Valérie Henbest of Smelly Cheese Co recognised with prestigious award

Valérie Henbest, of Smelly Cheese Co., has just received a French National Order of the Agricultural Merit Award for her outstanding contribution to agriculture and promoting French cheese in Australia.

Last week Valérie Henbest received The Knight of the French National Order of Agricultural Merit award, which was presented by His Excellency Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador of France to Australia.

This medal is one of France’s highest civilian awards and honours Valérie’s exceptional contributions to the agricultural industry through her incredible cheese business, and the strong bonds she cultivates between France and Australia.

The Knight of the French Order of Agricultural Merit is a prestigious honour granted to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and achievements in the agricultural and culinary industries.

His Excellency Jean-Pierre Thébault bestowed the medal upon Valérie in a ceremony at Penfold’s Magill Estate

“I am incredibly humbled and honoured to be awarded the Knight of the French Order of Agricultural Merit,” Valérie said.

“It is a privilege to be recognised for my passion for cheese and education but also it acknowledges the importance of fostering cultural exchange through food.”

Born and bred in Normandie, France, Valérie made the ultimate life change moving to Australia over 20 years ago.

Since arriving, she’s immersed herself in Australian food culture, seeking opportunities to bring the best ‘old world’ style cheese making and contemporary Australian cheese together.

Valérie began by importing her favourite cheeses into Australia, focusing on building strong relationships with boutique French producers. She has enjoyed frequent visits to France, while also helping French producers to visit Australia and showcase their cheeses. 20 years on and the Smelly Cheese Co. still handpicks cheese from across the world to complement and contrast with the Australian cheeses on offer.

With Bastille Day being celebrated at Adelaide Central Markets this weekend it’s never been a better time to visit Smelly Cheese Co. and sample some of the very best French cheeses they have on offer.

Smelly Cheese Co.

Shop 44, Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide


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