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Read all about the judges for 2016

Dr. Sally Flint

Sally Flint is a published, award-winning writer. She lectures  in creative writing and literature at the University of Exeter. She co-founded and  co-edits Riptide Short Story Journal and Canto Poetry and works with ‘Stories Connect’ ‒ a project which helps people at vulnerable times in their lives ‘change their lives through literature’. Her poetry collectionPieces of Us, (Worple Press), is available here: http://www.worplepress.com/pieces-of-us/

Mary Quicke MBE

Mary Quicke runs J G Quicke & Partners, and Quickes Traditional Ltd, a £3.5m turnover integrated cheesemaking and farming (cows and crops) business. She is the 14th generation on the farm. The aim of the business is to produce world class cheese, sold world class around the world with excellence in farming. She has run the business since 1987.

Quicke’s Traditional Cheese is the largest British naturally matured traditional cheddar maker. Cheese has been made on the farm during the family’s 470 year history. Mary’s mother Prue, an accomplished artist, set up the current cheese dairy in 1973 while raising 6 children. The cheese is multi award winning, for instance winning Best Cheddar at the British Cheese Awards 3 years out of the last 6, winning Best English Cheese in 2015 and consistently win trophies at major cheese competitions in the UK. The hallmark flavour is complex, balanced and with a long finish, and some characteristic horseradishy notes under the rind. The cheese sells to key outlets in the UK, and over one third to export, mainly US and Australia.

The 1500 acre farm has 500 cows grazing outside for 10-11 months, grows crops to feed the cows, to sell and to support wildlife in extensive environmental schemes. It has a farmshop selling cheese and superb foods locally foraged, and Quickes Farm Kitchen, where you eat the cheese and other local foods while watching the cows graze to produce the milk to make the cheese. The business employs 44 people in Newton St Cyres, Exeter, Devon, England.

Mary speaks widely on farming and cheese, eg in November 2015 addressed the British Mastitis Conference on the characteristics of milk required to make world class cheese, and the Grasslands in Profile Conference on the soil structure issues of mob grazing. She is active in promoting the requirement for scientifically knowledgeable, technically capable, practically engaged people to support the very applied sciences of farming and cheesemaking.

She writes a monthly blog, Mary’s Dairy Diary, available of her website www.quickes.co.uk, and also is an award-winning columnist for Devon Life www.devonlife.co.uk.

Mary has been married for 36 years to Tom Langdon-Davies, and they have two children, Jane 26 and Michael, 22. The 15th generation of the family is on the farm, Mary’s daughter Jane and niece Lucy.

Mary’s interests include:

  • Awarded MBE for contribution to farming & cheesemaking 2005
  • Chairman of Devon County Agricultural Association
  • President Devon County Show 2012
  • Past chairman 300 Cow Club
  • Longest serving director of Devon Grain
  • Awards Devon Farm Business Awards Lifetime Achievement Award 2014
  • Founder Vice Chairman Maize Growers Association
  • Judge at World Cheese Awards, Bath & West Show, British Cheese Awards & at American Cheese Society Awards. Personal awards at International Cheese Awards (Nantwich), & World Cheese Awards (2015)
  • SW Columnist of the Year 2015 at EDF Media Awards
  • RASE Excellence in Practacal Farming Award 2001, Daily Express Best British Farmer Award (1999)
  • Chairman of Governors of Newton St Cyres School and Queen Elizabeth’s Community College, and school governor for around 20 years
  • Surfer, edible gardener and bellringer for over 40 years
Tom Jaine

Once a professional archivist and then a restaurateur at the Carved Angel, Dartmouth (1974-1984 in partnership with Joyce Molyneux, George Perry-Smith and Heather Crosbie – all formerly of the Hole in the Wall restaurant, Bath, Tom was also organiser of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1984-1988.

He became the proprietor of Prospect Books in 1993, specialising in food and food history. Among their publications they numbered the winner of the Langhe Ceretto Prize for Best European Recipe Book 1998, winner of the Michael Smith Award of the Guild of Food Writers 2000, winner of a Special Award from the Andre Simon Memorial Prize, and many other titles shortlisted for the Glenfiddich Awards or the Andre Simon Prize.

Tom was editor of the Good Food Guide 1989-1994; Winner of the Glenfiddich Award Restaurant Writer of the Year 1994; Winner of the Glenfiddich Award Food Broadcaster of the Year 2000; and Winner of the Glenfiddich Trophy Wine and Food Writer of the Year 2000.

He is also the author of Cooking in the Country (1986), Making Bread at Home (1998), Building a Wood-fired Oven (1996), Cosmic Cuisine (1988), Traditional Country House Cooking (contributor, 1993). His journalistic work includes The Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard and various other weekly or monthly journals.

He has wide broadcast experience, including: various interviews on BBC radio, BBC TV, ITV; presenter of The Food Programme (Radio 4) in 1992 and again in 2001 and contributor to various items on The Food Programme over the last ten years; presenter of one item on BBC TV Food and Drink in 1997; a series of programmes in 1999-2000 about food and cookery in the Balkan region on Radio 4.

Editor, the International Food and Wine Society’s journals International Gastronomy and Wine and Food 1986-1989; Editor, Westcountry Cooking’s Guide to Good Food in the West Country, 1999, 2000. Tim has presented papers at, among others, the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1985, the Australian Symposium on Gastronomy 1986, South Australia’s Writers’ Week at Adelaide 1998, the University of Adelaide’s International Conference on Food History 2001.

Geoff Fox

Geoff Fox taught children, student-teachers and practising teachers in schools and universities in the UK and abroad. In retirement, he helps to run the Crediton Arts Centre and works as a storyteller and role-player in local primary schools. He has written several books and continues to review and write about fiction and poetry published for young readers.

He was a judge for the Crediton Short Story Competition 2015.