We had SO much fun attending the Rude Health Porridge Championships last week (wait, stay with us!). The creative combo’s the contestants came up totally blew our mind.
Dishes had to be 50% oats and cooked in 20 minutes, but other than that – you could go WILD. And wild they went. Salty, sweet, spiced, we tried it all. Our personal favourites included 26 Grains Carrot Rye Porridge, Nopi’s Middle Eastern Miso Butterscotch porridge, Jamu Kitchen’s Turmeric Tamarind Tonic and Niomi Smart’s Carrot Cake Porridge.
Judges Nick Barnard (Rude Health) and Signe Johansen, (author of How to Hygge) had a super hard task on their hands. However, this year’s winner of the Rude Health Porridge Championships is Native, who wowed the judges with their bowl of ‘Meadowsweet porridge with Kentish wood ants & crab apple compote’.
Native’s base of oatmeal, jumbo oats and rye flakes was cooked in a milk and cream liquid that had been infused with foraged meadowsweet. The porridge was topped with toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds, a homemade crab apple and fennel compote, wild fennel leaves and Kentish wood ants.
The winning recipe will be served at the Rude Health Cafe in Putney for the whole of November, with customers able to choose from a topping of ants or lemon-peel alternative.
Native’s Imogen and Ivan told the audience that they chose to include ants in the recipe as they wanted to include a locally sourced ingredient that would add some zest and sharpness to the creaminess of their porridge base, “Ants are not only a good source of sustainable protein but they are delicious too.”
Other competitors at this year’s event included Tom Hunt’s Poco (Bristol and London), Modern Baker (Oxford), Bills (Brighton), Rock my Bowl, Maple & Fitz (London), The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School, Punch Foods, About Time, and Farm Girl Cafe.