Documentary gives toast to humble cheese roll

01:43, Jan 31 2009
SAY CHEESE: Documentary makers Gayle Hogue (left) and Jo Grimwood with two cheese roll staples: the Cuban, a long narrow roll from Invercargill's Airport Cafe; and the Jumbo, a big round roll, from the Southland Museum cafe.

What started as a traditional fundraiser for the Riverton Art Centre has developed into a documentary on that humble icon of southern life, the cheese roll.

With camerawoman Gayle Hogue capturing the scene, Riverton Art Centre's Jo Grimwood this week interviewed a host of local personalities asking them to give her a cheesy smile for the camera and offer their thoughts and experiences on cheese rolls.

They started with an ever-obliging Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno — photogenic and a one-time cheese roll maker, regular cheese roll supporter — and then met up with a quartet of southern-settled artists — John Husband, Nigel Brown, Dawn Barry and Mark Winter, all of whom are supporters of the cheese roll, proud and happy to be so described.

Over the next few days they will capture on film and tape more civic leaders, radio personalities and sports people and indeed the general public to make and eat the cheese rolls.

They hope to find people with fond memories or people who just have memories.

Creating a DVD would make a permanent record of something maybe otherwise overlooked, they said.


Toasting the Cheese Roll will be a photographic and print exhibition at the Riverton Art Centre from September 5 to 28.

The centre is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12-4pm each day.

The penultimate day of the showing, Saturday, September 27, has been designated a fun day with competitions to judge the best cheese rolls and the best recipes and cheese rolls to buy and eat, the A Capella singers to entertain and poets who may write of cheese or of other things.

It was hoped that the documentary would screen widely, showing as it will a slice of southern life known to others, envied by them but inherently southern, and a success.


The Southland Times