Ian Roberton – Director
Ian has always had a love and interest in food which was developed working as a chef in Europe and Australia. His overseas sabbatical lasted 3 years during which he experienced cultures, cuisines from the Himalayas to the Persian Gulf, Scandinavia and Russia to Northern Africa and China.
On returning home and starting a family Ian was looking for a pathway beyond the busy life of a chef, but wanted to remain connected with food and make use of his extensive travel experience. In the early 80s cheese wasn’t taken very seriously in Australia. Remember those tiny tins of hard Camembert ! It also saw the emergence of a small, innovative and persistent group who started to make their own cheese.
Ian saw the opportunity to work with these local cheese makers and chefs, he established Meribel fine foods in 1990 and took a range of specialty cheeses to the marketplace. Ian’s mantra for over 30 years has been to promote the industry and educate the public, providing personalised service. Meribel now sells the best cheese in the world.
For over 10 years Ian held the voluntary positions of ASCA Vice President and Chief Judge. Ian ran the successful annual specialist cheese shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Before this time cheese shows had only 6 classes of cheddar and everything else was lumped together as ” fancy cheese “. Ian totally restructured the judging procedure for specialty cheese.
Ian retired from ASCA to focus on International cheese judging . He was invited to be a member of the supreme judging panel at The World Cheese Awards in the U.K. Since 2010 Ian judges annually at the International Cheese Awards, the oldest and largest cheese show in the world. He is now the Australasian Ambassador for the show, coordinating all entries from Australia and New Zealand. The show attracts in excess of 5500 entries from all over the world and is challenging, daunting, educational and terrific fun to be involved with.
Out of the Office
Ian is a happily married family man with three wonderful children and a house run by 2 cats and 1 very important dog. Ian’s interests vary from music and photography to cycling, since he was a teenager (and it wasn’t the fashionable pastime of older chaps),with at least ten ’round the bay” rides under his belt. He loves snow skiing and ocean swimming, achieving “ Triple Shark Bait ” ( 30 years plus ) in the annual Lorne Pier to Pub swim. He has spent a life time renovating and has a love of camping and the bush.