Food and Drink


How now, Red Cow?

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Tom Merkli is one of those guys that you kind of envy for doing a lot of things and doing them all well. A member of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, he is part of a racing crew that maneuvers a 38 foot yacht. Tom also uses his marketing background and traveling interest to pen Late Departure, a blog giving the lowdown on airports around the world.

The Red Cow, which just celebrated its one year anniversary, is another one of his pursuits.

The Red Cow started when Tom moved to Australia last year, after his wife convinced him to move from London to her hometown.

The company imports Selection Beeler, six artisan raw milk cheeses chosen by Rolf Beeler (the Swiss chap who’s world-renowned as the “Rambo of Aged Cheese”) to Melbourne. What most contributes to his success is his belief in doing what he’s passionate about and doing it properly. Cheese, particularly Swiss cheese, is one of those things.

Tom’s passion for cheese can be traced back to childhood in Switzerland. His mother preferred savoury over sweet and  happily dismissed dessert in favor of a cheese platter. This, alongside with family friend Rolf Beeler, a famous maitre fromager, cultivated Tom’s interest and taste buds.

The Rolf Beeler selection echoes Tom’s belief in doing things well. The cheese process is scrutinized and honed in order to create consistency. Creating the same product every time can be challenging, especially with raw milk cheese and all of the factors that go into it. To limit the variables, the cows only graze at high altitudes and only natural ingredients must be used.

You can try one of the six (or six out of six) cheeses at Bill’s Farm at the Vic Market, the delicatessen section at Prahran Market, as well as at Leo’s Fine Food & Wine. Tom suggests the Emmental cheese to brave the upcoming summer months.

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