SAY CHEESE: Queensland Cheese Artisan owner Sue Sinclair with a plate of handmade cheese including Tasmanian pepperberry cheddar, ash fresh lactic cheese and wattle seeds fresh cheese.
SAY CHEESE: Queensland Cheese Artisan owner Sue Sinclair with a plate of handmade cheese including Tasmanian pepperberry cheddar, ash fresh lactic cheese and wattle seeds fresh cheese. Jodie Callcott

Top cheese artisan shares her secrets

SUE Sinclair's dream is to provide Fraser Coast locals and restaurants with a variety of handcrafted cheese.

But before she can, Sue needs to find a suitable factory to house her Italian-made 100L cheese vat.

Once established, her goal was to wholesale her Australian-native inspired creations to restaurants and resorts.

"I've even been approached by resorts from the Whitsundays, Port Douglas and the Daintree, who want me to make cheese for them with their branding on it," Sue said.

While searching for a factory, Sue uses the commercial kitchen at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre to host her cheese-making workshops.

"We make feta, mozzarella, haloumi, ricotta, fresh cheese, blues, whites and havarti."

"A few of the cheeses that you can't find here.

"I think people in my workshops mostly get amazed how this liquid turns into a solid through a chemical reaction that happens.

"And also, the different herbs that can be added to their cheese and how different techniques can affect the cheese."

Although Sue's background is in science, she researched her family's past, discovered they were cheesemakers and decided to give it a try.

"I looked into my family history and found out we're from Devon and a lot of them came from cheese making," she said.

"Then I looked into my mother's side and her great- great-grandmother came from Ireland and she was a dairy maid.

"If someone can make cheese in a little hut on the side of a mountain, then how hard could it be? Then I started making cheese and found it really soothing."

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Sue hoped Hervey Bay would embrace more micro-businesses like Bundaberg and Gympie had.

"Bundaberg has a lot of foodies."

"There's a lot of micro-businesses there including gin making, a brewery, a man that specialises in making sour dough and another one who makes chocolates.

"I think Hervey Bay is missing that probably because it got more of the seachangers and retirees than what Bundaberg did.

"I was talking to a couple who make sour dough and they said they saw a lady frantically running up and down the Esplanade trying to find a place where she could buy wine and cheese, so she could sit by the beach.

"So there probably is a market here (for handcrafted cheese)."

Visit queenslandcheese artisan.com.au.