Great Taste 2023 reveals top-tasting food and drink products from Oxfordshire-based producers


Great Taste 2023 reveals top-tasting food and drink products from Oxfordshire-based producers.
Great Taste 2023 reveals top-tasting food and drink products from Oxfordshire-based producers.

Thousands of artisan food and drink producers from around the world are discovering if any of their products have achieved a distinguished 1-, 2- or 3-star from Great Taste – the world’s largest food and drink accreditation scheme based entirely on taste.

Across 89 judging days in Dorset and London, a group of more than 500 judges conducted comprehensive blind taste tests on 14,195 entries, which were submitted from a staggering 109 different countries. Each producer will also receive invaluable feedback on their submissions from an array of food experts.

Products from the South East won an impressive 745 awards. 548 x 1-stars, 182 x 2-stars and an impressive x 15 3-stars.

Across Oxfordshire, the BlackCurrant Drinking Vinegar and Worton Wild Honey by Worton Organics, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Egremont Russet by Waterperry Gardens, Rhubarb Lager by Bampton-based Shandy Shack are some of the products that have won the Great Taste 2-star “above and beyond delicious”, which is awarded to only 11% of entries.

The Fazenda Paraisinho and Finca Las Brisas by Jericho Coffee Traders, The White Label London Dry Gin by The Henley Distillery, Cranberry Sauce with Mulled Spices by Pavilion Foods in Henley-on-Thames, Oxford Rye Whisky The Tawny Pipe by The Oxford Artisan Distillery, and the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate by Whittard of Chelsea, headquartered at Milton Park in Abingdon, were amongst the Oxfordshire-based products to win the Great Taste 1-star “food & drink that delivers fantastic flavour”, awarded to 28.8% of entries.

John Farrand, managing director at the Guild of Fine Food, said: “A huge congratulations to the producers from the South East who have been awarded Great Taste stars for 2023 with their outstanding food and drink.

“Every year, we welcome new and established producers making fantastic products around the world and this year has been no exception. The breadth and quality of food and drink has been outstanding, and we wish everyone who entered huge success and hope they find the feedback from our expert judging panel beneficial as they continue in their onward journey.”

Abby Allen, Ravneet Gill, James Golding & Liz Morgan. Image credit: Guild of Fine Food/Sam Pelly
Abby Allen, Ravneet Gill, James Golding & Liz Morgan. Image credit: Guild of Fine Food/Sam Pelly

What is Great Taste? 

Recognised as a stamp of excellence and actively sought out by food lovers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else. All products in the line-up for judging are blind-tasted: every product is removed from its packaging so it cannot be identified before entering a robust, layered judging process.

New for this year and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Great Taste, the Guild of Fine Food offered 50 micro producers the chance to put one new product in front of its expert panel of Great Taste judges for free. The bursary was aimed at micro-producers who have never entered Great Taste before or have a new product that has never been entered before. 

The bursary panel, which consisted of Adrian Boswell, buyer at Selfridges, industry commentator and food entrepreneur Mallika Basu, and PR & marketing expert AJ Sharp, selected the 50 most eligible entries.

2023 saw 21 products entered through the bursary scheme win a Great Taste award, including Karobi’s Ghee from Karobi’s (3-star), New Alt from Antur Brew Co. (3-star), Shoogle Junniperous Scottish Navy Strength Gin from Shoogle Spirits (2-star) and Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi from The Ferm (1-star).

Food & Drink Wales is the headline sponsor of Great Taste 2023. Great Taste Golden Fork trophy sponsors include Andrew Ingredients, Bord Bia, Food & Drink Wales, Invest NI, Italian Trade Agency, Maltby & Greek, Mevalco, Partridges, Scotland Food and Drink, ShireFoods, and Speciality and Fine Food Fair. Great Taste is supported by Henderson Group, Horgans, and Peter Green Chilled.

Karen Barnes, Dhruv Baker & Anna Stanford. Image credit: Guild of Fine Food/Sam Pelly
Karen Barnes, Dhruv Baker & Anna Stanford. Image credit: Guild of Fine Food/Sam Pelly

The Great Taste 2023 judging panel:

“When I come across a product with the iconic black and gold Great Taste logo, I see it as a badge of honour and feel compelled to purchase it. Having knowledge of the effort required to attain such a rating and the exceptional flavour that accompanies it, I am confident the product will not disappoint.” Said a regular of the Great Taste judging panel.

The distinguished judging panel consisting of over 500 food & drink experts, included chefs, critics, recipe developers, buyers, journalists, retailers, broadcasters, and reputable industry professionals. 

The Great Taste 2023 judging line-up included senior buyers and coordinators from Selfridges, Whole Foods Market, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Waitrose and Westmorland Family. 

MasterChef 2022 winner Eddie Scott, olive oil sommelier and author Irini Tzortzoglou, food writer and owner of Violet Cakes Claire Ptak, chef and co-founder of Island Social Club Marie Mitchell, chef turned farmer Julius Roberts, pastry chef and author Ravneet Gill, restaurateur and producer Amy Poon from Poon’s, baker and author Kitty Tait – the youngest and newest judge to join this year. 

Finally, broadcasters and journalists Andy Clarke and Juliet Sear (ITV), Felicity Cloake (The Guardian), Xanthe Clay (Telegraph) and Joanna Blythman were involved this year, among many others. 

What happens now? 

These Great Taste award-winners can now proudly display the iconic black and gold Great Taste logo as a badge of honour on their award-winning products. The logo states whether the product was awarded 1-, 2- or 3- stars, and it was awarded in 2023, so make sure to look out for them in your local stockist.

Past winners have stated that displaying a Great Taste sticker has increased sales by as much as 50%, as consumers from around the world are enthused to taste the best food and drink products available each year.

Great Taste Golden Fork ceremony 

The excitement of Great Taste 2023 doesn’t stop here. For the highest-scoring winners, it’s just the beginning. All 3-star winning products were tasted and judged again by the knowledgeable judging panel to crown the Golden Fork trophy winners and the 2023 Supreme Champion – the highest accolade of all.

The Golden Fork ceremony celebrates the best of the best from producers around the world, awarding them with a Golden Fork trophy. Further Golden Fork trophies are given for various categories, including the Guild of Fine Food Lifetime Achievement Award, the Great Taste Startisan of the Year Award, and Nigel Barden’s Heritage Award.

All will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Ceremony on Monday, 11 September 2023, at the Battersea Arts Centre (trade event only).

For the full list of this year’s winners and where to buy them, head to the 

Great Taste Awards website, where you will also find a wide range of award-winning products available to buy in delis, farm shops and independent retail outlets across the country.


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