Our editor proved he was on a roll when he swapped his suit for a chef’s jacket and “triumphed” in a high-calibre sausage roll-making contest.

David Rankin impressed foodie judges with his simple, but delicious pork and apple sausage roll, which saw him take fourth place in the Red Lion’s great sausage roll off contest and bag a hand-crafted Blok knife, worth £140.

He made mincemeat of 12 other professional chefs with his off-the-cuff “celebration of pork and apple” at the Barnes pub on January 28.

The newspaper man, 33, said: “I would not be exaggerating to say I was delighted and surprised with fourth place, especially as I’d only made my own pastry once before the big night.

“I was absolutely petrified going in there, especially with former Masterchef winners and contestants all around me, but everyone was friendly and supportive.

“Hats off to the Red Lion for hosting such a great evening.

“The pub was heaving, the sausage roll auction went down a storm and the judges did an excellent job.

“Hopefully I’ll be back next year with some improvements, looking to take the top spot. It’s boosted my cooking confidence no end.”

Judge and food critic Charles Campion said: “It was impressive especially for an amateur – he executed himself very efficiently I thought.

“It is difficult enough to make a good sausage roll, if you do something odd with the pastry you ruin the sausage roll.”

Chef Chris Brumby from Ben’s Canteen in Battersea was crowned sausage roll king out of the 16 entrants, when he wowed judges Lisa Faulkner, Hayden Groves and Danny Kingston with his all-day breakfast sausage roll at the Fullers pub.

Other entries included a noodle-wrapped fried pork roll and a roll with a strip langoustine running through it.

Lucy Rider, of Fullers, said: “I will be rolling all the way home after that one.

“If you over-engineer a sausage roll, then you’re in trouble.”


1st: Chris Brumby, from Ben’s Canteen in Battersea, with an all-day breakfast sausage roll with bloody Mary shot.

2nd: Jamie Thicket and Ben Mullock, from the Opera Tavern in Covent Garden, with with an Iberico pork sausage roll.

3rd: Andrew Justice, from the Running Horse in Mayfair, with wild rabbit and chestnut mushroom sausage roll alongside a carrot and thyme puree.