Gaelic Singer, John Boa, Takes Golden Spurtle Title Over The Sea To Skye
Gaelic singer and student, John Boa, has been crowned Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Champion, after today’s hotly-contested 20th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships in Carrbridge, Inverness-shire.
John, a student at Scotland’s Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye, has enjoyed considerable success since he started entering the competition three years ago. He was Champion in 2011, and ‘People’s Choice Winner’ 2012, and was delighted to re-gain the main title again this year.
“All I can say is that practice makes perfect,” said John, who admits that he has spent a “wee bit of time” preparing for the competition this year. Apart from that, John says he’s kept things simple, using Hamlyns of Scotland Medium Oatmeal, tap water from Carrbridge, and normal kitchen salt for his world-beating recipe. “I am absolutely delighted to win, and I’m sure that I’ll get a great reception from fellow students and staff at the College when I go back to Skye next week,” he said.
John brings the title back to Scotland, after last year’s competition was won by Benedict Horsbrugh, an Englishman, residing in Germany.
The World Porridge Making Championships are closely followed by connoisseurs of our national dish across the globe.
Eighteen competitors competed for the title, which is awarded to the competitor deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using oatmeal, water and salt.
Nick Barnard, joint founder and Managing Director of Rude Health was crowned ‘Speciality Champion’, for his recipe, Fruity Date Porridge, which used Scottish oat flakes and oatmeal, dried apricots, dates and apples, cinnamon, Hurdlebrook Guernsey milk and cream and Tiana coconut palm sugar.
“It’s the third time I have entered, and I’m absolutely delighted that it’s third time lucky,” said Nick. “Rude Health is all about making tasty, health food that sustains you. This recipe is both very delicious and very moreish, and I’m absolutely delighted that the judges enjoyed it so much.”
The judging panel was chaired by George McIvor from the Master Chefs of Great Britain, who was joined by Neil Mugg, Gleneagles Hotel Head Pastry Chef, and guest judge, BAFTA-winning TV presenter, journalist, wilderness hiker, backpacker and mountain walker, Cameron McNeish.
George McIvor said: “It really was a fantastic competition this year, but the judges were unanimous in awarding the Golden Spurtle title to John Boa, who had perfected taste, texture and seasoning.”
“We were also very impressed with the huge variety of dishes in the speciality section, and awarded the title to Nick Barnard whose Fruity Date Porridge was creative, delicious and beautifully presented.”
The event’s main sponsor is Hamlyn’s of Scotland, producers of Hamlyn’s Scottish Oatmeal and Hamlyn’s Scottish Porridge Oats. Managing Director, Alan Meikle, said: “Hamlyns of Scotland is delighted to continue to support the World Porridge Making Championships, which has become one of the highlights of the Scottish culinary calendar. And of course, it’s the icing on the cake to hear that the new World Champion was using Hamlyns Scottish Oatmeal.”