Simon's a star as he wins World Porridge Making Championship


An astrophysicist has been crowned the World Porridge Making Champion.

Simon Rookyard, who just two weeks ago submitted his PhD thesis on pulsars, has taken the title at the World Porridge Making Championship held in the Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge in Cairngorms National Park.

Mr Rookyard, from Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, beat off competition from 20-strong international line up including a Finnish biochemist, a Swedish doctor, a Norwegian museum manager, a South African chef and an American personal assistant to whisk away the coveted Golden Spurtle award.

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 winner was chosen 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.

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."