Our team can hardly believe that we won the coveted Golden Spurtle; the prize awarded for the best traditional porridge in the world. We spent most of the night celebrating with pints at the local pub. Today it became real, as the phone began ringing for interviews and the Scottish paper announced that the Americans had won the honor of having the best porridge in the world.
Yesterday our nerves ran wild as we prepared for the competition. My hands shook as I cut pears and measured out oats, water, salt. There were so many fabulous people competing that we immediately felt out of place and knew we’d be lucky to make it into the finals. What struck me immediately was how friendly everyone was. We were all nervously prepping for the competition and joking with one another to break the tension. Everyone was bonded together in our nervous chatter and sharing recipes was just another way to calm our nerves.
Finally, the time came for Matt to take the stage. As we shuffled everything for our Oregon Orchard Oat Brule and traditional oats onto the stage, I knew all the months of hard work was finally to be tested. This was it.
Matt preformed fabulously under the judges’ scrutiny and finished with 3 minutes to spare- far more than any practice session had yielded. I knew he had preformed well, but we were up against some very strong competition. After the allotted time, the judges announced those who would make it into the final round. The final round would consist only of the traditional oats; the winner of the specialty oats category, presumably, having already been chosen. Those few seconds stretched on for an eternity as the judge announced first one name, then another, and so on. When the fourth name was announced, I felt momentarily dismayed until he uttered the last number- 5, Matthew Cox. Of fourteen competitors, we had made it to the finals.
Here, I breathed a sigh of relief. While we wanted to win, we were content to make it into the finals. We scrambled to get Matt ready for the finals and watched as he prepared yet another batch of traditional oats. When he finally plated his oats the nervous wait began.
After what felt like hours, but was only minutes, the judges had chosen the winner of the specialty category- Anna-Louise Bachelor with her Steamed Porridge Spotted Dick with Custard. Our hopes were perceptibly dashed. I was ready to call it a day and move on. When the judge announced Matt as the winner of the traditional oats category and the Golden Spurtle Champion, it took a moment to digest that we had won. How had we come all this way and actually won??
From there it has been a whirlwind of photographers and journalists. What an honor to win the traditional oats category. While we worked so hard to perfect our specialty oats, this award means far more to us. Our oats won this award. Thank you for all of your support. Over the next few days, we will post links to our pictures and videos.
Thank you, again, from your friends at Bob’s Red Mill