To launch a business in a crowded market you must be bold.
To appear the same, maybe even slightly better, than the people down the road is just not going to cut it.
Sydney has a very healthy food scene. The city and surrounding suburbs are studded with restaurants, cafes and delis showcasing the best the world can offer. Over the last half century this town has taken migrants from all corners and they have managed, some against huge odds, to set up showcases for their hometown foods.
Dining in Sydney has never offered such cosmopolitan quality and the hunger is growing.
Cheese, comparatively easy to ship and serve, offers a unique and memorable marker of its origins. The variety from all lands, including Australia, fills many books and websites.
The trick is in delivering those tastes reliably to the customer’s palate.
It has been a dream of two young men from different backgrounds who in the last few years teamed up to have a go.
Bold? Choosing Newtown, an inner western precinct already vibrantly foodied, was not too risky but the name they choose has a very defiant strut about it.
Stinking Bishops? What on earth can they mean?
Followers of the fabulous Wallace and Gromit will have heard the name, as will fans of Monty Python’s Cheese Shop sketch.
It is an English washed rind monastery-style cheese made from local Gloucester cow milk by Charles Martell and Son, suppliers of cheese to HRH Prince Charles.
The distinctive nose arises as it matures, being washed in pear cider made from local ‘Stinking Bishop’ pears, thought to be named after one Frederick Bishop an 18th century farmer of that parish who was know to behave odiously.
The young men, Kieran Day and Jamie Nimmo, had discovered this secret seducer (the cheese, not the farmer) when in England and it helped spark their desire to set up a special cheese boutique back home.
As only 20 tonnes are made each year the lads had to wait, in spite of having the name on the door, just over a year for their first shipment to arrive. Great excitement surrounded the unwrapping.
Enthusiasts described it as pungent, uniquely stinky, creamy, delicious, and unforgettable.
TML was very pleasurably introduced to their shop’s many delights accompanied by a tasting of Tasmanian wines from Bay of Fires. The cheeses were also from that island state, fast becoming one of our most rewarding food and wine destinations.
Bay of Fires winemaker Penny Jones presented her Sparkling Rosé, rich, ripe and strawberryish, alongside delightful slivers of Heidi Farm Tilsit, creamy, firm and salty. Then we matched the her crisp and elegant Chardonnay with the Bruny Island OEN, a gloriously fragrant, full, strong and complex mouthful from a runny disc washed in pinot noir and wrapped in vine leaves. Then followed the Ashgrove cloth-wrapped cheddar, sturdy and earthy, with the vibrant and savoury Pinot Noir.
Pairing wine and cheese … something the civilised world has worshipped for centuries. Praise the Lord and pass the cheese.