About seven years ago, I wanted to get out of fine dining after 15 years as a chef. I went to work for Formaggi Ocello in Surry Hills and quickly realised cheese is my one true love. I love cooking, but you don’t want to chef for your entire life; it’s a bit of a young game.

I went to Holy Goat for a couple of months and learned how to make their goat cheese, which is pretty much the best in the country. I learned about their practices, farming, the feed they give to the animals and how they treat the milk. I was really inspired by it, so I went back to Sydney and decided I would take a trip to France. I went and learned how to make a raw milk camembert from Ivan Larcher, who now has a cheese store [Long Paddock Cheese] in Castlemaine, Melbourne.

I quit my Sydney jobs and moved to the Northern Rivers to start making cheese at Nimbin Valley Dairy. I’ve had two pop-up cheese shops over the last three years, establishing a name in the community I’m in. I finally have my own site where I sell all the cheese that I make; cheese from my friend’s farms, great producers around Australia and some from France, Spain, America and the Netherlands.

Lactic goat cheese is pretty much my favourite thing to eat and make. It’s a slow process and it has really beautiful wrinkles on the outside. It takes around 24 hours to go through acidification, another 24 hours to settle and a couple of days to shape. It takes about five days to get the wrinkles and you can sell it anywhere from eight days to six weeks depending on the quality of the milk.

[Working with Holy Goat] taught me that cheese is a process that’s either in your fingertips and your heart or it’s not. A whole lot of love and nurturing along with quality milk will give you a beautiful cheese.

In its own time, the cheese will do what it’s going to do to be its best; all you can do is encourage the right kind of growth in the right environment. Basically, the cheese that you make will choose you.