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A French Woman Crowned “Best Cheesemaker in the World”

Virginie Dubois-Dhorne won the gold medal for world’s best cheesemaker at the Mondial du Fromage (International Cheese Championship), which took place in September in Tours.

During the most recent Mondial du Fromage, organized in September in Tours (Centre-Val de Loire region), a French woman, Virginie Dubois-Dhorne,won the title of world’s best cheesemaker.  
She won all nine events in the competition, judged by a jury of professionals from around the world. For this fifth edition, nine candidates from eight different countries (France, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain) faced off to try to capture the coveted title.

Blind-tasting, theoretical questions, artistic presentation of a cheese, cutting or sculpture, composing a cheese platter… the events went on for two days.

This championship represents eight months of training that became more and more relentless as the big day got closer,” Virginie Dubois-Dhorne confides.

  • A Thesis in Literature –

A consecration for this woman with four children who was writing a thesis on German literature before she met her future husband, Jean-François Dubois. “I was giving my husband, who’s a master cheese-ripener, a hand so often that I wound up becoming fascinated by cheese… Even though I’d always said I was never going to touch a piece of it in my life! she relates with a smile.

Their dairy, “La Finarde,” in Arras, supplies two cheese shops (in Lille and Paris), an on-line sales site, four cheese trucks that travel to farmers’ markets across the region, and several ripening caves“We have magnificent caves that are perfect for ripening cheese in the citadel of Arras, which was built by Vauban in the 17th century,” Virginie Dubois-Dhorne explains. What’s more, France also won the silver medal at this fifth edition of the Mondial du Fromage, thanks to Grégory Giraudon (cheesemaker at the Tour du Fromage, in Royan). The bronze medal was awarded to a Japanese woman, Chisato Nagahara.

More information about dairy products in France, click here.