Cheddar or gouda, take your pick | Brian Dick | TEDxJohannesburgSalon

In the 1990s South Africans had two types of cheese to choose from: Cheddar or Gouda. Fast forward to today, and cheese lovers in the country can pick from any of over two-hundred options. All are South African. The system has moved from one that was highly regulated and tightly controlled by the state, to one that has been freed up to flourish and reach it’s full potential. The industry has undergone a transformation, and reached unprecedented levels of creativity and innovation. These qualities have propelled a few South African cheesemakers to world class levels. At the heart of this transformation lies the principle of diversity. And key to this diversity are the artisans, who are often the source of indigenous and cultural knowledge, and the defenders of our heritage. In this simple and powerful talk, Brian urges us to protect everything that makes this diversity possible, so that we never again have to choose between just Cheddar and Gouda, or any other analogous versions of the two. Brian is co-owner of Cheese Gourmet and chairman of Slow Food Johannesburg. He has a passion for all local food with special emphasis on small producers who hold the recipes of our heritage and who grow on small-scale farms, producing good, clean and fair food for all. Involved in cheese for twenty-six years, Brian has watched an industry grow and mature to world-class standards, and is proud to represent cheese makers, locally and internationally. He aims is to create environments where small producers have a voice, and are afforded dignity through their association with their land. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at