Salt-baked beetroot with goats' cheese

Ingredients to serve 4 as a starter

Tom Kerridge is the chef/patron of The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire

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Tapenade and Emmental biscuits

Tapenade and Emmental biscuits

Serves 6-8

Mozzarella is so sweet for Glanbia

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Eggy crumpets with ham and Emmental

Eggy crumpets with ham and Emmental

Serves 4

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Nicolas Sarkozy has been getting a bit of stick from our Eurosceptic newspapers for allegedly telling our Prime Minister where to get off at an EU summit meeting. For instance, the Daily Mail, a paper not known to mince its words, yesterday called him "a posturing French Pygmy". But whatever the French PM said to David Cameron, it was his deeply ungallant remark about Angela Merkel that showed the French Prime Minister in a most unflattering light. Apparently, he said to a fellow EU leader about the German Chancellor: "She says she's on a diet and then helps herself to a second helping of cheese." Mon Dieu! I thought the French were proud of their cheeses! Surely he should be pleased that she went back for a double dip of Camembert.

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This is a golden age for local produce. What could be finer than to top off a dinner party with a range of delicious cheeses from our own dairy herds?

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Whether you want smooth, skinless spuds or coarse shards of parmesan, it’s worth investing in the right kitchen kit...

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In this weather they must all be crackers

Rebel cheese rollers defied the weather yesterday for the chance to chase an 8lb piece of the dairy product down a steep hill.

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