The day of the competition was a beautiful, sunny fall day in the small village of Carrbridge, Scotland. The air was crisp and emotions were high. Matt and I chopped and prepped all of our ingredients and were ready to roll without much anxiety at about half past eleven. The traditional parade began at 11:45 am with Matt proudly holding the Golden Spurtle. A lively band of Scottish pipers and drummers followed behind our champ, leading the way for a rather rowdy bunch of competitors and spectators.
Matt competed in the first heat and performed admirably with his porridge and specialty Savory Oat Fritters looking better than ever. Sadly, this was not our day. We did not make it into the second round of the competition and pinned all of our hopes on our fritters. While the judges and the spectators loved our “little oat cakes,” they did not win the Specialty Category. Instead the category was won by our good friend from Calgary, Catherine Caldwell, with her concoction that was named Canadian Cranberry Apple Crunch. I will admit that I did get the lucky privilege of tasting her dish and it was outstanding. Catherine and her husband, John, stayed at the Fairwinds with us last year and are simply the nicest folks and we’re very pleased that she won.
The big winner was Neil Robertson from Auchtermuchty, who won using his own invention, the Spon—a double-sided spoon of sorts. His oats won the hearts of the judges and secured him as the new World Porridge Champion.
Now, I know what you’re thinking and let me assure you that our team was a bit disappointed not to win, but we gave it our best shot and we are proud of the work we put in creating our dishes. We’re busy thinking about what next year will be like and very happy for the winners—especially Catherine. Really, it was hard for me not to root for her- she is a sweet woman who may just love porridge more than we do, if that’s possible.