Sweet Gigs

Meet Ellie Studd, one-half of the dynamic Studd Siblings cheese duo

Join us on a slow Sunday as we sit down with the fabulous Ellie Studd, one-half of the dynamic Studd Siblings cheese duo. With cheese practically flowing through her veins, Ellie’s passion is undeniable—she’s sold it, written about it, and even has a cheese tattoo! 

So pour yourself a glass of wine and gather around the table, as Ellie shares her top secrets for creating the ultimate cheese board. From perfect pairings and presentations to mouthwatering flavour combos, she’ll show you how to transform a simple selection into a culinary masterpiece. 

And that’s not all! To celebrate the launch of Ellie and her brother Sam’s debut cookbook, ‘The Best Things in Life Are Cheese,’ we’re excited to share their coveted Baked Cheese In Its Box Recipe with you. Trust us, it’s a treat you won’t want to miss!

Hi Ellie! We have been fan-girling from a distance and have loved seeing your cheese creations take over the world (one bite at a time!). For those who don’t know, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do on the daily? 

Blush! I am just all things cheese. I eat cheese, I sell cheese, I write about cheese, I educate about cheese, and yes, I even have a fromage tattoo on the back of my arm. 

By day, you’ll find me working in my family business with my brother Sam, and my father Will. We hand-select benchmark and traditional cheeses from across Europe and sell them in Australia and the USA. If you spot a cheese that has ‘Selected by Will Studd', that’s our seal of approval, marking it as the crème de la crème. We mostly work with family producers who craft traditional cheese for many generations, each with their own charming, romantic story. 

Sammy and I also have our side gig, where we are known as ‘The Studd Siblings’. We write and teach people about the magic of cheese, and get to do some creative wild events too. 

On top of that, I’m a full-time mum to my adorable daughter Stella, who is turning 2 in July. The juggle is real.

Your father, Will Studd, is a renowned international cheese specialist, so it’s no surprise you and brother Sam share his passion for cheese! What inspired each of you to follow in your dad’s footsteps? 

People are surprised when we tell them that Dad didn’t want us to go into the cheese business. For a decade, I worked as a clinical nurse consultant at the Royal Children’s Hospital and absolutely loved it. But there was an internal yern that kept drawing me to cheese. I realised that it was our role, as the next generation to keep telling these incredible cheese stories – as artisan cheese is dying. It felt like a calling in that way. It's been almost 10 years since I made the jump from nursing to full-time cheese and I haven’t looked back.

Congratulations on the release of your debut book, "The Best Things in Life Are Cheese" with Sam! Can you tell us the story behind why you decided to write a book, what it’s about and what this journey has been like for you? 

There are a lot of dry cheese books out there, but for us - cheese is a celebration and joy! We wanted a fun and entertaining book that was skilled up for everyday cheese curious folk. It’s kind of a 101 handbook on how to buy cheese, store cheese, types of cheese. We wanted it to be a book that you can dip in and out of at different times, and get a bit more info when you want. It’s jam packed with over 70 cheese recipes that are categorised by occasion / mood i.e midnight snackies. Writing a book, you really have to strip any ego out of it – and you have to be in the head of the reader on every page that’s written. 

The journey? Many hours, many tears and a lot of bloody hard work goes into writing any book! It’s also quite vulnerable to reveal the body of work, and it’s not like you can take it back or delete once it’s out in the world! We were so lucky to have a dream team helping us. From our incredible publishers Plum, designers, Lauren Bamford the photographer, and my partner Kirsten Jenkins, who happens to be one of the best food stylists in Australia.

It would be rude not to pick your brains on how to nail the perfect cheese board! What are your three non-negotiables when it comes to plating up the perfect board? 

  • Take your cheese out of the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow it to fully blossom in taste and texture (except for the blues). 
  • Flavour comes first. It’s better to buy one or two ‘wow’ cheeses than buy 6 bland tasting cheeses and too many pairings. Good cheese is less than a bottle of wine, so less is more in that way. You want your guests to really gasp at the first bite of cheese and for it to linger on their palate. Cheese in that was can be such a good talking point. 
  • Don’t go OTT on your pairings - If there’s some crunch, some acid and sweetness - then you are on the right journey to some sexy mouthfeels and interactions to complement the cheese. Think nuts, pickles and honey.

Given our latest Autumn/Winter collection is called Toasty, and you are a cheese connoisseur, can you share with us your ULTIMATE cheese toastie recipe? 

Ha! I feel like people should go their own way with toasties so I like not to be too prescriptive. Make sure you are using a melty, melty cheese. If you want cheese pull, mozzarella will give it to you - but then add an alpine cheese like Comte and Gruyere for some complexity of flavour. 

White bread is fab- especially for a jaffle, or a dense sourdough for pan/sandwich. Butter or mayo your bread edge to edge. 

Low and slow to cook the cheese in whatever method you use. I have been loving kimchi in my toasties recently, especially for Autumn/Winter. The fermented funk goes really well with any Alpine cheese like Comte or Gruyere. My fav Comte is a fort aged Comte, called La Couronne Comte.

The art of entertaining is hard to master! Describe your go-to’s for setting up the perfect gathering with friends and family this Winter!

  • Candles 
  • Baked cheese in their boxes with crunchy bread to dip in it
  • Some cute decorative place cards to make it fancy (my mum writes our names on beautifully smooth rocks she has found down the beach)
  • Blankets for your guests to wrap around their legs if your sitting outside
  • Mulled wine