TWO of South Gippsland’s local producers have come up trumps at the 2016 Australian Food Awards (AFA).
Prom Coast Ice Cream is celebrating after winning a Gold Medal for their Blood Orange Sorbet and a Bronze for their Creme Brulee Ice Cream. They also gained a trophy for Best Sorbet.
This is the first time Prom Coast Ice Cream products have been entered in a competition and Hilary and Daniel are very happy with winning two medals from two entries.
“Our products aren’t like anything else on the market and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the judges. It’s not just a win for us, it’s a win for Toora and small-scale regional manufacturers,” they said.
Customers looking to purchase the award-winning products are encouraged to visit the website at www.promcoasticecream.me to locate their closest stockist or visit Prom Coast Ice Cream on facebook.
Carolyn and Paul Pangrazzi of Pangrazzi Cheese are also celebrating their success, having been awarded two Silver Medals and a Bronze Medal at the Australian Food Awards.
Presented by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the Australian Food Awards (AFA) is Australia’s leading national food awards program, and each of the medals equates to the placing of a National Brand Seal of Excellence upon the product.
It also provides the producers with the opportunity to showcase their award winning products to around half a million consumers over 11 days at the RASV’s Royal Melbourne Show in September.
Pangrazzi Cheese’s Cherokee Red and Hoddle Brie were each awarded a Silver medal and the Hoddle Camembert received a Bronze Medal. All three cheeses were in the same category and while Carolyn and Paul were not expecting to receive a medal, they are absolutely thrilled to have received three.
Their products were benchmarked not only against cheeses from Victoria but also from other states using strict criteria which addresses many aspects of the product including aroma, flavour and texture.
As commercial producers of organic cheese only since June 2015, this recognition of accomplishment comes just a few short months after they received a Silver for their Hoddle Camembert at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show.
It is not possible to purchase Pangrazzi Cheese at the factory, however these fantastic products can be purchased locally in Foster at Aherns Fruit Market & Fine Foods and IGA, in Fish Creek at the General Store, and 9 Acres, and are on the menus of the Fish Creek Hotel, K O Bar & Grill and the Yanakie General Store. They are also available at Meeniyan and Tarwin Lower IGA, the Koonwarra Store and Paddlewheel. Pangrazzi Cheese is also represented by a Melbourne wholesaler and at the Sydney Cheese Market.
Paul and Carolyn purchased the family farm 29 years ago and it has been an organic dairy farm for just over 25 years.
Paul leant the basics of cheese-making 15 years ago at a community house class and was hooked, making cheese for themselves, their family and friends in the ‘cheese room’ of their home.
Continuing to make cheese over the intervening years, the couple nurtured a dream of having their own cheese factory and construction began in late 2014 of their 600 square metre factory.
“We used local electricians and plumbers, but other than those, everything was done by ourselves, our family and friends. We know every rivet!” said Carolyn.
It was a labour of love, and they are justifiably proud of the outcome of all that hard work.
Barry Charlton and Cheryl Hulls, creators of the highly awarded Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese, share the passion for cheese and lease part of the factory from Paul and Carolyn for the production of their products.
Paul worked for Barry for 12 months prior to their sharing the premises. “Barry is a wonderful mentor – he has so much knowledge,” said Paul. It has been a positive move for Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese, as Barry and Cheryl were not able to expand any further at their previous location.
Paul and Carolyn are grateful to have on board their only factory staff member, Belinda Reynolds. “Belinda is our angel,” said Carolyn. “She’s just fantastic – whether it’s cleaning, sanitising, wrapping, packing, more cleaning……she is absolutely wonderful.”
Paul and Carolyn fully appreciate where they live and work. “The people of the Fish Creek and Foster communities are marvellous. It’s great to have community support,” she said.
Their products are the epitome of ‘paddock to plate,’ as they personally begin with milking 80 to 100 head of cattle and then tend to their cheese. Their working day may then consist of actually making cheese or of the many other aspects of cheese-making, which could mean being involved directly with the product for anything from a few hours to 10 or 12 – and then returning to the many other duties concerned with the running of a farm.
“We love what we do,” said Carolyn. “We get up in the morning feeling happy and excited to be creating our products,” she added.
“We wake up happy every day; it’s great to know that people are enjoying the result of what we do,” said Paul.