We’re on little Donegall Street in Belfast’s city centre, standing outside a unit that’s all stripped back, industrial yet craft-y and is an emporium of sorts, but the home of a particular cheese that’s seemingly never off menu.
After a mini digesting break at the Chew The Fat table, we’re back, we’re eyeing up the cheese course and we’re in our beloved Belfast once again. Not walking around the streets seeking out the best places to eat with Caroline Wilson (that was way back in series 1, remember?) This time we’re in a fancy cheese shop, run by the Mike behind Mikes Fancy Cheese Co and arguably the man who has been mentioned in more episodes of Chew The Fat than any other person at this stage simply because of the stunning blue cheese he produces.
Michael Thomson is the man behind Young Buck –– arguably THE Irish cheese of the moment. It’s the catchy name on everyone’s lips, but the lingering flavour sating tastebuds with its intensely creamy, intensely saccharine linger that’s styled on a Stilton, except better. He tells us he doesn’t know where the ‘Mike’ in the moniker came from, as he was always called ‘Michael’ growing up, but, sure, here we are. He also tells us all about how he created the most in-demand cheese of the moment from practically nothing but a passion for cheesemaking. He explains where the name ‘Young Buck’ came from in a roundabout way. He tells us his ultimate cheese board picks. This episode is particularly delicious, if we do say so ourselves.
This raw cow’s milk blue cheese is the stuff of phenomenon, appointing the finest menus of the best establishments across Ireland –– from Ox here in Belfast to Aimsir (listen to Jordan and Majken in a recent Chew The Fat episode too!) in Kildare. Maybe not what you’d expect from such an esteemed cheesemaker, Michael is a bundle of talkative energy (and a busy man with a fledgling shop and cheesemaking empire to run) so, kick back and listen to the guts of an hour with this absolute legend. You can find Michael at his MF Cheese Co website, Instagram and Twitter.
NEW: We’re delighted to announce our wonderful sponsor for the next couple of episodes! You see, this is not just a podcast, this is Chew The Fat – presented by Russell Alford and Patrick Hanlon – and this is a Marks and Spencer-sponsored podcast. We’ve teamed up with this iconic retailer, who really needs no introduction, to tell the stories of fascinating people in food and beyond this summer as they celebrate 40 years in Ireland. Please show your support, as they support us! #ThisIsNotJust #ChewTheFat #MyMarksFave