Day 9: Baked Camembert with Red Onion Chutney

Day 9: Baked Camembert with Red Onion Chutney

inspired by Le Bar A Vin

I’ve been thinking about how my food habits have changed since we went into lockdown. I’ve been really conscious to not start stockpiling (well…other than wine!). However I have noticed one new change in my shopping habits.

Cheese. This morning I noticed I have 10 different types of cheese in my fridge. Cheddar, parmesan, pecorino, feta, ricotta, camembert, iberico, shropshire red, brie and goats cheese. Is that a stockpile? Does it count when there’s only one piece of each??

Now I always have cheddar and parmesan. Those are essentials. And maybe one more, maybe a few if I’m excepting company (not likely right now…)

I’m also aware that we don’t normally bother with a weekly shop. Usually we just buy food as and when we need it. So it would makes sense that there’s more in the fridge than usual. But ten? Seriously?

And then it dawns on me. It’s emergency cheese.

A friend of mine introduced me to the concept of emergency cheese. When you’re working in a theatre sometimes you can go long hours without having a proper break. No time to go outside to get food. But you can stock your green room fridge with those small individually wrapped cheeses…

Then if something goes wrong (in theatre this usually a case of when rather than if…) Have an emergency cheese. Had to work through your dinner break? Have an emergency cheese. Can’t think of what to do next? Have an emergency cheese.

And I’ve realised I’ve been subconsciously creating an emergency cheese supply. No wonder I’m remaining so calm!

Camembert ready for the oven, studded with garlic and rosemary

So in honour of my cheese stockpile (and to start using it up!) I decided to bake the camembert today for lunch.

Which got me thinking to amazing cheese I’ve had in restaurants recently. I could name loads of restaurants that have a decent cheese board. But one that is all about cheese?

And so that brings me to Le Bar A Vin in Blackheath… another South East London favourite! This gorgeous wine bar does a few things VERY well. Wine, cheese, charcuterie and some classic french dishes. I start to regret baking this at lunchtime as I don’t have a glass of red (I’ve not quite resorted to day drinking yet!)

But I’ll raise a glass to Le Bar A Vin tonight. Hopefully not too long until I’m back there for some more delicious cheese and wine.

So that it felt like this would I could count this as part of a cooking challenge (not sure heating up a cheese and some part baked bread counts!) I decided to make some caramelised red onions. Recipe below…

caramelised red onions

Caramelised Red Onions

Red onions slow cooked to make an amazing topping or chutney
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 4 red onions
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • olive oil


  • Slice the onions. They are going to really shrink down when you cook them so they don't need to be too finely chopped
  • Heat some olive oil in a heavy based pan and fry the onions over a low heat. Stir from time to time
  • After half an hour add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook for another 20 minutes until the onions are really soft and sticky
  • Leave to cool before serving
Keyword chutney, red onion

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