England takes the double in the World Porridge Making Championships

Competitors from England have won the coveted World Porridge Making Champion title and Speciality Porridge Champion title after today’s World Porridge Making Championships in the Highland village of Carrbridge, which we are delighted to sponsor.

Lisa Williams, who runs a social enterprise and a community cafe for adults with learning disabilities in Trimley St Mary in Suffolk, was crowned World Porridge Making Champion, and Rude Health founder, Nick Barnard took the Speciality title.

The coveted World Porridge Making Champion title is awarded to the contestant deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using just three ingredients – oatmeal, water and salt.

Lisa said: “I am surprised and thrilled to win the World Porridge Making Championships.I discovered the Golden Spurtle in 2015 and immediately fell in love with the competition. In 2016 I made it to the final six and have been chasing the dream ever since.

“I absolutely love the competition. From the moment you step into the village hall you are welcomed like family. It’s hard to describe but from the flags and the tartan, to the people from the village who organise everything, the ladies who serve the porridge, the volunteers who wash up our equipment, the porridge parade, the bagpipes – it’s just magical!”

Lisa’s winning recipe was made with half Hamlyns Scottish Oatmeal and half Hamlyns Pinhead Oatmeal, along with Maldon Sea Salt. “I didn’t use to use salt in my porridge, but I saw Nigel Slater using it years ago and have been doing the same ever since” she said.

As well as the traditional porridge competition, there is also a speciality category for oatmeal combined with any other ingredients, leading to a wide variety of sweet and savoury entries.

This year’s speciality winner was Rude Health founder, Nick Barnard, who’s Maple Pecan Porridge included Rude Health oatmeal, pecans from Roux Farm in South Africa and Guernsey Cream from Hurdlebrook Farm in Somerset.

The World Porridge Making Championships is organised by Carrbridge Community Council, and is sponsored by Hamlyns of Scotland.

Charlie Miller from the organising committee said: “This year’s competition attracted competitors from 11 different countries including Sweden, Canada, Germany, France, Poland and from across the UK. It has been a fantastic weekend celebrating a mutual love of porridge. Congratulations to our winners, well done to all competitors, and thanks to our sponsors and to everyone who came to watch them battling it out.”

Hamlyns of Scotland Managing Director, Alan Meikle, said: “It’s great to see that it’s not just us Scots who are so passionate about porridge. It’s really interesting to see how something made from just oatmeal, salt and water can vary so much, and of course we love seeing the culinary flare in the speciality event. Congratulations to the winners, and also to Carrbridge Community Council on another excellent event.”

The judges – who tasted more than 60 porridges in the course of the day – were Colin Bussey, former head chef at Gleneagles, Lydie Bocquillon, classically taught French chef and owner of the Auld Alliance in Kingussie, and Neil Mugg, chef lecturer at Perth College UHI and former Head Pastry Chef at Glengeagles.

Presenting Lisa with her prize, Colin Bussey said: “Scoring was very tight between three of the six finalists but Lisa’s porridge had a beautiful texture and a lovely flavour – it just came together.”

Huge congratulations Lisa.

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