Cheese & Larder

A visit to Richmond Hill Café & Larder is not complete without popping into our famous Fromagerie - the cheese room & larder, where our passionate Cheesemongers will introduce you to our range of carefully selected benchmark cheeses and products from all over the world.

The original and still the best, The Richmond Hill Café & Larder cheese room was set up by world-renowned chef Stephanie Alexander and still to this day is considered one of Melbourne’s finest sources for heritage and bespoke cheeses.

Today our Fromagerie is run by our head Cheesemonger Celia, who was born in the South Central Ardeche region of France, in a little town called Joyeuse, meaning ‘happy’. With a master’s degree in language, Celia’s first love is Cheese and is well informed on the subject. She learnt everything she knows about cheese through her extensive travels and on-site at Richmond Hill, learning from local cheese and winemakers. Celia’s team is supported by Cheesemonger Blake, whom we endearingly call the cheesy moustache. Blake’s in-depth knowledge of local and imported cheese and wine is second to none.

Our Cheesemongers are passionate about service and cheese education, come into the cheese room where they will advise and educate you on our best eating cheeses, how to serve and care for your cheeses; and help you in selecting the perfect accompaniment from our well-stocked larder. If you are planning a function or need help with a cheese order, cheese tower or cheese grazing station, then please do not hesitate to call or email us and the cheese team will be sure to help.

Cheese Club

Our cheese club is a fantastic way to have cheese delivered right to your door, even if you’re unable to make it into the Fromagerie. An annual membership entitles you to 6 exclusive cheese offers throughout the year – each offer includes a delectable selection of cheeses, chosen for their seasonal quality, and larder products chosen to complement each cheese.

From ‘underground’ Swiss cheeses to as yet un-heard of boutique Australian cheeses; our cheesemongers take great joy in sourcing interesting cheeses for our Cheese Club. Our Cheese Club members are introduced to a range of unique (and the occasional classic) cheeses with each exclusive offer. We like to work within the seasons, offering warmer, more robust cheeses through the winter and lighter, fresher cheeses during summer.

Cheese Club membership also entitles the holder to a 10% discount on any purchase in the Cafe or Larder here at Richmond Hill (excluding vouchers and functions).
 
Orders can be placed at any time and will usually arrive within 2-3 days of dispatch. To ensure it arrives in perfect condition, we pack the cheeses in a specially designed cool-box with tasting notes about the cheese and how to use and store it properly. Each offer includes information on how to best match your cheese with wine and a selection of recipes from our Head Chef and cheesemongers for you to try at home.
 
Furthermore, if you’re stuck with gift ideas, Cheese Club memberships can be given as gifts – the perfect present for any cheese lover or foodie!
 
Annual registration is $38.50 (Inc. GST) and includes a membership card for use whenever you are in store.
 
Click HERE to join the Cheese Club online
 
If you have any enquiries please contact us at  thecheeseclub@rhcl.com.au

Cheese Towers

If you are looking for something unique, bespoke and modern, an incredible experience to wow both your guests and your taste buds then look no further than our custom made Cheese Towers – a perfect alternative to wedding & celebration cakes and the ultimate feature at a private celebration or corporate event.

Celebration cakes crafted from whole wheels of cheese have fast become a popular complement, or an exciting alternative, to traditional cakes served at events like birthdays and other festivities. Let our re-known Fromagerie experts create a truly bespoke tower for your special day with our perfectly ripened wheels of local and imported cheeses.
 
Our unique Cheese Towers will not only make for a fantastic display but also a truly memorable experience.
Whether it be a wedding for 50 or 250, or a private birthday celebration or corporate event, we will work with you to find a selection of cheeses to appeal to your tastes and be a talking point for your guests.
 
It is not always easy on a busy Saturday or even during the week to devote the time needed to explain all different options that are available to you when creating your ultimate cheese tower. From choosing the cheeses & styling to organising a delivery time, there is a lot to discuss. We recommend that you book a consultation with one of our experts to ensure we can customize your tower to suit your tastes and needs.
 
To organise a consultation please fill out the form below and email it to thecheeseclub@rhcl.com.au or  call us on (03) 9421 2808.


Wedding Cheese Tower Form

Cheese Grazing

There’s nothing like cheese to elevate a celebration and make for a memorable experience. Our Cheesemongers are always excited to help plan and organise elaborate grazing stations or intimate platters and boards for any kind of event.


Our stunning grazing stations and platters are tailor made to match your style and tastebuds. Book a time with one of our cheese mongers to discuss your event and we will work with you on creating the perfect grazing station within your theme, budget and requirements. We will take care of everything from delivery and set up to even ensuring the experience is stationed by one of our experts to provide service and tasting notes.


If your event or gathering is more intimate, or you are looking for the perfect platter for corporate events or after work drinks, then we will work with you and your budget to ensure the perfect platter is styled and delivered to your door.


