Down Home with the Browns

During a recent lunch with the Brown family over a smorgasbord of homemade bread, Aged Gouda (9-months), Bleu de Brun with sliced apples and Mascarpone with fresh raspberries, Concierge Kenya came to learn the secrets to fine cheese making.
“It’s patience and determination, more than anything else,” says the fit and stocky 65-year-old David Brown. “Brown’s cheese was born from a desire to eat what we wanted to eat. Thirty years-ago you couldn’t buy Camembert in the local market, so we decided to make it ourselves.”

For the spry, trained-herbalist, Sue Brown, quality is an obsession. “We won’t put anything into the market until it passes our own internal standards. It has to be perfect,” she says.

The Browns make their artisan cheesesby using fresh pasteurized cows milk and vegetarian rennet with no chemicals or colouring added to their wining formulas. Apart from the milk that their ownFriesiancows produce, most of the cheese milk comes from closely managed local farmers.

As for the secret ingredient? It might just be the Browns’approach to living in harmony with nature. Their 6-acre smallholding is closely managed by Sue’s intense, daily biodynamic scrutiny. All the whey produced in the cheese making process is fed to local pig farms, and all of the Browns’ organic waste is processed by a small worm farm behind the house. The bi-product, ‘worm juice’, is used to feed the organic garden. Because of this, everything and everyone at the Brown household seems happy:  the family, the plants, the dogs, and yes, even the cheese is happy. Clearly, the special ingredient is love.

Today, Sue and David are slowing stepping back from the cheese business and handing over the keys of the family house (literally) to their daughter, Delia, her American husband Andrew and their two sons.