As ‘cheeky chappy’ Martin Platt he was the father of the deeply
irritating David Platt and the hapless husband of the equally annoying
But since leaving the cobbles of Coronation Street seven years ago,
actor Sean Wilson has swapped his nurse’s uniform for a catering hat and overalls and turned his attention to a different art – that of artisan cheese making.
Food fanatic Wilson (who claims to have 300 cookbooks groaning on his
shelves at home) set up the Saddleworth Cheese Company in order to indulge his passion for locally-produced and sourced food and his products now do a brisk trade at delicatessens, farmers’ markets and stalls in his native North-West.
But Wilson believes that Lancashire cheese has never been well-known
outside the immediate area and wants to bring its flavour to to a much wider food-loving audience across the UK. Next week he will be taking his goods down to Suffolk, as one of the exhibitors at the Flavours of Suffolk Festival being held at the historic Henham Park just outside the seaside town of Southwold.
His cheeses (now produced at a dairy under licence) have won many
prestigious foodie gongs including the World Cheese Award for the
blue-veined Smelly Ha’peth. Others have equally quirky and memorable Lancashire names: Muldoons Picnic (A Lancashire term
given to a room full of screaming kids: “What dya think this is,
Muldoons Picnic?!” ) which is a Lancashire Crumbly; How’s yer Father,
(Lancashire Creamy) and Mouth Almighty (Lancashire Tasty). Betty
Turnpin would be drooling with delight over her famous Hot Pot.
Wilson and his colleague Rev will also be coming to Suffolk – and the
site which is the annual home to the Latitude music festival - to have
a good time. He explains:
Making cheese is fun and eating and enjoying cheese is fun. You don’t have to be all high brow about it, and equally food festivals do not have to be all hoity-toity. We plan to have fun and get everyone sampling our cheeses. I will also be doing some cookery demonstrations.
Wilson’s cheeses are now available in some supermarkets – Asda and, from July, Morrisons, and are already for sale in some parts of East
Anglia, including the famous foodie shop Bakers and Larners in Holt, north Norfolk.
He promises to give local cheese such as Suffolk Blue and Suffolk Gold a run for their money:
But it’s not about competition. It’s about savouring and enjoying the different
types of cheeses from different parts of the UK and appreciating the skills involved. We are very much looking forward to meeting the Suffolk cheese meisters and introducing them to the Lancashire cheese experience.
His cheeses, he adds, are suitable for vegetarians, using only
The aim is to stir with specially formulated cultures that connect to create a cheese that tastes like it used to taste. With traditional cutting we are preserving the all important body and character of the curd, which really does make all the difference.”
The Flavours of Suffolk (and Lancashire) Festival takes place on the weekend of 26 and 27 May, the first event of its kind but set to become an annual occasion. Co-organiser Melissa Purnell says:
It’s aimed just as much at families as at food connoisseurs so we’ve a space for kids to get involved in cooking – from decorating cupcakes to creating impressive dishes using simple techniques.
Crucially for buyers of mega-pongy cheese, there’s also chilled storage for purchases with collection at the end of the day.