Francine Lee of Bumblee’s Preserves is celebrating after receiving a coveted three star award from the Oscars of the food industry.
There were a record number of entries in this year’s Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards – some 12,772, but only 208 products received the highest accolade of three stars.
Bumblee’s Preserves Wild Blueberry, Pink Peppercorn and Thyme Vinegar/Shrub was one of the few to receive the top three star award.
Francine said: “I’ve entered before and was lucky enough to be awarded a couple of one and two stars, but never dreamed of receiving a coveted three star.
“The Wild Blueberry Vinegar is one of my favourites, so I am over the moon that the judges also enjoyed it enough to give it an award; but a three star, that is an enormous honour. I am gobsmacked & humbled to be amongst the highly esteemed three star award winners.”
Producers throughout the UK and from overseas can enter their products into the awards, where they are then judges by the very best names in the food industry.
Bumblee’s Preserves was established in 2013 and Francine has been a regular at Taunton Farmers’ Market ever since. Using family recipes and a few modern concoctions too, Francine created traditional marmalade, jam, chutney, dressings as well as a chilli range along with her husband, “The Chillees”. All created in small batches her little kitchen in Creech St Michael.
Francine added: “I am thrilled with the awards, especially the three stars, I’m just a foodie who loves to play with her food and create unique flavours.”
Some of the comments from judges of the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards included: “The flavour balance is excellent with sweetness and sharpness and a hint of the herby thyme, then the pink peppercorns linger on the finish. It arouses all the taste buds and just keeps on coming” and “Outstanding in its complexity and balance. A very delicious shrub.”
Bumblee’s Preserves’ Quince Jelly and their Strawberry and Black Pepper Balsamic Vinegar each received one star awards.
Bumblee’s regularly attends markets and events locally and their produce can be found in a number of Somerset stockists including Langport Stores, Hauser & Wirth (Bruton), Jordans Courtyard Gift Barn (Horton Cross) and Not too Deer (Dunster), whiles many local B&Bs and local hotels serve their products to visitors.
They can also be found online at https://www.bumblees.co.uk/ and on Amazon, too.