The 17th South African Cheese Festival kicks off on Friday 27 April at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch, and this year you’ll be able to get in on the action. Cheese lovers will know that it’s the place to be for all things cheese - but this year you’ll also be able to get in on the cheesy action.

#YourWheyWithCheese Cook-off 

Would you like to show off your cooking flair? Amateur chefs are invited to enter their water-wise recipes with President cheese for the #YourWheyWithCheese Cook-off in partnership with Heart FM. Chef Jenny Morris and co-judges Kamini Pather and Sihle Ngobese will choose the Top 30, who will cook off at Jenny Morris’ ChefsPlayground Cooking School in Cape Town on Saturday 17 March, and the Top 15 on Saturday 7 April. Four finalists will cook off at the SA Cheese Festival, two on Friday 27 April, two on Saturday 28 April, with the final Cook-off on Sunday 29 April. Visit the website before Saturday 10 March to enter. Prizes include a four-week cooking course with Jenny Morris and a two-day cheese-making course with Leon the Milkman. 

Lots of cheese on offer at the SA Cheese Festival. Pic by A. Gorman Photography.

Interactive food theatres 

Celebrity chefs galore will cook up a storm in the three food theatres at the SA Cheese Festival. Jenny Morris (The Giggling Gourmet), Kamini Pather (MasterChef SA winner), The Food Alchemist Pete Goffe-Wood (Master Chef and Ultimate Braai Master Judge), Carmen Niehaus and Leon the Milkman will entertain guests in the Agri-Expo Cooking Pot. Herman Lensing (Friday), Zola Nene (Saturday) and Johnny Hamman (Sunday) will oversee food demonstrations in the Cape Made Kitchen, in partnership with the Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA) and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. In the Standard Bank Tasting Room specialist presenters will treat visitors to cheese pairings with unique combinations including South Africa’s Top Ten Chenin Blanc wines, craft beer and a variety of teas. 

Cheese carving and live music 

There will be great prizes and of course some delicious cheese to be won in the Ladismith Cheese-carving competition, that takes place daily at Blossom’s Gazebo.  At the Stellenbosch Vineyards Music Gazebo, Cheese Festival goers will be treated to the sounds of popular artists Nic Stevens (Friday), Die Wildberries and Kurt Darren (Saturday), as well as old favourites by Absolutely Fabulous, Sincere Swing, Under Cover and Bev Scott Brown and SHIM SHAM. 

Connoisseur’s Experience

Cheese aficionados, who crave a more intimate tryst with cheese and foodies, will do well to book for the exclusive Connoisseurs’ Experience. This tailormade package (at R850 per person) will entitle you to delights that only the Connoisseurs (limited to 100 persons per day) can experience, including VIP parking and entrance, an exclusive Jenny Morris show, a cheese-making demonstration by Leon the Milkman, a President-curated cheese platter and more.

The SA Cheese Festival takes place from Friday, 27 April to Sunday, 29 April 2018 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch.  Tickets are available at any Computicket outlet, Shoprite or Checkers store at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children between 2 years and 13 years pay R20 per person per day. No tickets will be sold at the gates. The festival times are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily.