It’s that time of year again. When we celebrate the event of the season – yep you guessed it, World Porridge Day (10th October). With four Rude Health Porridge Championships under our belt, throwing a porridge shindig is kind of our thing. Year five was no different.
You’re in rude health when your kitchen has a spurtle drawer. You’re more oat couture than haute couture. Your bowl of porridge gets more likes than your profile picture.
The lean, mean judging team were charged with the impossible task of choosing a winner from this stellar bunch. Entries were judged on their presentation, taste, texture and innovation by Observer and Guardian writer (and competitor in the World Porridge Championships 2014) Tim Lewis and Chef and ex-Petersham, Tito Bergamaschi, along with our very own Co-founder Nick Barnard (Speciality Champion at the 2013 World Porridge Championships).
High Mood Food
Joey O’Hare represented newly launched grab n go café, High Mood Food, and only went and joint-won the critics’ choice vote. They served up earth-loving ethics and a flexitarian outlook. Fermented, probiotic-friendly food is at the heart of their veg-centric menu. So, it is no surprise that kimchi topped their black barley and white miso porridge with cultured cashew cheese and egg. Eggcellent. Got miso full. Ate so much, barely come up for air. Ok. We’ll stop.See recipe
A curveball entry came in the form of the Haleem Porridge from the Bombay brasserie, Dishoom. Now with four London restaurants, soon to be five, all styled after the old post-colonial ‘Irani cafes’ of Bombay, Dishoom, is now one of London’s best brunch spots and often has queues for lunch and dinner. Chef Rishi Anand’s, twist on porridge had us all rethinking porridge and gasping for more with his meaty, oat.Discover Dishoom
A first timer to the Rude Health Porridge Championship, Essence Cuisine, bagged runner up in this year’s competition for their pink porridge, made with homemade almond milk and pitaya. The new restaurant in East London shakes up plant-based cuisine convention, with a host of seasonal ingredients. Pretty and pink and powerful and phwoar.View Recipe
Balham bros, Brother Marcus, represented by Tasos Gaitanos, is a London café and cocktail bar serving brunch and small plates, all made with seasonal ingredients. Their ‘sour cherry sunrise’ porridge was topped with Greek sour cherries and candied almonds. What a fiesta for the taste buds.View Recipe
Pear Tree Cafe
Battersea’s latest gem, Pear Tree Café ladled up a pudding porridge with a punch. They use organic, responsibly sourced local food where it is possible and serve grass-fed, outdoor reared meet, sustainable fish and artisan cheese. They host supper clubs, private parties, and jazz Wednesdays. Their sesame brûlée porridge was pretty jazzy too. Annabelle Partridge, armed with blow torch, represented the café. DISCLAIMER: no eyebrows were harmed in the making of this porridge.View Recipe
Timberyard are known for their dynamic and independent creative public and private workspaces fused with high quality food and speciality tea and coffee. Head chef and creator Darren Elliott answered our autumnal prayers with his Autumn Morning Apples and Pears Porridge. Breakfast at its finest.View Recipe
They only went and did it again. Two-time Rude Health porridge champion, Native Restaurant, provides an eating experience like no other. Their food encapsulates the UK finest wild produce. Their Parsnip, Bone Marrow and Sea Buckthorn Porridge was no exception. Judge Tito said what we were all thinking, “I would choose to have this porridge as my last ever meal… it was cooked with generosity, easiness and no ego at all.”View Recipe