2017 Judging

2017 Judges

 Russell Smith - Chief Judge

Russell Smith travels nationally and internationally educating on Australian cheese. His particular specialty and interest lies in providing cheese sensory training and cheese education for retailers, consumers, chef and restaurateurs and the list goes on. 

After being Deputy Chief Judge of the Australian Grand Dairy Awards for the past 14 years, Russell has now stepped up to the position of Chief Judge.

Originally a scientist, Russell took a career change - buying a deli and becoming a cheese specialist in the nation’s capital. His curiosity with cheese led him to eventually devote himself to learning and educating about Australian cheese.

Russell is also the chief judge at the Royal Queensland Dairy Show and an Australian judge for the World Cheese Championships in Madison, Wisconsin.

 Mark Livermore - Deputy Chief Judge

Mark has been grading and judging Cheese and Dairy Products for over 30 years. He grew up working on dairy farms and in a factory manufacturing products including, milks, yoghurts, custards and the English Cheese varieties. He graduated from the University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury) after studying Dairy Technology and obtaining his Cheese and Buttermaker’s qualifications. 

As a Field Officer with the NSW Dairy Corporation he has assisted farms and factories on the development and implementation of HACCP systems and product improvement of a range of Italian, Greek and other European Cheeses.

Mark managed a Dairy Factory producing a range of European and English cheeses as well as yoghurts, creams, custard and milks. He has post graduate qualifications in Food Technology from University if NSW and Business Management from Charles Sturt University.

He currently lectures in Food Technology, Food Safety and runs his own Consultancy business. Mark is the Chair of Judges at the Sydney Royal Cheese and dairy Produce Show. 

Tiffany Beer

Tiffany Beer is passionate about food and especially dairy products. She has been working as a food safety consultant for almost 20 years working across most areas of the food industry, including the manufacture of dairy products including milk, cheese, yoghurt, fermented drinks, dips, ice cream, gelato and speciality dairy based nutritional products. Tiffany mainly works with small and medium sized food businesses often from the initial establishment phase.

She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Food Technology from UNSW and is constantly learning more about food. Tiffany is also a dairy judge at the Royal Agricultural Society in Sydney.

 Garry Baker

Garry has extensive industry experience including product development at Streets, product development then general management at Germantown International and product management at Danisco (now Dupont) – the number one global supplier of ingredient technology to dairy and ice cream industries. In the late 1980s Garry adopted and modified leading USA ice cream judging principles for the NSW RAS initial ice cream competition (the first in Australia and New Zealand). Jointly with peer judges he has enhanced the judging principles used in multiple ice cream and gelato competitions in Australia, New Zealand and India.

Garry has judged for both the DIAA and RAS (NSW,VIC); EKKA (Qld); New Zealand Ice Cream Association; and the All India ice cream competition.

 Sonia Cousins

In 2005, Sonia Cousins traded science and technology for cheese, and was instrumental in opening Sydney’s first dedicated cheese and wine restaurant. Having worked for most of Sydney’s best cheese retailers, she is now spends her time as a cheese educator, presenting cheese appreciation events for the public, and cheese sensory workshops for industry professionals, across Australia.

Sonia is a committee member of the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Assocation (ASCA), and a passionate advocate for artisan cheese producers, particularly in New South Wales.
In addition to AGDA, her judging credits include the Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Produce Show, Royal Queensland Cheese & Dairy Produce Show, Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards, and New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.

 Gina Dal Santo

Gina is passionate about cheese. A food technologist and lecturer with Adelaide’s TAFE SA, Gina was instrumental in the creation of the Artisan Cheese Making Academy Australia in August 2012.

Gina has judged cheese and dairy competitions around Australia and has also attended cheese sensory and judge training in Wisconsin, USA. She is also the President of the South Australian division of the Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA), a member of the Australian Institute of Food Science Technology (AIFST) and a board member of the Dairy Authorities of South Australia. Gina is also the head judge at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards Cheese and Dairy Competition and the Royal Perth Cheese and Dairy Show.

Gina works at Adelaide Central Market’s ‘Say Cheese’ and spends her spare time refining methods of cheese-making and developing new cheese recipes. Gina was just recently awarded a Church Hill Scholarship to develop a centre for cheese education creating a paddock-to-plate Artisan Cheese Industry. Her project will include a visit to several international teaching institutes to observe and review best practice teaching philosophies, methods and educational materials with a focus on Artisan Cheese. 

 Craig Davis

Craig graduated BSc Hons and holds a PhD in Food Technology from UNSW. He initially worked in academia/research at Massey University in New Zealand and at CSIRO in Canberrra and Sydney.

Since then, Craig has had a number of technical roles in the food industry and is currently working at Dupont Nutrition and Health as a Senior Application Specialist, focusing on all matters technical related to dairy products. Craig’s key interest areas are neutral pH dairy products and frozen desserts. 

 Robyn Gray

Robyn Gray is currently a business development manager for Symrise, a leading company within the flavour and fragrance Industry. She has been actively involved in the Australian Dairy Industry for over 20 years. As a qualified cheesemaker, with a technical background heavily focussed in ice cream and general dairy textures and, in recent years, flavour delivery systems, she continues to use her expertise in various judging panels throughout Australia, including the annual AGDA awards. 

Christine Koren 

I have been working in the food industry for over 15 years. Originally from Austria, I have been working in the Dairy Industry gaining knowledge as Product Manager for Cheese (White mould and blue vein cheese), yogurts, flavoured milk based drinks and dairy desserts. I immigrated in 2005 to Australia and worked in the Quality Assurance Department of Dairy Factories producing white milks, flavoured milks, yoghurts, sour cream, thickened cream and ice cream. Now I have my own consultancy company helping businesses implementing and optimizing quality systems and food safety programs.

 Carlo Mason

Carlo Mason is a dairy technologist, dairy application specialist, and a genuine foodie with an in-depth knowledge of fermented dairy product manufacturing and formulation. Currently the Business Manager for Cultures and Enzymes at Chr Hansen Australia, the leading global supplier of starter cultures to the cheese, yogurt, smallgoods and wine industries. Carlo has been with Chr Hansen for 14 years, working in technical and commercial positions that have allowed him to travel the world extensively in roles exploring the technical and commercial aspects of the fermented dairy industry. Carlo formerly spent several years in hands-on cheese production roles, scientific research at the Australian Starter Culture Research Centre (currently DIAL) , and Quality Assurance Management in the flavour and fragrance industry.

Carlo’s experience and training has led him to develop a deep understand of the technical and artisanal factors that characterise dairy products, especially fermented fresh dairy products and cheese. At Chr Hansen, Carlo manages the Technical and Commercial Sales team who specialise in supplying starter culture and enzyme technology solutions to Australia’s leading dairy, wine and smallgoods companies.

 

Richard Ousby

In 2012 Richard took out the title of the San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year, winning out over a high calibre of contestants from across the globe, at the competition held in Venice. Prior to this, he was also named the 2011 Electrolux Australian Young Chef of the Year.

Richard’s career began in Brisbane, where he started his apprenticeship working in a family owned Italian restaurant, which he continued and completed in a small hotel. When the opportunity arose for him to help with the setup and establishment of a fine dining restaurant, he gladly took it, utilizing every bit of knowledge attained to improve and perfect his skills. With a thirst for knowledge, Richard moved to England to work for Michael Roux at the Waterside Inn where he learnt about classical French cuisine and his core cooking skills were honed. In more recent years, Richard worked under Chef Peter Gilmore for 3 years, as sous chef at Quay Restaurant in Sydney, where he “discovered that an open-minded, innovative chef can draw on multiple cultural sources for one dish”.

Richard joined Stokehouse Q in late 2012, where he became head chef in early 2013 and quickly rose to the top rank of executive chef for Stokehouse restaurants in 2015. While Richard is still based in Brisbane and is focused on duties at Stokehouse Q, he is currently working towards the exciting re-opening of Stokehouse St Kilda (due to open in late 2016).

Brenda Riley

Brenda Reilly has been involved in the dairy industry in Queensland and Western Australia for 20 years in processing, regulatory and auditing roles. Brenda has judged dairy products in competitions run by the DIAA in WA and Victoria, the Perth Royal Show and the Royal Queensland Show. Brenda currently consults to the food industry on implementing and maintaining food safety programs. 

Jeremy Ryland

Jeremy Ryland is a passionate food professional with more than 40 years’ experience in the Australian food industry. Jeremy has a degree in Food Technology, an MBA in Marketing and a Master of Arts in Gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu, Academie D’Art Culinaire de Paris.

Jeremy has worked in research, manufacturing, hospitality and marketing. He is currently the Brand Development Manager for the ALH Group, who own and operate over 330 hotels in Australia. Jeremy is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Tourism at the University of Queensland. He writes on food and gastronomy for the press and appears regularly on both radio and television, promoting food science, good food and commensality. Jeremy has been a restaurant judge, reviewer and critic for over 20 years and has been judging cheese and dairy for 4 years for the RNA and the RAS. 

 Andre Sandison

Andre is a Head Teacher at Le Cordon Bleu Sydney Culinary Arts Institute. As a qualified pastry chef, dairy is frequently one of the cornerstones of his culinary repertoire. He loves sharing both his passion for the profession and the simple pleasures that come from quality ingredients. In Andre’s words: “teaching students about pastry enables the next generation to put their own signature on the profession.

Dairy provides a classic foundation that a pastry chef respects and appreciates for the distinct textures and flavours it bring to our craft.”

 Miranda Sharp

Miranda Sharp coordinates Melbourne Farmers' Markets. Needless to say, she can usually be found on a Saturday morning at a farmers’ market somewhere!

A retired chef, caterer and food writer, Miranda has cheerfully devoted 25 professional years to Melbourne’s food industry. She finds it very hard to determine where work ends and life begins.

Farmers’ markets are the culmination of her interest in Victorian producers and the edible spoils of every season. It is her quest to provide opportunities for everyone who eats to access, enjoy and afford fresh food. And more fundamentally, to remind us all that without the farmers’, the rest isn’t possible.

