the people and guide them through unique pairings with wine, beer or champagne. But Ned says that it’s whiskey that has more in common with his beloved cheese and is often a better tasting partner.