In today’s instalment of our ‘Reaping the Rewards’ series we meet Philip Wilton and Keith Sides who set up Wildes Cheese, the city’s first urban cheesemaker. Anyone for a slice of Londonshire?
When Philip Wilton was made redundant from his role as a management consultant he decided he wanted to change careers and make something ‘real’. After trying baking and contemplating brewing, he set up Wildes Cheese on an industrial estate in Tottenham in 2012 with his partner, Keith Sides.
This was London’s first ‘urban cheesemaker’ and Philip wanted it to stand out from the crowd. ‘We didn’t want to make cheddar or anything that’s already made beautifully by other cheesemakers, we wanted to try something different,’ he explains. Wildes gets its milk direct from a farmer and innovates constantly, creating blended cheeses such as St Bruce, flavoured with local ale, and the Londonshire, a soft cheese with a velvet coating.
Wildes makes six or seven different cheeses at the rate of 2,500 litres a week and also runs cheesemaking courses, allowing enthusiasts to experiment with bacteria among the vats, chill rooms and plastic moulds that fill the cluttered dairy. ‘It’s a traditional rural skill and everybody is aghast that I’m in Tottenham, but you can do anything in London,’ says Wilton. ‘The logistics are complicated and it’s more expensive, but it can be done, so we did it.’ For stockists see wildescheese.co.uk
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Photography: Chris Terry