Say Cheese … 5 minutes with Mathew Calver

How did the Cheese Truck begin?
It began four years ago. I went travelling in the States and wanted to bring the grilled cheese sandwich to the UK.

What was the inspiration behind a cheese focused eatery?
I got really interested in grilled cheese sandwiches whilst in the States and wanted to work out how to make the best. The answer is it starts with using really good cheese. I champion British cheeses to make the best grilled sandwiches.

How and why did you transition from street food to restaurant?
Street food is very seasonal, with Summer being the busiest times, also it’s hard to be creative as the food has to be able to be prepared and served on location. So you end up with a niche menu. I wanted to push our food offering and our restaurant gave us that space.

How would you describe your presentation style?
Casual, relaxed, and honest. We just want to create simple, honest, comfort food. When you make the transition from street food to restaurant it’s important to think of the dishes you want to serve. A lot of people don’t put enough thought into the look and feel of the restaurant and how the plates and cutlery look. Using good quality plates and crockery really reflects what our food is about.

Why do you feel the nation loves a cheese focused eatery?
There is so much variety in cheese. There is a whole world of things you can do with cheese, I think it makes sense that people love cheese, it’s amazing. There is so much diversity I’m surprised no one has done a cheese focussed restaurant.

What are the future plans for Cheese Bar?
Expansion. We’ve been open in Camden for a year and are now ready to open a new venue in the summer in London and hopefully another place at the end of the year. We would love to go global.

What’s your favourite cheese?
My favourite cheese changes but I find myself going back to Baron Bigod, a raw milk farmhouse cheese. I think it reflects a lot of our brand values and is a more modern aspect of cheese making.

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