IF you find yourself on the M5 any time, the one good thing – apart from the views of the Cotswolds and the Malvern Hills – is Gloucester Services. Among the delights you will find in this farm shop-style service station are the delicious and award-winning products of Gloucester’s Artisan Kitchen, a top winner in this year’s Great Taste Awards.
Sarah Churchill, who founded Artisan Kitchen, was named Great Taste Small Artisan Producer of the Year at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel.
For eight years, this small business has consistently impressed the Great Taste judges, taking 75 awards since 2012, including stars for 16 products this year. Artisan Kitchen received three-star awards for four products. These are the “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, 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!”
Guild of Fine Food managing director John Farrand said: “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.”
Pictured: John Farrand, Sarah Churchill of Artisan Kitchen and Adrian Boswell from Selfridges