Tag Archives: The Hind’s Head

Scotch Egg Challenge Winner Announced

Following huge demand on Twitter, on the 20th September a number of restaurateurs, publicans, foodies, journalists and bloggers from London and beyond gathered at The Ship in Wandsworth with only one thing on their mind: the #ScotchEggChallenge.

I’ve been working with Osh and the team at The Ship for months to organize this event and we finally pulled it off, with coverage help from The Guardian, The Evening Standard, Time Out and the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. There were 36 entries and Scotch eggs from small marble-sized to some the size of a heavyweight boxer’s fist. They were gold coloured, caramel, aurulent, chestnut, burnt sienna, black, ochre, toast and even pink.

A panel of five judges included 2009 Masterchef winner Mat Follas of Wild Garlic restaurant in Dorset, leading food bloggers Chris Pople and MiMi Aye, owner and chef of CakeBoy Eric Lanlard and myself. Eggs were rated on their Appearance, Smell, Texture and Taste with full marks being a score out of 20.

After 4 hours, 36 Scotch eggs (and 6 pints for me), a winner emerged, as well as a runner-up, an award for ‘Best Non-Retail Scotch egg’ and the ‘Forever Eggsploring Award for Gourmet Version’. Here are the winners:

Best Overall Scotch egg: The Devonshire Arms (@devonshirepubW4)

Best Non-Retail Scotch egg: The Friday Food Club (@FridayFoodClub)

Forever Eggsploring Award: The Hinds Head (@HindsHeadBray)

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In conversation with… Mark Sargeant

Mark Sargeant was born in Kent and was formerly head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin starred restaurant at Claridge’s in London.

He is the co-author of several books alongside Gordon Ramsay, and his first solo cookbook My Kind of Cooking is out in September. Next year he will be opening two new restaurants in Kent.

I spoke to Mark about his love for the Scotch egg and where he thinks the best one can be found.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Traditional, delicious, British!

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Definitely hot.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. HP sauce. I think you need that fruitness, that little hint of spice. Most people would probably say ketchup, but I’m really not a big ketchup fan.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg you enjoy?
A. Well, there’s Welsh Scotch eggs that you can make with seasoned mash potato, add some pancetta and some crunchy bacon, then some cockles, and finish with a little thyme. Breadcrumb and deep-fry.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The best Scotch egg I’ve had was at The Hind’s Head in Bray (Head Chef is Kevin Love). They use a quail’s egg and it was served perfectly symmetrical, seasoned, and with a warming, runny yolk. I remember the shell being hot and crunchy. Great stuff!

Follow Mark Sargeant on Twitter: @sargeant10

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