The creation of “Honey” in the finale of “Flavor of Georgia”

Lazar Oglesby and Honey Specialties are well known in Statesboro and the Bulloch County area not only for baking the tastiest cheesecakes, but also for cheesecakes that offer distinctive flavor combinations.

Next week, Oglesby will bring one of his latest creations – a lemon blueberry cheesecake – to the University of Georgia in Athens, where the dessert is a finalist in the annual Flavor of Georgia Food Product competition.

“I think our product is a unique take on a classic dessert,” Oglesby said of why she thinks the judges selected her creation as a finalist. “Honey cheesecakes are a bit sweeter and lighter than a traditional New York cheesecake.”

Each year, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences organizes the Commodity Competition and the final is set for Tuesday, March 28 at the Classic Center in Athens. The event is open to the public from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include samples of the finalists competing in 12 different categories.

Honey’s Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake is listed in the “baked goods” category and will compete with two other products, Oglesby said.

As an entrée, Honey’s dessert is described as a classic southern cheesecake recipe drizzled with blueberry jam grown by Bynes in Georgia and topped with a lemon butter crumble.

In deciding to enter her Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake in the contest, Oglesby said, “I wanted to make sure I was using an agricultural product from Georgia. Our friend from Burke County, Mr. Dick Byne, provided me with some Georgia grown blueberries from Byne Farms. We brightened up the flavor by adding lemon for a refreshing spring/summer flavor.

“I found the recipe and tested for several months until I found the right product.”

Oglesby started Honey Catering more than 10 years ago, and Honey Specialties is now the umbrella trade name for Honey Catering and two Statesboro restaurants, Honey Too and Dolan’s Barbecue, which Oglesby owns with his sister Mary Beth Brown.

In a statement, the University of Georgia said the competition is “the state’s proving ground for small food start-up companies as well as established products seeking recognition or new markets. This year’s finalists represent all corners of the state and the best of Georgia’s diverse culinary heritage.

Oglesby said she entered the contest another time – in 2018 with a Chilli Cheesecake.

In the final, Oglesby will provide samples of his cheesecake to the judges and showcase his product in a three-minute presentation.

UGA officials said the judges will include food brokers, grocery shoppers and other food experts. “Entries are categorized on the basis of their Georgian theme, marketability, taste, innovation and market potential.”

Oglesby said his Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake is now available at Dolan’s Barbecue restaurant on South Main St. and can also be shipped nationwide.


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