Carrbridge's world porridge championship defies the weather
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Today's World Porridge Making Championship defied the odds and produced another international line-up of talented creators, both of the traditional and speciality dishes.
Only two of the competitors were unable to make it on the day, one of them the Ukrainian hope Natasha Delamar who reportedly had transport problems, but both were replaced in time to keep the event – the 30th of its kind – up to the full complement of 30.
First time competitor Adam Kiani, competing under the Pakistani flag, took the coveted Golden Spurtle and £500 purse as the new champion after beating competitors from around the world.
The 2023 competition attracted competitors from UK shores and as far afield as USA, Canada, Cyprus, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Pakistan, Indonesia, Netherlands, and Germany.
An overjoyed Adam said: “I am delighted and humbled to win this great event, especially considering the high quality of the entrants and their creations. It’s been a really great day, and I am totally over the moon to be crowned a World Champion. This will take time to sink in.”
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.
The Speciality Dish was won by another first-time entrant Bobby Fisher from London.
Bobby said: “I am overjoyed with winning this award and hope my good friend Charlie who is local to Carrbridge is proud. We always joked about entering the World Porridge Championships and winning the Golden Spurtle. It’s t-oat-ally a dream come true.”
The title of World Porridge Making Champion is awarded to the contestant deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using just three ingredients – oatmeal, water and salt.
Entries are judged for appearance, texture, colour and taste. This year’s judges included former Gleneagles Executive Chef, Neil Mugg, American-Scot Christina Conte, and New Zealander Kirsten Gilmour, owner of KJ’s Bothy Bakery in Grantown on Spey.
Neil Mugg, chair of the judges, said: “There was some broad variances in the traditional dish with an array of tastes, textures and consistency. The Speciality winner really thought out of the box with an amazing presentation of his dish in miniature treasure chests.
"There were some really outstanding entries this year so congratulations to every single competitor.”
The competition is organised by volunteers from the Carrbridge Community. The events main sponsor is Hamlyns of Scotland, producers of Hamlyns Scottish Oatmeal and Porridge Oats.
Charlie Miller, the 2023 Porridge Chieftain, said: “It has been wonderful to have porridge fans, their supporters and so many visitors attend the 30th edition of this great event. We are delighted the competition continues to attract new and inspirational contestants.
"What started all these years ago as very much as a small local event has grown to be a highlight of Scotland’s food and drink calendar. It’s truly wonderful to see competitors from around the world coming to Carrbridge with such enthusiasm for both the competition but also being here in Carrbridge.”
Alan Meikle, managing director of Hamlyns of Scotland, said: “Many congratulations to the new world champion Adam on a great win in the face of such fierce competition, and to the speciality champion Bobby.
"It’s always a pleasure to see the innovative recipes from around the world. Today has been a wonderful celebration of 30 years of the World Porridge Making Championship, and we are proud to be the main sponsor of such a unique and special event."