Spirit of Speyside: Distilled has crowned a world-champion oatcake eater. Jasper Epson from Nairobi in Kenya proved he had the fastest jaws on Speyside after chomping his way through a pile of oatcakes at the food and drink festival yesterday (Saturday, 1 September).

Jasper, who is now living in Scotland and working with global drinks giant Chivas Brothers, demolished 10 oatcakes in two minutes in the heats, and was the first to polish off five – in just over a minute – in the final.

He fended off competition from 24 other competitors to claim victory – and toasted his success by washing down the oatcakes with a welcome glass of water. The contest, supported by Walkers Shortbread, took place for the first time at Distilled.

Festival chairman James Campbell said: “Congratulations to Jasper on a well-deserved victory. Speed eating dry oatcakes is no mean feat, but he is clearly very skilled and I’m sure must have been in serious training.

“As well as enjoying the bragging rights of becoming Distilled’s world champion oatcake eater, we hope Jasper will enjoy his prize of a hamper from Walkers, which I do believe contains some more oatcakes as well as their famous shortbread, and a bottle of Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival malt whisky.

“The competition was great fun – for the spectators and the competitors – and has been one of the highlights of the weekend. We’ve welcomed over 1,000 food and drink fans from the UK and beyond, and the atmosphere has been absolutely fantastic.”

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled brings together under one roof the region’s top producers of whisky, gin, rum, beer, as well as cocktail creators and a wide range of different foods.

The area is renowned for its whisky brands and is widely recognised as the spiritual home of Scotch whisky, but the two-day festival at Elgin Town Hall aims to show the depth of the region’s food and drink offering, from large producers to artisan makers.

The next focus for organisers is Distilled’s sister event, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019. Details of the event, which will comprise around 500 events across the Speyside region from May 2 to 6, will be revealed in the new year. Updates will appear at www.spiritofspeyside.com

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