Evansdale Cheese

Les Ballentine - Master Cheese Maker

Les Ballentine has worked at Evansdale Cheese for over eleven years. He has been their cheesemaker for the past nine years, and trained under Colleen and Pablo. He likes the small friendly team at Evansdale, as you can talk about anything.
He finds it incredibly rewarding that at the end of the day he’s done his best to make a beautiful cheese that people appreciate. Often at weekends he works in the shop and finds it rewarding to see people eating and appreciating the cheese that he’s made. He thoroughly enjoys making cheese, especially when you’ve made a good job of it. He likes Pablo’s sentiment; that you don’t have to travel if you work in the shop at Evansdale Cheese, as you meet people from all over the world, and all walks of life. It can be like a holiday every day.
A highlight for Les is the story of ‘Tania’; the smoked brie cheese. At the time Les’ wife was working at Evansdale Cheese, and came home with a packet of Brie cheese. This was just after Christmas, and Les’ wife had purchased a fish smoker for him for Christmas, he was smoking some fish with manuka at the time, and decided to put some of the cheese in the smoker. They tried some with lunch and thought it was delicious. Les’ wife took it back to Evansdale Cheese for the Dennison family to try, and they loved it! ‘Tania’ the smoked brie was created.
Evansdale Cheese have been really supportive of Les, who recently had time off with knee surgery. He’s looking forward to being able to get back into the garden, which he loves, now that his knee is better. He also enjoys fishing, shopping, reading and spending time with his wife outside of work.

Les Ballentine’s Evansdale Cheese recommendation: A nice strong bay yellow, on nice fresh bread, with (here’s the twist) strawberry jam, and a cold light lager.


 
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