 

Laura Simon

Laura is the National Category Manager for Dairy at Calendar Cheese Company, based in Melbourne. In her role, Laura works closely with Australian and international cheese makers, in maintaining Calendar’s exceptional range of cheeses. Calendar Cheese Company is Australia’s leading supplier of premium cheese, butter, and cream, to restaurants, retailers and caterers. Laura is a 2001 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York with a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Management. In her 20 years in the food industry, she has worked as a qualified Chef, Cheesemonger and Quality Controller. In 2012, Laura was inducted into the prestigious Guilde Internationale des Fromagers and conducts cheese education classes for industry and the public.
 

 Petra Sugiarto

Petra Sugiarto has worked at Danisco Australia for more than 10 years in the Innovation department and holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and Master of Applied Science in Food Microbiology from UNSW.

Her particular areas of expertise are fermented dairy products such as yoghurt, quark, fromage frais, sour cream and cheese, and also neutral dairy desserts. Petra has been a judge at the Royal Agricultural Society in Sydney for dairy products including yoghurt, dairy desserts and ice cream.

On the judging panel for DIAA NSW and DIAA Victoria competitions. 

Olivia Sutton

Olivia owns a cheese shop in Essenson called Harper & Blohm which opened its doors in March 2014 with the sole purpose of supplying the people of Melbourne with some of the finest cheese the world has to offer. Olivia enjoys getting children involved in trying cheeses in the shop and helping make the cheese selection with their parents as she says “they are the next generation of cheese lovers”.

Since a child Olivia spent most holidays on her family farm on King Island where there has always been a fridge full of cheese! Prior to H&B, Olivia worked for Calendar Cheese Company for 10 years on & off as key account manager to regional Victoria & Tasmania. She also spent a year working in Ireland for Sheridans Cheesemongers.


 Bill Tzimas

Once a secondary school teacher, Bill Tzimas decided to follow his passion for fine food and opened Bill’s Farm, a fine food store at the Queen Victoria Market. Twenty-five years later, Bill’s Farm is one of the most acclaimed fine food stores in Melbourne and serves as an avenue for Australia’s cheese-makers, including up and coming new cheese-makers, to showcase their products.

cheese distribution business to cater for the demand for cheese in its best eating condition within the foodservice industry. So much so that Bill has now opened a retail store in Toorak, the Stocked Food Store and another in Malvern, Stocked Malvern.

Bill is a qualified cheese grader and his knowledge and passion for cheese quality is well-utilized in his role as a cheese judge for the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Awards, Adelaide Cheese Fest and the Royal Melbourne Show Dairy Awards.

Peter Wisler

Peter is a qualified Swiss Cheesemaker with over 30 years industry experience. He migrated to Australia in 1993. Peter has worked in a variety of dairy companies in Switzerland, Australia and Thailand, before joining Dupont (formerly Danisco) to focus on starter cultures for the dairy industry among other things. Today, Peter runs his own company, including consulting to dairy companies in the field of R&D, problem solving, process design & improvement, grading and general factory management.

 Geraldine Walker

Geraldine Walker is an Applications Leader at Dairy Innovation Australia, a research and development facility servicing the needs of the Australian dairy manufacturing industry.

Since graduating from a Bachelor of Science (Food Science and Technology), she has worked in the Australian dairy industry for 14 years, and during this time has focused on the functional properties of dairy ingredients within food systems. This work has included several successful presentations and demonstrations for Dairy Australia’s Greater China and Japan Scholarship groups.

Geraldine is part of the DIAL sensory team and enjoys working with dairy manufacturers to develop sensory solutions. She has judged at both the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and the Dairy Industry Association of Australia Awards.

 Garry Baker

Garry has extensive industry experience including product development at Streets, product development then general management at Germantown International and product management at Danisco (now Dupont) – the number one global supplier of ingredient technology to dairy and ice cream industries.

In the late 1980s Garry adopted and modified leading USA ice cream judging principles for the NSW RAS initial ice cream competition (the first in Australia and New Zealand). Jointly with peer judges he has enhanced the judging principles used in multiple ice cream and gelato competitions in Australia, New Zealand and India. Garry has judged at AGDA; DIAA; RAS (NSW,VIC); EKKA (Qld); New Zealand Ice Cream Association; and the All India ice cream competition.

 Garry Baker

Garry has extensive industry experience including product development at Streets, product development then general management at Germantown International and product management at Danisco (now Dupont) – the number one global supplier of ingredient technology to dairy and ice cream industries.

In the late 1980s Garry adopted and modified leading USA ice cream judging principles for the NSW RAS initial ice cream competition (the first in Australia and New Zealand). Jointly with peer judges he has enhanced the judging principles used in multiple ice cream and gelato competitions in Australia, New Zealand and India. Garry has judged at AGDA; DIAA; RAS (NSW,VIC); EKKA (Qld); New Zealand Ice Cream Association; and the All India ice cream competition.

RSS Feed