Islington pub to host Scotch Egg Challenge

Gina Hopkins, head chef at The Drapers Arms with the pub's entry

Gina Hopkins, head chef at The Drapers Arms with the pub's entry - Credit: Archant

The annual Scotch Egg Challenge will be hosted in Islington tonight (Tuesday), with six local pubs taking part.

Now in its fifth year, the competition will be held at The Canonbury Tavern in Canonbury Place at 7:30pm.

There, the eggs will be tested by a panel of eggs-perts – including Evening Standard food critic Fay Maschler, journalist and food writer Zoe Williams, and Guardian food editor Bob Granleese – who will mark the eggs on their looks, smells and taste. The egg with the highest score wins.

The rules are simple: each entrant has ten minutes in the kitchen to produce the scotch egg and bring two samples to the judges’ table.

Islington is well-represented in the competition, with The Taproom, Yeah! Burger, Rotunda Bar and Restaurant and The Drapers Arms competing in the ‘Traditional’ category.

Ceviche and The Jugged Hare are hoping for the prize in the ‘Unconventional’ category, where chefs are allowed to get a bit more creative – just so long as their creation contains an egg.

The Canonbury will also be providing 200 free scotch eggs to hand out to spectators, and scotch eggs will also be on sale at the event.

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The Canonbury’s manager Oisin Rogers said: “It’s quite a prestigious thing because a lot of people take a huge interest in scotch eggs. We’ve had a very good bunch of applications and chosen some fantastic restaurants, pubs and chefs to come down and cook eggs that night.”

The Drapers Arms in Barnsbury Street, which won second place in 2014, will once again be competing with the scotch egg from the pub’s menu, which includes a duck egg and black pudding.

Its landlord Nick Gibson said: “Some people take creative approaches and do all kinds of things, but we always use the same recipe.”

According to Gibson, the cooking of the egg in the middle is the most important part – “This is one area where some people forget to focus”, he says.

Eddy Williams, the manager of the Jugged Hare, said their chef Stephen Englefield would be offering a own twist on the classic egg.

He said: “Ours is a wild boar scotch egg, served up in a hunter’s sauce which is a mixed red-berry sauce including cranberries, redcurrant and special ingredients that are also a great accompaniment to game.”