Our History

Man Chego (born c.1480) Was an Iberian sheep farmer who accidentally created one of the world’s best-loved cheeses that now bears his name. Legend has it that ‘Man’ Chego was the inspiration for the 17th century epic novel character ‘Don Quixote (don kuh·how·tee), the man from La Mancha’ but the rumours are unsubstantiated. That said, to this day, every genuine Manchego cheese carries the image of Don Quixote.

Early life. Man Chego (known as ‘Nene Chego’ as a child, and simply ‘Chego’ as a youth) was born into grinding poverty on a sheep farm, in the arid but fertile plateau near Toledo. As a young teen he once got so drunk on cheap Rioja that he stumbled into a recently butchered ram, sending the offal (including the crucial rennet) into a container of fresh Ewe’s milk. Being undrinkable, he did what most teenagers do and ‘shoved it under his bed until his mother found it a few months later’. In doing so, he accidentally created a world-class cheese with toasty, fruity flavours.

This young cheese had been sat on the rye grass matt that was the fashionable bedroom floor covering at the time – giving it the distinctive marks on the rind. Times were hard in the late Middle Ages and the prevailing ‘waste not want not’ attitude meant that Chego’s family were forced to add slices of this strange ‘hard milk’ to their traditional diet. It changed the entire flavour profile of their meal, adding a smooth base layer to the spicy and tangy high notes of the cured meats and sun-dried fruits. They soon switched their entire wool and mutton business over to ewe’s milk and cheese.
Personal life. Chego married an overbearing opera singer known only as ‘La Diva’. Her bold presence complemented Chego’s relaxed nature. Today, Dominia de Es ‘La Diva’ wine is seen as the ultimate accompaniment to Chego’s finest cheeses (while stocks last). Chego and his wife had three children who all went on to create the food landscape of modern Spain; raw food fan Gary ‘Gaz’ Pacho; pastry fan, turned rice enthusiast ‘Pie’-Ella; and the fierce (hence ‘bravas’) Pat Atas. Man Chego continued to be an ambassador for Man Chego cheese all over Europe until his death from olive stone inhalation.

*From Windupedia, the fact-flimsy encyclopedia

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 10th July

We are delighted to announce our  Special Evening here at Chego's on Wednesday 10th July at 7pm!

The evening will be 'Wine Tasting Across the West Coast' themed.