YouTube Channel of the Week: Gavin Webber, the Cheese Man

Perfect viewing for your early-morning comedown.

by Joe Bish
18 August 2017, 7:30am

WHO? Gavin Webber.
WHO'S THAT? He's "the cheese man". He makes cheeses.
RIGHT. SO WHO WATCHES THAT AND WHY? Aussie cheese maker Gavin Webber is in many ways the spiritual successor to Bob Ross, the afro-owning former air force sergeant who hosted and created The Joy of Painting after seeing a similar German show during his stint as a barman in Alaska. Ross would give functional painting lessons, usually of heartland American landscapes, gently offering instructions. In its original context Ross's show would probably have served budding painters quite well. Nowadays, The Joy of Painting is mostly watched by people who are stoned, lying in their beds with their laptops propped up sideways, three empty bags of Wotsits on the floor. It's supremely calming. But if you're bored of Bob's happy trees, then turn over to Gavin Webber, the cheese man.

Gavin makes cheeses. All types of cheeses. Provolone, mozzarella, double Gloucester, gruyere – he does them all. In his videos, which are regularly over ten minutes, sometimes over 20, he walks the viewer through the process. Unlike the completely peaceful painting process of Bob Ross, Webber's cheese making process actually looks kind of arduous. Everything has to be kept at exactly the right temperature, some cheeses require him to wake up in the middle of the night to stir them or cut the curds (by the way, cheese enthusiasts and fans of Gavin's channel are called "curd nerds").

Nevertheless, Webber always delivers his instruction in a soft, fatherly tone, as if guiding you on your first bike ride. He also does lengthy live Q&A sessions on his channel, titled "Ask the Cheese Man", in which he answers various queries about… well, you know, cheese. In these sessions he sits in his armchair, as if he were Saint Nick himself, and doles out advice for the cheese-making public.

As I say, these aren't just useful videos for future Dairylea creators; they're also perfect late-night cool down fodder. Come home from a night out, shut the blinds to block the morning sun and watch a middle-aged Australian man make a blue cheese from start to finish. Drift off into a much-needed sleep, forgetting the ills of the world for a moment and briefly believing that all that matters, and all that ever will matter, is cheese, made by the cheese man.