Please contact us on 03 9421 2808 or email thecheeseclub@rhcl.com.au to discuss your grazing needs.

Cheese and Wine Workshops

A stalwart on the Richmond Hill calendar, our cheese and wine matching workshops are held monthly right here in the café. This is your opportunity to learn all about the art of matching cheese and wine from our experienced cheesemongers. Often guest wine, beer and cheese makers are invited to insight their knowledge and techniques with you, offering a different experience each time. Each workshop is fun and informative and runs for approximately 2 hours.

Using carefully matured cheeses from our fromagerie, the ‘story’ of each cheese will be explained along with wines, to match. We match 6 different cheeses with wines (beer or cider may also be included) and a glass of sparkling on arrival for $70.00 per person.

Perfect for a romantic evening for two, team bonding exercise or just a fun night out with friends, events are held monthly and can be booked through our online store and make the perfect present. Gift vouchers also available.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of all events & workshops here

Spaces are limited and bookings are essential. Call the cheese room to secure a booking with your credit card details on (03) 9421 2808 or send an email to thecheeseclub@rhcl.com.au

Off-site and private workshops can also be arranged. Please contact us regarding dates and availability.

Glossary & Cheese Care

- A.O.C – Appellation d’origine controlee. ‘The controlled destination of origin’, it is a French governing body whose primary role is to regulate the quality and origin of French cheeses.
- Affinage – the craft of maturing and aging cheeses.
- Affineur – a specialist in the art of maturing cheeses.
- Artisanal – handmade cheeses using traditional methods and made in small batches.
- Acidic – a description for cheeses with sour or citric flavours.
- Aroma – the smell of the cheese, pungent (strong) or sweet.
- Annatto – a natural food colouring agent derived from the Annatto berry, found in South America.
- Bacteria – single cell organisms found everywhere. Bacteria is very important in the production of all types of cheese and are generally non-pathogenic.
- Bloomy mould – the light ‘cauliflower’ mould we see on brie and camembert style cheeses.
- Barnyardy/Farmy – a term for cheeses displaying strong farm-related aromas.
- B-linens – a ‘good’ type of bacteria encouraged by washing cheeses. Found in washed rind cheeses hence the orange colour and gritty rind featured on washed rind cheese.
- Brine – a salt water solution often used to wash cheeses.
- Cheesemonger – a knowledgeable cheese salesperson, also known as a Fromager.
- Cheddaring – the process of making cheddar. Curds are cut and pressed 2-3 times before being layered in slabs and pressed on a cheddar machine.
- Curd – coagulation of milk after using rennet or lactic fermentation.
- Culture - Starter cultures speed and control the process of curdling milk during cheese making in part by converting lactose to lactic acid.
- Coagulate – A step in cheese manufacture when milk's protein, casein, is clotted by the action of rennet or acids. The joining of enzymes.
- Earthy – a word for describing cheeses with rustic and hearty flavours. Normally cheeses exhibiting hints of mushrooms and grass.
- Fermier – handmade cheeses using traditional methods and made in small batches. Cheeses must be made using raw milk raised either on the farm or from the region. Cheeses are made in Mountain huts or small farmhouses.
- Herbaceous – a term for describing cheeses with exhibit flavours of grass, flowers and herbs.
- Lactic – (1) A general description applied to cheese exhibiting a clean, wholesome, milky and slightly acidic flavour or aroma. (2) The type of organisms included in starter cultures for cheese making.
- Moulds – The baskets/hoops in which the cheeses are shaped.
- Meillieur Ouvrier – a title earned for excellence in any field. Awarded to those who work hard to promote and encourage French products.
- Nutty – a word for describing cheeses. Generally relates to hard mountain cheeses such as Comte or Appenzeller.
- Non-animal rennet – Rennet created chemically using products such as fungi or thistle rather than livestock.
- Pate - the interior of the cheese.
- Piquant – sharp or spicy in taste
- Pasteurised – The process of heating milk to a specific temperature for a specific period of time in order to eliminate any disease-producing bacteria. Milk is heated at 72 degrees C for at least 15 seconds.
- Rennet - An extract from the membranes of calves' stomachs that contains rennin, an enzyme that aids in coagulating milk or separating curds from whey. Rennet-like enzymes, also used commercially, are produced by selected fungi and bacteria.
- Rind – The outer surface of the cheese, formed to protect the pate.
- Ripe – When a cheese is ready to be eaten.
- Terroir – refers to the region/land the cheese is from.
- Thermised – the process of heating milk to less than 160 degrees F for less than 15 seconds prior to using it for cheese making.
- Washed rind – A cheese rind that has been washed periodically with brine, whey, beer, cider, wine, brandy or oil during ripening.
- Whey – the watery part of milk which separated from the coagulated curds during cheese making. Whey is generally mixed with molasses and fed back to the animals to help promote strength amongst the animals in smaller farms.
- Un-Pasteurised/Raw – Milk that has not undergone the pasteurisation treatment.