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David Remfry portrait of Platinum Pudding creator Jemma Melvin unveiled

British artist David Remfry has unveiled a portrait of Platinum Pudding creator Jemma Melvin, showing the baker with her winning lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle.

The watercolour portrait was unveiled as the final portrait in Remfry’s decade-long commission for The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason.

It joins 22 other portraits by the artist as part of the commission, which include Stephen Fry, Claudia Winkleman, Gizzi Erskine and some of the store’s team.

Ms Melvin was crowned winner of the Fortnum & Mason Platinum Pudding competition with her lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations (Nicky Johnston/PA)
Ms Melvin was crowned winner of the Fortnum & Mason Platinum Pudding competition with her lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations (Nicky Johnston/PA)

Ms Melvin, a copywriter from Southport, Merseyside, was crowned winner of the Fortnum & Mason Platinum Pudding Competition in May 2022 with her lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The watercolour shows Ms Melvin wearing an apron decorated with lemons, which she wore throughout the competition and when she was crowned winner.

Remfry said: “It was lovely to do – simply a joy to do.”

The portrait took five sittings with Ms Melvin to create, although only one sitting with the famous trifle.

Ms Melvin said: “I’ve enjoyed every single moment of the process; David made it really easy and we had the best time at each sitting.

“Although I did have to keep putting the trifle down, it was quite heavy.

“When I first walked into the tea salon and saw it, I was really taken back but in the best way possible. It’s a huge honour to have David Remfry create this and for it to be hung where it is.”

The watercolour shows Ms Melvin wearing an apron decorated with lemons (Jack Barnes for Fortnum & Mason/PA)
The watercolour shows Ms Melvin wearing an apron decorated with lemons (Jack Barnes for Fortnum & Mason/PA)

The baker’s triumph was followed by BBC One’s The Jubilee Pudding: 70 Years In The Baking, a one-hour special programme following the competition as it celebrated the monarch’s 70 years on the throne by finding an original and celebratory cake, tart or pudding fit for the Queen.

Dame Mary Berry and chef Monica Galetti were two of the eight judges who made the unanimous decision to declare Ms Melvin’s trifle the winning recipe.

Her achievement was announced by the then Duchess of Cornwall, who appeared as a surprise special guest at the competition final.

Ms Melvin said: “Being back in the tea room where the programme was filmed was a full circle moment. I still can’t believe that any of it happened.

“The legacy of the trifle really lives on and I’m so proud of that and so thankful to everyone who has contributed to the experience, it’s the things dreams are made of.”

Fortnum & Mason chief executive Tom Athron said: “We were thrilled that David was able to add to our joyful collection with this very special memory of Jemma, who we are incredibly proud of.

“David has always described how his vision for this collection should complement people’s experience in a restaurant and entertain people – this certainly does that – and adds to the ambiance of the tea salon.”