The Ship, Wandsworth
23 September 2011
It’s been three days now and I think we’ve only really, just recovered from what was a truly mammoth voyage into the competitive world of Best Scotch Egg. What started out as a cheeky ‘anything you can do I can do better’ conversation over twitter, rapidly turned into a list of truly outstanding pubs and restaurants all intent on winning the prize for something they all knew they could do well, but, the question was, who could do it just that little bit better? Victory came in the form of round, runny, yummy perfection from The Devonshire Arms in Chiswick who scored 83 points out of 100 for their Haggis and Burford Brown Recipe. Joint second runners up were The Old Dairy,Stroud Green and The Bull and Last, Highgate who were hot on their heals with 79 points.
With 33 entrants on Tuesday night, the pub was buzzing as crowds gathered in the restaurant to watch over the pass as the competition began. The judges, neatly tucked away out of earshot and view of the kitchen took to their seats, a mixture of both excitement and definite apprehension on their faces.
And so we got started… chefs galore turned up to the kitchen at their allotted slot times, eagerly awaiting their 15 minutes in the kitchen. Some more relaxed than others, we made our way through three hours of celebration for the genius creation that is simply egg, meat and breadcrumbs. There were probes flying about, stop clocks and alarms, there was heat, there was sweat, there was almost tears!
We had ritual songs being sung, we had customized t-shirts, there were shouts and there were cheers. But what emerged out of fryers and ovens, no one could turn down. Overwhelmed waitresses launched themselves egg after egg into the restaurant to give out these works of art to the crowds and get opinions flowing, a separate competition developing for which one of them could try and get the furthest through the masses without having to return to the kitchen with an empty board.
Huge thanks have to go out to our judges Chris Pople, MiMi Aye, Mat Follas, and self confessed King of Scotch Eggs David Constable (who we hope still wishes to maintain that title after being force fed almost seven in one sitting) for their expert opinions. They were also joined by special guest judge Eric Lanlard of CakeBoy fame and whose hobbies are soon to include trips to space, who kindly stepped in and saved the day at the last minute to fill the fifth spot on the panel. Not knowing who’s egg was who’s they endeavoured to judge on appearance, smell, texture and taste, 20 being the maximum points each judge could give an egg (5 for each category). At about 11pm we had a result. Tallying up the points to give each competitor a score out of 100, Osh made his way up to the judges table to announce a winner. The Devonshire’s Egg was truly outstanding and with four out of the five judges ranking it top, they deservedly lifted the cup.
Top points for best non retail entry went to Friday Food Club and David crowned The Hind’s Head, Bray as the winners of his own award for eggcellence. Commentary and laughs from Douglas Blyde on the mic all evening doing interviews and egging on the judges topped off a great night and very successful event. A massive congratulations to everyone who took part, ate, drank and went into the bar afterwards to be merry amongst a few local irish musicians.
About The Ship, Wandsworth:
On the banks of the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge, The Ship has been supplying fine ales, wines and food to its surrounding residents since 1786 when it was founded as a Thameside Waterman’s Inn.
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