The New Zealand Vegan Cheese Awards

Celebrating the craft and skill of Vegan cheese makers throughout Aotearoa.

Vegan Cheese Awards

Welcome to New Zealand’s Vegan Cheese Awards 2023

Our awards for excellence in vegan food production have been embraced by NZ food producers and we are delighted to present our first awards for cheese.

We Kiwis love cheese and with the many vegan cheese options being created we too can enjoy a fancy cheese board or a cheesy pizza or pie. There are now so many different vegan cheeses available in New Zealand that we can taste test them all and find out which are the best!
You can tell your friends that this cheese is sure to please.

Our awards celebrate the best vegan cheeses that New Zealand has to offer. Judging took place on 24th July at Khu Khu Eatery, Auckland

This years cheese categories:

    • Commercial & Flavoured Cheddar
    • Artisan Cheddar
    • Mozzarella
    • Feta
    • Cream Cheese (plain and flavoured)
    • Soft Cheese (ricotta, other spreadable types)
    • Flavoured Cheese (herb, cumin, etc)
    • Hard Cheese (parmesan, hard grating styles)
    • Surface Ripened & Blue Cheese (covers brie, camembert and blue)

Meet the 2023 Awards Judges

Helping us to discover the best of NZ vegan cheese in 2023!

aaron Pucci
Jasbir Kaur
Chef Sid Chopra

Aaron Pucci has clocked up 25 years in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

His trusted palate has earned him numerous seats on judging panels for awards in New Zealand and Australia over 15 years.

Aaron is always on the lookout for new brands and products ~ especially those that are breaking new ground.

Aaron’s ‘food for thought’ is a desire for more manufacturers to take up the challenge of sustainable food operations and reducing their carbon footprint.

Multi-award-winning executive chef & trainer, TV personality, creative head and chef of the new series “Ignite the Chef in You” and President of the NZ Chef Association Auckland, Chef Jazz is an external verifier for City and Guilds, UK.

She has been judging in New Zealand’s Regional and National culinary salon competitions for the past nine years and is deputy chief judge for the Hospitality Championships.

She has worked in top hotels and restaurants in five countries – USA, UK, India, New Zealand and Spain.

Tom is a comedian, actor and writer best known for his skits on social media. But he is also a huge animal lover, a vegan for many years, and consumes a lot of food. He’s very excited to be giving his opinion.

As the Executive Chef at Prego Restaurant, a renowned establishment with 37 years of consistent success, Chef Sid brings a wealth of experience and a passion for creating unforgettable dining experiences. Known for his meticulous attention to detail and dedication to perfection, he has garnered numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding contributions to the culinary world.

One of Chef Sid’s proudest achievements is his creation of a whole separate Vegan Menu at Prego Restaurant. Embracing the growing demand for plant-based cuisine, he has crafted a menu that not only caters to vegans but also captivates the taste buds of all diners.

Chef Sid’s journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from IHM Pusa, New Delhi, laying a strong foundation for his culinary prowess.

Photos from Vegan Cheese Awards 2023

Read about our inaugural Vegan Cheese and Wine Pairing Event, at the delightful Kind Café in Morningside, following the 2023 Vegan Cheese Awards.

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Vegan Cheese Awards in the Media 2023