Porridge champ to give masterclass

Simon Rookyard, from Tyldesley, with the Golden Spurtle trophy for winning the World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland
. Picture by James Ross
Simon Rookyard, from Tyldesley, with the Golden Spurtle trophy for winning the World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland . Picture by James Ross

A science post-graduate whose oat so good skills in the kitchen saw him crowned world champion will make a special visit to his old school.

Simon Rookyard, who won the World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland last October, will visit Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley to pass on the secrets of his culinary success.

Tyldesley native Simon lifted the trophy in the Highlands after defeating allcomers from around the world to produce the best traditional Scottish porridge from just oatmeal, water and salt.

Simon, who has just completed his PhD in astrophysics at Manchester University, has been entering the quirky competition held in the village of Carrbridge near Aviemore since he first found out about the contest as a university undergraduate.

Having lifted the trophy on his seventh attempt he says he is looking forward to returning to the Printshop Lane school he attended and showing off his triumphant recipe to the pupils.

Simon, 25, said: “It was a very pleasant surprise to win the world championship because there were quite a few chefs and people who cook professionally running cafes and B&Bs there.

“I first happened across the website in my first year at university.

“I thought I could make porridge so I sent the entry form off and got accepted.

“It was nice, friendly, fun weekend so I entered again and just carried on going each year.

“It’s a truly international thing, there were people from Scandinavia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and South Africa there.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Fred Longworth and it’s nice to be asked. It’s a while since I’ve been back so it will be good to see the old place again.”

Simon’s efforts in the world championships earned him the Golden Spurtle, which is an implement expert porridge chefs use in place of a spoon to stir their breakfast dishes.

Competitors have just 30 minutes to create the finest traditional porridge they can during the heats, with a judging panel then selecting around half a dozen of the best chefs to cook again in the final.

Entrants can also let their imaginations run wild in the speciality competition for flavoured porridges and oatmeal-based recipes, which have to be put together at the same time as the traditional version in the half hour of competition time.

For his visit to Fred Longworth Simon will cook his winning recipe before the pupils get the chance to cook their own flavoured porridge, with a judging panel made up of Simon, teachers and Freddies governor Ian Williams awarding a prize to the winner.

Simon will visit Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley on April 20.