Vegan Cheese Awards 2022

In 2019 we launched the world’s first and only vegan cheese month 🙂

Kiwis are known for their innovation and ability to be leaders in their field. Vegan cheese is no exception and the Vegan Society Aotearoa has declared July to be Vegan Cheese Month!

We want to celebrate the incredible array of plant-based cheeses now available to us. These tasty and versatile cheese alternatives are made instead from peas, maize, potato, coconut as well as from nuts such as cashew and macadamia.

Products like these are only growing in popularity according to supermarkets and retailers.

Vegan Cheese Awards 2022

On 22nd July, we are holding our second annual Vegan Cheese Awards where our judges will be cheesing it up and working out which of the many cheeses deserves to be a winner in their category.

There will be an overall Supreme winner too. So head over to our official Vegan Cheese Awards page to see which categories you enjoy eating the most.

If you know a vegan cheese maker or are a vegan cheese maker, get your registration in before 15th July.

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Meet the Judges 2022

aaron Pucci
Jasbir Kaur
Alara Varnell
Michael Khu

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.

Vegan Chef, Business owner and trainer.

Having grown up on a dairy farm and worked for MAF early on, Alara moved into Restaurant Management in London in early 2000’s before returning to NZ to start a food production company in 2008 -bringing the first artisan cultured nut cheeses to NZ in 2011.

She is passionate about innovating new vegan products, starting NZs first Vegan Deli and later opening an Eatery in Parnell.

Her interests lie in supporting farming communities, people and animals together to find more harmonious ways to thrive.

Michael Khuwattenasenee is the brains behind Khu Khu.

He was inspired to make it a vegan restaurant after completing a 30-day vegan challenge.

While doing the challenge, he struggled to find any decent vegan places to go out to eat with friends. Thus, Khu Khu, a fully vegan Thai Eatery, was born.

Michael has a Master’s of Technological Futures and Entrepreneurial studies.

He’s a purpose-driven entrepreneur at heart, with a variety of different business ventures on the go, including BioFab, one of the 2019 C-Prize Finalists. BioFab aims to rid the world of polystyrene by replacing it with eco-friendly fungi-based materials.

Photos from the Vegan Cheese Awards 2022