Suffolk cafe owner scoops porridge prize for second time


A cafe manager from Suffolk has been named the world’s best porridge maker for the second time.

The coveted Golden Spurtle is awarded to the maker of the best traditional porridge using three ingredients – oatmeal, water and salt.

The competition attracts entrants from around the world to the village of Carrbridge in the Scottish Highlands.

This year’s winner has been named as Lisa Williams who runs Stennetts Community Cafe in Trimley St Mary.

Ms Williams won the competition in 2019 – the last time it took place in person before the coronavirus pandemic.

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The competition was held online for the last two years with those dishes judged on appearance, execution, originality, flair and virtual taste – reflecting which dishes the judging panel most wanted to try.

On Saturday Ms Williams beat 25 other competitors vying to win the Golden Spurtle.

The final cook-off included competitors from Australia, Iceland, Cyprus, Scotland and England.

A former Great British Bake Off contestant also entered.

Ms Williams said: “I can’t put into words how delighted I am. I came to Carrbridge thinking that I was saying goodbye to the Golden Spurtle trophy, and I can’t believe that I am taking it home with me again.

“It has been so lovely being back in the village seeing everyone. There’s great camaraderie amongst the competitors, and the whole event is so friendly and welcoming.”

Entries are judged for appearance, texture, colour and taste.

‘The perfect consistency’
This year’s judges included former Gleneagles executive chef, Neil Mugg, Scottish MasterChef finalist Sarah Rankin, and New Zealander Kirsten Gilmour, owner of KJ’s Bothy Bakery in Grantown on Spey.

Neil Mugg, head judge, said: “Lisa’s porridge was really well made. Rich, flavourful, well seasoned and the perfect consistency.”

In addition to the main competition, the title of Speciality Porridge Champion is awarded to the creator of a sweet or savoury dish where oatmeal can be combined with any other ingredients.

This year’s speciality winner was Chris Young, owner of street food and events caterer The Rolling Stove, who wowed the judges with his porridge noodles two ways, with hand-dived seared scallops and caramelised figs.

Organiser Karen Henderson said: “It has been wonderful to have porridge fans, their supporters and so many visitors in a very packed Carrbridge village hall for today’s competition.

“What started very much as a small local event has grown to be a highlight of Scotland’s food and drink calendar, and it has been fantastic being able to welcome back visitors from around the world again. “

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Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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