Roll up, roll up! The event you never knew you needed in your life is here.
That’s right people, for the eighth year in a row, The Red Lion pub in Barnes will be hosting the one, the only, Great Sausage Roll Off.
‘Is this what I think it is?’ We hear you whisper. Well sadly, no: it’s not people racing one another as they roll down a hill dressed as sausage rolls, although that would be fantastic. But don’t worry, the actual event is still pretty epic.
If you imagine The Great British Bake off, but it’s pastry week every week and the technical challenge is always sausage rolls. That, minus Merry Berry, basically characterises The Great Sausage Roll Off.
At this event, 20 phenomenal chefs will battle it out to be crowned the winner of the prestigious competition and have their sausage roll recognised as the most scrumptious in not just the city, but the whole of the UK.
Open to chefs and home cooks alike, it’s unsurprising that people come from all across the country and from a whole range of kitchens to show off their sausage-meat skills. The lineup always includes contenders from some of Britain’s best-known gastro pubs, like The Compasses in Canterbury and The Gun in Docklands. Previous entrants have also been representatives from The Theatre Royal in Plymouth, BAFTA and even food photographer Majella O’Connell.
The brainchild of Angus McKean and Claire Morgan, managers of The Red Lion, The Great Sausage Roll Off has been raising money for Hospitality Action since it launched in 2013. Once the chefs’ creations have been judged, these elite sausage rolls are then sold to raise money for charity. (The event also includes a charity auction featuring a range of produce, which is likely to interest any foodie.)
Taking place from 7pm on February 5 at the Red Lion, this incredible event is open to everyone. (Although be prepared to stand because it turns out sausage roll events are actually extremely popular! Who knew?)
A real testament to the event’s popularity is its Michelin star-studded judging panel. With this year’s team including Paul Cunningham, Russell Bateman and Paul Foster, it’s set to be a very fierce competition.
The current holder of the Roll Off title is Adrian Oliver from Padstow, who won with his Cornish pork, bacon and sage creation, but who knows who will end up getting their hands on the trophy this year? (Yes, there is a trophy, and it’s amazing.)
So, if you’re a connoisseur of crumbly pastry, a sucker for sausage meat or simply someone with nothing to do on a Wednesday night, why not wander down and watch The Great Sausage Roll Off unfold? Maybe you’ll find a new favourite or you’ll reaffirm your love of Greggs, who knows? But one thing is for certain, it won’t be your average night out in the city.
Also published on Medium.