Showstopping preserves bring sweet success, as Artisan Kitchen is named Small Artisan Producer of the Year

By The Artisan Kitchen, Sep 9 2019 08:30PM

Showstopping preserves bring sweet success, as Artisan Kitchen is named

Small Artisan Producer of the Year

Following a record-breaking 12,772 entries judged over 75 days, Great Taste, the world’s most revered food and drink awards, has reached its grand finale for 2019. The Great Taste Small Artisan Producer of the Year award was presented to Artisan Kitchen from Gloucester at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on Sunday 1 September at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London, where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to discover this year’s stars of food and drink.

Scooping Great Taste accolades for a remarkable 75 products since 2012, with 16 products picking up awards in 2019 alone, Artisan Kitchen has consistently impressed the Great Taste judges over the past eight years. This year, Artisan Kitchen received Great Taste 3-star awards for four products, including its “authentic, dark and velvety” Blaisdon Red Plum Jam, a handmade single variety jam, produced using rare, heritage, Gloucester-sourced Blaisdon Red Plums from ancient, private orchards; Blood Orange Marmalade Italian Orange Bitters, which is produced from “punchy” Tarocco Blood Oranges and finished with a “unique hit” of Aperol; “an excellent” Tarocco Blood Orange Marmalade with a “beautiful orange colour, delicious pieces of fruit, chewy peel and a lovely citrus bitterness”; and Seville Orange Marmalade Vino de Naranja, with one judge saying “I’m giving up making marmalade – this is so delicious, there’s just no point!”


John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, commented: “Here we have a business that has demonstrated fabulous consistency year on year with an outstanding range of preserves that deserve to be celebrated. Not afraid to experiment with flavours, while staying true to her craft, Sarah Churchill is the perfect example of a small artisan producer doing things right and doing things well, setting the benchmark for quality in this category.”

What is Great Taste?

Great Taste, founded in 1994 and organised by the Guild of Fine Food, has judged over 146,000 products in the last 25 years; each one has been blind-tasted by a team of judges who are dedicated to finding the most exquisite tasting food and drink regardless of branding or packaging. The panel of judges this year included; cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion, author, Olia Hercules, chef and food writer, Gill Meller, Kavi Thakar from Dishoom, food writer and stylist, Georgina Hayden and author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Sourced Market and Partridges. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2019 Supreme Champion.

Great Taste ratings

3-star: Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 3% of products are awarded a 3-star each year – don’t

leave the shop without buying it!

2-star:  Above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries will achieve this rating

1-star: A food that delivers fantastic flavour. Approximately 25% of entries will achieve this rating each year.

Facts and figures about Great Taste 2019:

Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers

A record breaking 12,772 different products were entered in 2019

Entries were sent in from 104 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Botswana, China, Indonesia, Russia and the USA, as well as 27 member countries of the EU

Over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retail buyers, cooks, producers and a host of food writers, journalists and social media influencers, blind tasted each product over 75 days

Judging took place at the following locations:

Guild HQ in Gillingham, Dorset, as well several other Dorset venues

The Guild of Fine Food’s London home, No. 42 Southwark Street, SE1

3,409 awarded 1-star

1,326 awarded 2-star

208 awarded 3-star

What are Great Taste judges looking for?

They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.

How do they work?

Each team of four judges blind-tastes around 25 products per session, discussing each product as a coordinating food writer transcribes their comments directly onto the Great Taste website which producers access after judging is completed. Over the years, numerous food businesses, start-ups and well-established producers have been advised how to modify their foods and have subsequently gone on to achieve Great Taste stars. Any product that is deemed worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star Great Taste award is moved around multiple judging tables by a team of arbitrators before the final award is given. If judges feel that a product needs some adjustment, and is therefore not likely to receive an award, the food or drink gets a second chance on a referral table, where another team blind-tastes and deliberates. For a Great Taste 3-star award, the vast majority in the room – which can be as many as 30-40 experts – must agree that the food or drink delivers that indescribable ‘wow’ factor.