Porridge. The only silver lining when summer draws to a close.
We called upon on the finest porridge-connoisseurs in the capital to take part in the 2015 London Porridge Championships. The annual competition, now in its third year, pitted contestants against each other to determine the creator of London’s best porridge at Whole Foods Market.
Bowls of innovation were be served by
Meet Irene and Rich. They set up Nama Foods – a raw food restaurant based in Notting Hill, London. Tucked away in a nice shady spot on Talbot Road, people consider it as something of a raw food nirvana, offering – beyond dining – raw food courses, catering, raw food cleanses, juice cleanses, and all manner of information on the raw food lifestyle.
Raw, vegan sprouted-oat porridge.
Our favourite cheesemonger in London, La Fromagerie features a maturing cellar, a dedicated walk-in cheese room and an affineur (cheese specialist), who is on hand to help with selections. The shop also sells artisan breads, charcuterie, fine wines and a variety of dry store ingredients including extra virgin olive oils. The on-site kitchen produces homemade jams and chutneys, biscuits and cakes along with a daily changing kitchen menu of salads, soups and other seasonal dishes.
Head Chef Alessandro Grano’s take on porridge was seasonal, and inspired by the northern Italian region of Piedmont.
He combined our Daily Oats porridge with polenta, chestnuts & Italian hazelnuts with creamy Robiolina Spamabile & whole milk finished with toasted pumpkin seeds & pumpkin crisps.
Opened in 2014, Snaps + Rye A Corner of Denmark in London. Founded by Danish-English husband and wife team Kell + Jacqueline Skött. SNAPS + RYE is a contemporary Danish restaurant serving ‘proper’ Nordic cuisine focusing on produce and provenance. This buttermilk and rye porridge came in third place.
Lily Simpson’s recipes at Detox Kitchen are a product of her travels in Italy, France, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, and much shorter childhood journeys to raid the family herb garden. Putting the tastes and textures together in new and exciting ways is a labour of love, but the results are about more than delicious food.
We loved the look of this cardamom and coconut sprouted porridge with blackberry, beetroot and lime compote, bee pollen, coconut yoghurt, apple and honied pecans. What a mouthful.
Druid Street Market open on Saturdays from 9am to 4pm and is the brainchild of Toast Magazine Editor, Miranda York. Miranda sees the market as an opportunity to curate a tasty selection of fresh produce, innovative new products and street food.
Emily’s porridge was inspired by the Sri Lankan dish Kola Kanda and is made with our 5 Grain 5 Seed Porridge, green herbs (a mixture of mint, coriander and parsley), Rude Health coconut milk, jaggery, Ampersand cultured butter and lemon zest. Topped with pomegranate seeds, coconut yoghurt and toasted coconut. This sweet and savoury treat came in second place.
Aduna is an Africa-inspired health & beauty brand and social business. Their mission is to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small producers in rural Africa – starting with the nutrient-dense superfoods baobab and moringa. By creating demand for these under-utilised super-ingredients, Aduna creates sustainable income flows for women producers in rural Africa. They got creative with a Moringa and Mint Choc Chip Porridge.
Another savoury take on porridge. This miso version was topped with spring onions and almonds.
Maple & Fitz is a healthy eating and cold-pressed juice bar based in the heart of Fitzrovia, specialising in substantial but healthy salads, guilt-free treats and delicious cold-pressed juices. Founded by Cordon Bleu trained chef Adria Wu, Maple & Fitz uses fresh and wholesome ingredients to create delicious and nutritious food, designed to leave diners feeling energised and fulfilled. Fresh, healthy food, designed to nourish you from the inside out.
These guys create truly delicious, nutritionally designed food that is beautiful from the inside out. They’re on a mission is to make healthy food accessible and fun. And most of all, to make healthy eating feel like a treat – every time. We only use the best natural ingredients that are sustainably sourced and will help you to heal, thrive and feel the best you possibly can. And we are always deliciously free from wheat, gluten, dairy + refined sugar and use packaging made from 100% biodegradable and recyclable materials.
Here’s their Glow + Go porridge – coconut chia with poached beetroot pears, blackberries and coconut yoghurt.
Olive’s best-ever porridge.
As much as they love a trend over at Olive, sometimes you just can’t beat a classic original, and this recipe from their chief sub, production editor Gregor, (who is Scottish) is the best we’ve ever tried. ‘Versatile and under-used as oats are in carrying flavours, I think it’s more regrettable that they’re rarely appreciated purely in themselves: creamy, malty and comforting,’ says Gregor. ‘The porridge I love is plain, traditional, Scottish style – the only adulteration being milk and salt. The departure with tradition, in olive’s best-ever porridge, is that sea salt flakes are sprinkled on top, rather than fine salt being stirred through.’
Gregor’s been cooking, eating and writing at olive for the past eight years, and is best known for his porridge, oatcakes, bacon, sausages, kimchi, and sourdough recipes.
Kopapa – a Maori word for ‘a gathering, to be crowded, and a building to store food in’. Here’s their oat porridge banana, (bon)soy milk, blueberry compote.
A fermented porridge made with hemp milk, hemp seed butter, and dates, topped with local pears poached in star anise and orange juice, with a local rosehip syrup, and sprinkled with star anise powder and goji berries
The Made In Hackney Local Food Kitchen is a pioneering eco-community kitchen in Hackney, East London, which teaches vital food growing, cooking and composting skills that are good for people and planet.
And last but certainly not least
In fact, they came first place. We gave them first place for presentation too.
It’s a local favourite of Belgravia. Conceived as the ultimate all day dining experience, Pont St offers a sumptuous range of international delights. They wowed the crowd with their spelt and oat coconut, mango and papaya porridge. It’s dairy-free too. Check out the recipe here.
To separate the wheat from the chaff, entries will be judged by the likes of oat-crazy Frances Quinn, winner of the Great British Bake Off 2013, along with Rude Health’s co-founder Nick Barnard, Speciality Champion at the 2013 World Porridge Championships, and Whole Food Market‘s very own culinary leader, David Thompson.
Left – Snaps & Rye (Third Place). Center – Pont St (First Place). Right – Weligama (Second Place).