Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings

Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings

Posted: 14 June 2024

Growing up with ‘The Grand High Cheese Lord’ as your father means you will learn a lot about fromage (or cheese for us simple readers), and Ellie and Sam have released their must read book which once you turn a page you’ll be planning your next spread, soiree or snack for one.

Upon researching this amazing sibling duo, this writer found that ‘The Studd family joke is that their veins run with brie instead of blood, so it’s no great surprise that siblings Ellie and Sam Studd share their father’s passion for cheese’. It’s true that their pedigree is remarkably rare and one of enviable experience and knowledge, given their cheese loving father has created quite the empire in Australia importing some of the best cheeses imaginable. Will Studd’s offspring have embarked on a lifelong journey of learning and they themselves are members of the International Guilde Des Fromagers and ACS Certified Cheese Professionals. We were delighted to come across their book with a very obvious focus, titled ‘The Best Things in Life are Cheese’ last year and decided we must interview them and learn more about the pair and the knowledge of cheese they have to share.

Studd Siblings

Q: Tell us about what inspired the journey to write and create your book?

Sam: We live, breathe and encompass all things cheese. To be honest, this was a manifestation of Ellie's accord. Once she had put the concept into the universe, we were contacted by a fantastic publisher (Plum) one week later. We then spent the next two years arduously working to create a book that we were proud of. We want the cheese to be accessible and for people to be as excited by it as we are. The basic concept of this book is to demystify cheese and allow people to get excited by this delicious nutrient source. It's also got 70 + lip smacking cheesy recipes.

Ellie: Even though we were surrounded by cheese growing up, I remember my first job at a cheese shop and feeling like a deer in headlights on my first day when I looked at the cheese counter. There were so many cheeses I still did not know or was not familiar with. I was shy and didn’t know what questions to ask and felt like I needed to know it all straight away. I think I wrote the book to that younger version of myself and anyone that may feel like that. I really tried to channel that person standing before the cheese counter and how I would have liked to be taught and guided. I like learning from stories that are fun, witty and interesting but also have some solid bits of knowledge to them... I wrote it with that lens in mind . I have also had to read a lot of dry cheese books in my time when I was studying it so I felt quite determined for ours NOT to be one of those. I felt like there was a gap in the market for an engaging look at cheese that shared quality entry level knowledge and basics with our ‘how to’ sections, but also did not hold back on sharing an abundant amount of cheese recipes for every occasion.

3 great cheeses you need to add to your next grazing board

Q: What are 3 great cheeses you need to add to your next grazing board and why?

Sam: I will skip this question and say you should make a 'rock star' cheese board. Sometimes, less is more. Recently, I have been loving Le Dauphin Petit Double - Crème drizzled with local honeycomb. Think dreamy creamy, unctuous texture with a lactic finish — If you are in the drinking mood, make sure you have a bottle of bubbles. It's a match made in heaven. Ellie: Aged Le Gruyere AOP, an Alpine hard cheese. This only seems fitting as I am on route to Switzerland to see Le Gruyere be made right now as I answer these questions and to see the cows for transhumance down the mountains ! Le Gruyere is known for its smooth texture, and if it’s aged over 12 months it will likely have some nutty , sweet butterscotch notes to it too and even a few cheese crystals if you are lucky. It’s nice to have something approachable on a cheese board so people feel confident and comfortable to explore the rest of the board. Le Marquis Chèvre du P é lu s sin , as it’s spring. goat cheese is creamy, light and has a velvety texture. I like that it converts most goat cheese haters with its not bucky, beautiful lemony zesty taste. Berry’s Creek Riverine Blue. A local buffalo blue that’s sweet, light and delicious that also has Spring vibes all over it. It’s nice to support local Australian artisan cheeses, and Barry’s are delicious.

Q: This is a pretty special book, what is it you hope readers come away with after reading it?

Cheese can be intimidating, a little like wine. We all know we like it, but sometimes it can be hard to talk about it. We want to remove this wank factor and get people excited about exploring the amazing world of cheese. After reading this book, you will have a grounded understanding and will be able to have a chin - wag with anyone who will listen to you about how wonderful cheese is.

Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings
Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings
Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings

Q: Can you share one of your most memorable trips to a cheese maker in particular?

Sam: This is a hard one for us. We have spent so much of our lives travelling and visiting cheese producers (ridiculous, we know). One of our favourite places to visit is our dear family friend Delphine Carles, who produces the world's best Roquefort. The cheese she makes is a show stopper and is entirely handmade using traditional old - school methods passed down over generations. Her attention to detail is like no other, and her mantra for producing the world's best cheese is; patience, empathy and respect. The Aveyron region is jaw - dropping to say the least. It's surrounded by a magic limestone mountain that hides the caves where the cheese is matured. We get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Ellie: Yes, I agree with Sam. There is something magical about Delphine... It’s also the lost in translation way we have to communicate with her French to our broken French and English. The way she cheeky tells you she puts the burnt bread in the caves (for the spores of Penicillium Roqueforti to grow) on a full moon and when the wind is coming from a certain direction with a witchy powerful smile ... you do not know whether she is joking or oh so serious.

Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings
Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings

Q: From a design perspective, if you could go back in time, what era would it be and why?

Sam: It would be post the Art Deco era that rolled into the 60s. A level of experimentalism pushed the status quo and resulted in some wacky but brilliant designs. That period stunk of opportunity, and a general change in consciousness became a free way of thinking, creating, and course design.

Ellie: I mean mid - Century Danish design will just always be sexy... I feel Zen , elegant and more organised just by looking at it. YES to those clean lines, simple form , wood and black leather. Yummy! My partner and I have a couple of pieces in our home, but I bought a miniature toy version on our last trip to Japan from a vending machine. ‘For Stella’s future dollhouse!’ I claimed! (meanwhile , Stella is far too young to play with them, so they sit in a glass Scandinavian light that kind of looks like a spaceship that sits over the dining table that you can rotate a display in... the miniature set is currently the feature in there!).

Q: We believe that if you sleep well, you live well. What does your sleep wind - down routine look like?

Sam: I love sleep but have a hard time getting there sometimes. I make sure to limit my screen time, reduce artificial light, have a good book on hand, and have good comfy bedding.

Ellie: I’m a double Sagittarian who hates to be pinned down at any time... but after the birth of my daughter Stella, I have a newfound love for routine ! Our wind down routine for us starts when we get Stella ready for bed. We always try to go for one last walk or sit on the hill in the park before the sun goes down. It’s a conscious grounding activity for me to say goodbye to the day that was. Then we go home, we dim the lights, light a candle or two, and put on a yoga mantra calming playlist for her while we do her bath. Then it’s baby massage, books, bottle and bed for her with a family night - time lullaby, then she’s out. This often sets the mood for the rest of our evening... the candles remain lit and music still on while we cook and clean up her whirlwind mess as it keeps the house energy calm... We are also pretty ready for bed after dinner! As new parents, my partner and I call it “the reverse sleep in” so generally we are in bed by 8:30/9! We try to cut our screen time an hour before lights out and have got back into books before bed...We then do a dual meditation and go to sleep! OMG we are nannas, but we are into it!

Never Eat Bad Cheese Again Thanks To the Studd Siblings