A Northland cheese company is hoping to continue its success at being among New Zealand's best at this year's Cuisine CheeseFest.
The annual event is New Zealand's largest cheese event, and one that Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese is familiar with experiencing success at. Last year the Oromahoe cheesemaker took out two major awards.
The Rosevear family's cheese factory took out the Cuisine Champion Artisan Award for smaller producers with its Very Old Edam while Jacob Rosevear picked up the top award as champion cheesemaker.
"Obviously, we couldn't hope for much more than to do as well as last year, but winning a few gold medals would be great," Jacob Rosevear, son of Mahoe Cheese founders Bob and Anna Rosevear, said.
His brother Jesse is also an avid cheesemaker, and says being around cheese their whole life taught the siblings what made a good cheese, and they had benefited enormously from their parents' knowledge.
At this year's competition, Jacob says they'll be entering "their usual Dutch category" with an assortment of gouda and edam varieties, including their prizewinning Very Old Edam. They'll also be entering the Original New Zealand Cheese category with their new Mahoe Cardoon and the Blue Cheese category with their famous Mahoe Blue.
They've come a long way since their humble beginnings at the Rosevear family farm, where 27 years ago their first cheesery was built next to the milking shed at the farm.
Since then the company has vastly grown in both size and reputation.
The family believe much of that success comes down to their use of quality ingredients.
They only use certified organic milk, which for the past two years has been sourced from a Whangarei farm. All their products are seasonal, totally genetically modified organism free and they only use vegetarian rennet.
Mahoe cheese is sold all around New Zealand.
Cuisine CheeseFest will be held in the Langham Auckland's Great Room on February 27.
Grinning Gecko Cheese Co, from Whangarei, is the only other Northland cheesemaker entered in the awards.