International line up for 26th annual World Porridge Making Championships

19 September 2019

 Biggest ever international line up for 26th annual World Porridge Making Championships

 With less than four weeks to go, the line-up has been announced for the 2019 World Porridge Making Championships which take place in Carrbridge, Inverness-shire on Saturday 12 October.

This year’s contenders include porridge fans from 11 countries including Sweden, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Canada and from across the UK. The 2018 competition had joint winners for the first time – Swedes Per Carlsson and Calle Myrsell, who are both returning for 2019.

Other competitors include:

  • Madeleine Harris from England, whose Instagram blog @passion4porridge has tens of thousands of followers, and who attributes her recovery from anorexia to making porridge every day
  • Annika Gibbs, a pastry chef from Bavaria in Germany
  • Lynn Munro, a freelance outdoor educator from the Scottish Highlands, who won the junior championships in 2018, and is growing her own oats for this year’s competition
  • Sara Cecylia Owczarczak-Garstecka from Poland, who is currently undertaking a PhD in human-dog interactions in Liverpool
  • Chef Robbie Evans from Muckrach Country House in Grantown on Spey, who has a passion for cooking Scottish porridge, and is excited about entering his first ever cooking competition
  • Neal Robertson inventor of the double faced ‘Spon’ – who has a tattoo to celebrate him winning the 2010 World Porridge Making Championships
  • Lisa Williams from England, who runs a community café and works with adults with learning disabilities
  • Audrey David, who describes herself as a porridge addict and ‘French by birth, Scottish by heart’ who shares her porridge breakfast on Instagram every morning @thegingerelle
  • Karen Burns-Booth from Wales, author of the popular food and travel blog Lavender and Lovage
  • Kuzmicheva Alena Vladimirovna, a web designer from Russia, and winner of the Russian porridge championships
  • Sarah Stephen, a nature conservation scientist from Alberta in Canada
  • Finn Hedin, who describes himself as ‘a food wizard’ from the autonomous northern republic of Jämtland between Sweden and Norway
  • Naomi Morris from England, founder of Morridge – a food stall specialising in artisan porridge
  • Scientific consultant Simon Ceri Rookyard from England, a trombonist and long-term porridge fanatic, and previous champion
  • Retired Montessori teacher Bridget Young from Canada
  • Edinburgh-based gaelic singer John Boa, two-time winner of the Golden Spurtle
  • Another previous winner, NHS nephrologist and passionate hill walker Izhar Khan, from Scotland
  • David Buchanan, a globe-trotting private chef specialising in healthy nutritious cuisine, now a social entrepreneur protecting the rainforests of Indonesia
  • Anse Vanmassenhove from Gwent in Belgium, who together with her brother, opened the first porridge bar in Benelux last year

The highly coveted title and ‘Golden Spurtle’ trophy is awarded to the person deemed to have made the best traditional porridge using just three ingredients – oatmeal, water and salt. There is also a ‘Speciality Porridge’ competition, for porridge with other ingredients added, and a ‘Silver Spurtle’ competition for young people under 16.

Previous winning speciality dishes have included sticky toffee porridge, pinhead risotto with lemon, thyme and parmesan and a Scottish tapas platter, from 2019 speciality winner Chris Young from Perthshire Oatcakes, who is returning to compete this year.

Colin Bussey, former head chef at Gleneagles is chair of the judging panel, and will be judging alongside 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 Gleneagles.

Ex-MFR radio presenter, Richard Jones, will MC the event.

The event is organised by Carrbridge Community Council. Charlie Miller from the organising committee said: “The World Porridge Making Championships continue to go from strength to strength, and we look forward to welcoming porridge aficionados and their supporters from all over the world to Carrbridge for this year’s competition.”

The Golden Spurtle is sponsored by Hamlyn’s of Scotland, producers of Hamlyn’s Scottish Oatmeal and Hamlyn’s Scottish Porridge Oats, with Centurion Plumbing Services sponsoring the Silver Spurtle competition.

Hamlyns of Scotland Managing Director Alan Meikle said: “Porridge is a year-round favourite breakfast both in Scotland and across the UK, and it’s great to know that it is enjoyed in so many other countries across the world. As ever we look forward to tasting the traditional porridges, as well as trying all the different dishes in the speciality competition, where the competitors’ creativity and flair never ceases to amaze me.”

Further details and a range of high quality images can be found on the website:



For further information, or to be put in touch with any of the competitors, please contact:

Louise Harley

Tel: 07803 905776