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Banffshire Coast News

2nd Cullen Skink World Championship Date Announced

Following the success of the inaugural championship in 2012, the Cullen Voluntary Tourist Initiative has now announced the date for the 2013 championship - Sunday 4th August 2013.

After many years of discussion, the inaugural World Championship took place in Cullen in 2012.  And it was very fitting that a Cullen loon won it !  The aim is to make the Championship an annual event, and that, in time, it may become as big and renowned as the World Porridge Making Championship in Carrbridge.

The first ever Cullen Skink World Championship was held in Cullen on Sunday 22nd July 2012.  Seven finalists were chosen from more than 20 entries to compete in the finals at the Cullen Bay Hotel.  The seven hopefuls had an hour to produce three 250ml portions of the soup for the judges.  They had a broadly free hand when it came to their recipes; however, one stipulation rigorously adhered to was the requirement to use smoked haddock.  The finalists were allowed to prepare raw ingredients in advance, but all cooking had to be conducted at the event itself under competition conditions.

The judging panel was the cream of local culinary expertise - made up of the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, Lady Clare Russell, cookery writer Diana Baxter of the famous soup-making family, and Louie Paterson from Cluny Fish at Buckie.

Nigel Ross, originally from Cullen but now living in Aberdeen, used an old family recipe to beat off the competition.  His recipe came from his grandmother; the family reckon that the recipe is at least 100 years old.  In addition, Nigel smokes his own fish - which was one of the keys to his success.

The other six finalists who made it such a great competition were Mary Addison, Fiona Forrest, Stuart Bonar, Paul Buxton, Gary Brown and Jamie Dawson.

To commemorate the day, Moray Distillery Glenglassaugh teamed up with the Cullen Bay's head chef Paul Buxton and Louie Paterson of Cluny Fish to create the most expensive bowl of the famous soup - Cullen Skink featuring haddock fillets marinated in Glenglassaugh's Revival Malt.  South Lissens Pottery handcrafted the soup bowls used in the competition.  And to round off the local theme, engraver Steve Thornton ensured that Nigel Ross' name appeared on the trophy for the presentation.

The Championship title will be awarded to the competitor producing the best traditional Cullen Skink, made from fresh, local produce.  The traditional Cullen Skink must be made with smoked haddock; each entrant will be asked to submit a recipe and their method of cooking this special dish.  From this, the judges will choose 6 finalists to take part in the cook-off which will take place on Sunday 4th August 2013.

The rules of the competition and an entry form are available on www.discovercullen.com or on request by e-mail to community@discovercullen.com.

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