10 Questions with Ellie Studd.

What are the key ingredients for your perfect ES cheese board?
For any cheese board whether its mine or anybody else's…  It should be always about the cheese!

My desire when curating a cheese board is to have my guests stop halfway through their first bite, and say ‘wow- that cheese is soo goood!’. This means sourcing some quality artisan cheese from a cheese shop or independent supermarket is essential!

I would love to change people's lens of cheese being super expensive, when its actually less than a bottle of wine.

When it comes to assembly, I like to put the cheeses down first on the surface, then build my cheese ‘accessories’ around them. Kind of like  ‘paint by numbers’ with different shapes and texture, but ensuring remains the cheese the star of the show!

Personally, I like to take guests on a journey with texture and flavour. It's all about mouthfeel - so think ooey gooey, spreadable, hard, crumbly, chalky, toothsome. Then some mild, some wild. For pairings- don’t go overboard. A few considered pairings…and you are on your way.

I am a mad fan of a cornichon to cut through the butterfat.  I often do a nice little scatter of nuts on my board for some crunch. A little vessel of something sweet and sticky is a real winner for most cheeses too - you can get creative and not just go to honey- ie. maple syrup, pomegranate molasses or fig jam.
What is your preferred type of board and recommended knives for presenting cheese?
I have a lot of vintage breadboards from France which I have collected over the years which I adore. Some are rectangular, others circular, but a statement wooden board evokes rustic, humble and elegant.

At the same time, I encourage people to get creative with what they serve cheese on. Black slate can look sexy and contrast the colour of the cheeses, or you can keep it so simple and serve it on large sheets of butcher paper. I have seen people stack it on top of books, tiles or tea sets…  Your surface choice is endless.

Knives- the general rule is one knife, one cheese. My fav cheese knives are offset knives and skeleton knife. But dont over think it! As long as the blue has its own knife, the rest of your cheeses can be forgiving.

Which Instagram accounts inspire you the most?

What's your favourite holiday spot within Australia and overseas?
My folks and bro live in Byron, so I love to have my Australian holidays there. Its such a special time to spend with my folks and Stella.

I feel instantly calm when I am down the beach with the backdrop of the mountains in the background, sitting on the sand, watching the clean green-blue waves rolling in. Overseas - Japan. I have been there 10 times, and I just can't get enough.

What's the best book you've read lately?
Everyone and everything- painful, honest, witty and a reflection on the complicated nature of life and relationships.
You’re launching a book, running a business, and taking care of a little one. What life hacks help you stay sane?
Vinyasa Yoga! If I can get to the mat at least four times a week, I feel so much more grounded and able to show up as the best mum I can be. Going to a studio for just an hour, is such a reset.

I also try and go for a short walk in the gardens near where I live at sunset with my little one. I think it helps us both say goodbye to the day and transition to the night. If it's not too cold, we do it barefoot too. As cliche as it sounds!
What’s your favourite drink to pair with cheese?
I love Champagne with cheese. The effervescence bounces off the richness of the cheese and also cleanses the palate. It works well with dreamy creamies, blues and even Parmigiano Reggiano.

I also enjoy a filter coffee with Alpine cheeses. My sister owns Market Lane Coffee, so I have my Mocca Master in the morning, and then a few triangles of Comté. Protein + little caffeine hit. It's a magical combination and you can pick up new nuances in both the cheese and coffee.

What’s your favourite thing about wearing 100% wool?

I like the way it feels both warm and cool at the same time. Its oddly satisfying in that way.  I also like the texture of my skin, so natural and cosy. Both cheese and wool in that way are such simple primitive pleasures.

What is something that you wish everyone knew about cheese?
Traditional cheese-making is dying, so we, as a society need to support our cheesemakers so we don't live in a world full of boring industrial predictable cheese.

What's your ideal winter weekend outing (wearing your favourite Binny jumper, of course)?
There is something very satisfying and wholesome about going to the farmers market, especially in Winter. Its a commitment- but we rug up, throw in the pram in, grab our jar of coin shrapnel, and coffee and head to the market.

I love the Winter produce with the big brassicas and pumpkins. Then we eat a cheeky hot Sri Lankan roll, watch Stella dance to the busker and then come home and cook a big batch of soup for the week.  Its a marker to the end of the week, and the one to come.

Do yourself a favour, check out the Studd Siblings' book “The Best Things in Life Are Cheese” here.

Ellie wears Binny 'Kate' $899.00, 'Biscoff' $279.00 & 'Muirfield' $199.00, 'Royal Melbourne' $199.00 & 'The M.C.C $379.00.