Influential men in cheesemaking.

June 14, 2021 2 min read

Influential men in cheesemaking.

As Father’s Day approaches, we have chosen to celebrate some influential men in the cheese industry for our June Cheese of the Month Subscription.

This month's selection includes:


Jean Francois Dombre has transformed the fortunes of this cheese. Perail used to be made in the Roquefort farms with milk left over from making their main cheese.  As Roquefort production increased in size and moved from farm to factory scale, the production of Perail dwindled.  It was Jean Francois Dombre who formalised the recipe and made it his speciality, involving his entire family in production, promoting the cheese and advocating for its production to the extent that other local producers have chosen to make Perail as well.  The fortunes of this rich, lactic vegetal sheeps cheese have been reversed.



The Fromagerie of Gabriel Coulet, has remained in the family since its establishment in 1906.  Emmanuel Laur who now manages it with his cousin Jean-Pierre is the fifth generation of the family to make Roquefort.  Although all Roquefort production is on a relatively large scale, the Laurs have largely kept up traditional methods and their cheese has a pleasingly balanced flavour, fondant texture and rich syrupy blue.

Roqueforts being salted.

Roqueforts being salted.



The Reaux Creamery was founded by Theodore Reaux and under his guidance proved a great success winning their first Medaille d’Or in 1932.  After his death in 1952 the creamery struggled without his pioneering spirit and his daughter and son in law called on a local manufacturing family for help.  In 1983 Bertrand Gillot brought Marc Brunet in.  Marc revolutionised the management & cheesemaking.  He provided incentives for the farms supplying him with milk to produce milk which has a rich, wide variety of flavour producing bacteria naturally present.  This has meant that their cheese is elegantly subtle with complex flavours that range from vegetal buttery spring greens to more ethereal ozone, seaside qualities.



Claude Mercier’s father made Beaufort Alpage on his farm in Albertville.  When Claude took over he expanded the farm by purchasing new land in Isere.  It’s here that his cheese is made using milk that is driven down from the pastures.  Although his cheese is not chalet made, the primary ingredient is as good as that of Beaufort Alpage.  His approach is efficient and highly self-sufficient. This is evident on the farm where he uses the manure from the herd to create methane to power the farms electricity meaning they are off grid.  It is also demonstrated in the dairy, making his own starter cultures and rennet as an alpagiste would do.  His cheeses are pliable in texture and have flavours ranging from orange zest, apricot, brioche & hazelnut.

Beaufort draining in its mould

Beaufort draining in its mould



As an accompaniment, London Honey Company’s Bell Heather Honey with its aromatic, floral qualities and bittersweet notes would pair very well with the rich salty Roquefort

We would also suggest Oliveology’s Dried Figs, Corinth Rasins and Greek Roasted Hazelnuts with the Roquefort, Beaufort and Perail.