Top chef sings praises of sheep milk

One of New Zealand’s leading chefs has declared himself a fan of sheep milk products, saying they provide new opportunities for dishes to meet the needs of his diners.

Marc Soper, the 2016 New Zealand Chef of the Nation winner and Executive Chef at Wharekauhau Country Estate in the Wairarapa, says he first encountered sheep milk a few years ago in Marlborough.

“I was working at a small boutique hotel and used as much local product as possible, one of which was a range of sheep milk cheeses. I knew back then they were amazing and since my return to New Zealand, and while working in the Wairarapa, I’m so happy to have amazing sheep milk cheeses at my fingertips.”

A special guest speaker at the Sheep Milk New Zealand Conference underway today, Marc says the sheep milk products offer a huge range of opportunities for the chefs and home cooks, or just people wanting to get a sweeter tasting milk.

“I have been fortunate enough to play around with a few different sheep cheeses, milk and yoghurt – not to mention amazing gelato which is right up there with some of the best I’ve ever tried. Just the other day I made a sheep milk panna cotta and it had a sweet subtle flavour with a lingering creaminess, but still low in saturated fats.”

“Sheep milk also has properties to assist with reducing high cholesterol levels, which is great for diabetics such as myself.”

“I can honestly say being part of this conference has opened my mind to more opportunities with using and promoting sheep milk products better to my guests at Wharekauhau.”