More About Cheese

“In a world obsessed with cleanliness, and armed with hand sanitizers, it is worth paying attention to the function of good bacteria.”

English chef John Quilter hosts the YouTube series Food Busker. He has posted episodes showing how to make healthy fried chicken, beef bourguignon burgers and various recipes using ramen. A recent chapter sounds like something that could be from Monty Python. He embarks on a project to make cheese using bacteria from celebrities.

John Quilter – Food Busker

Quilter concedes he has a couple challenges: he doesn’t know any famous people and he doesn’t know how to make cheese. He does find five British celebrities, including a rapper and Great British Bake Off finalist. He also knows people who know how to make cheese.

Swabs from the ear, armpit, nose, or navel of the celebrity volunteers become the makings of starter cultures to begin the transformation of milk into comté, mozzarella, stilton and cheddar. The cheeses are aging in the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the exhibition. Food: Bigger than the Plate. No sample will be offered.

This demonstration recreates a project from 2013. The stated purpose, then and now, is “to educate the public about the ubiquitousness of microbes and to challenge cultural queasiness around bacteria.”