Simon Rookyard, who just two weeks ago submitted his PhD Thesis on Pulsars, has won the coveted title of World Porridge Making Champion in the Highland Village of Carrbridge – picking up the Golden Spurtle for his efforts.

The 20-strong international line up included a Finnish biochemist, a Swedish doctor, a Norwegian museum manager, a Swedish youth hostel owner, a Swiss miller, a South African chef, an American personal assistant, and a Czech small business owner, as well as competitors from across the UK.

The title of World Porridge Making Champion is awarded to the competitor who makes the best traditional porridge using only three ingredients – oatmeal, salt and water.

The competitors were closely watched by four judges: Neil Mugg, Head Pastry Chef at The Gleneagles Hotel, Masterchef Colin Bussey, who has 34 years’ experience in the food industry including at The Savoy and Gleneagles, and guest judges, Ron MacKenna, restaurant critic at ‘The Herald’, and Jonathan Engels of Crossbill Gin whose Aviemore gin distillery and bar won Channel 4’s ‘Amazing Spaces’ 2015 ‘Shed of the Year’ and most recently European Craft Gin 2015.

Golden Spurtle Winner Simon’s winning comment was ‘a Good Days Work’ and in his search for a job in his field of Astrophysics, being the new World Champion Porridge Maker will certainly make him stand out from the crowd.

Contestants are also encouraged to enter the ‘Speciality’ competition, where oatmeal must be the main ingredient in any sweet or savoury porridge-based dish.

This year’s competition was extremely hard fought, with the judging panel in deep debate.

However the speciality winner was Norwegian Thorbjorn Kristensen, who impressed judges with his dish of Porridge Waffles.

The event is organised by Carrbridge Community Council and sponsored by Hamlyns of Scotland.

Alan Meikle, Managing Director of Hamlyns of Scotland said: “Hamlyns are absolutely delighted to sponsor the World Porridge Making Championships again.

“It has been a fantastic day, and we’d like to congratulate the worthy winners and everyone else who took part, along with the judges and the event organisers.”

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