James Kavanagh and William Murray named champion porridge makers at Laois competition

James Kavanagh and William Murray
By Denise O’Donoghue

Influencer James Kavanagh and his partner William Murray of Currabinny have been crowned the first ever Irish Porridge Making Champions at the inaugural ‘PaddyO’s Irish Porridge Making Championships’ in Laois today.

Competitors from across Ireland pitted their porridge making skills against one another at Cullahill, but it was James and William’s traditional porridge recipe of just oats, salt and water that impressed the judges.

The judging panel for the oaty Irish cook-off consisted of TV chef Rachel Allen, World Porridge Making Judge, Martyn O'Reilly and founder of PaddyO's Cereals, Paddy O’Connell.

The couple are delighted to be crowned the first ever Irish Porridge Making Champs

"We’re over the moon to win this competition; we’re still in shock," said James.

"To have chef Rachel Allen and the World Porridge Making judge, Martyn O’Reilly say that our porridge is the best is such an achievement.

"We’re also chuffed to have received The Emerald Spurtle, which will sit pride of place on our mantlepiece from here on in." A spurtle is a Scottish wooden kitchen utensil, dating from the fifteenth century, that is used to stir porridge.

James Kavanagh and William Murray celebrate their win.

James added they are excited to reporesent Ireland at the World Porridge event in Scotland later this year.

The PaddyO's Irish Porridge Making Championships consisted of two categories: traditional and speciality.

The speciality section celebrates the versatility of porridge and speciality recipes can be anything from desserts to risotto.

The winner of the speciality section was Breda Deegan, who won over judges with her oat and brandy pancake topped with a creamy and exotic mushroom spinach.

The inspiration for the recipe came about when Breda and her colleague, Judy Bridgeman, St. Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny were having a brain storm and came up with the idea.

Judge Paddy O'Connoll of PaddyO's Cereals pictured with winner of the Irish Porridge Making Championships Specialty Section Breda Deegan.

The two winners in each category will now go on to represent Ireland at the Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships in Scotland on October 6.

Paddy O'Connell was the first ever Irish person to represent Ireland at the World Porridge Making Championships in Scotland last October and is the man behind the unique competition.

"The event has been a great success and we’re delighted to have hosted it," he said.

"Our judges didn’t have an easy task, so well done to all the competitors in both the traditional and speciality section. We wish James, William and Breda all the best in Scotland in October."

The winners of the Irish event have won complimentary flights to Scotland and overnight accommodation in Carrbridge, Scotland for the World Porridge Making Championships.

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