Blog. A celebration of the humble sausage roll

February 13, 2020 | Author: Kirsty Lyons

Sausage rolls were the talk of the town last week at The Great Sausage Roll Off 2020, raising £3,500 for Hospitality Action.  

A huge crowd gathered at The Red Lion pub in Barnes as 18 chefs from across the country battled it out to be crowned The Great Sausage Roll Off Champion for 2020.

What is The Great Sausage Roll Off?

Now in its eighth year, The Great Sausage Roll Off is a culinary competition like no other. Chefs offer up their own take on a sausage roll and a panel of expert judges decide who should be crowned Champion sausage roll maker. A lot of fun (maybe too much!) is had throughout the evening, and auctions of sausage rolls and other exciting prizes helped to raise funds for HA.

The judges

This year’s judging panel was a mix of foodies and renowned chefs:

  • Lucy Horobin, Heart London and Heart Extra presenter and sausage roll junkie.
  • Paul Cunningham, who runs restaurant with rooms Henne Kirkeby Kro in Denmark and has two Michelin stars. 
  • Russell Bateman, former Head Chef at Michelin-starred Pétrus, London. 
  • Paul Foster, Chef Owner of Michelin-starred Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

The evening was hosted by the fabulous award-winning beer and food writer Melissa Cole. She did an excellent job of keeping the judges, chefs and baying crowds under control!

The chefs

Chefs travelled from far and wide in an attempt to be crowned sausage roll champion:

  • Davin Browning, The Apron, Theatre Royal, Plymouth
  • Alan Chilton, The Bower Inn, Somerset
  • Matt Colk, The Gun, London
  • Iain Devine, private chef, Manchester & Alan Paton, Bicester Hotel Golf & Spa, Oxfordshire
  • Ben Handley, The Duck Inn, Norfolk
  • Phil Harrison, Bears Ice Cream Company, London
  • Charlie Hodson, chef, Roll Off stalwart and ambassador for Hospitality Action



  • Danny Kingston, foodie blogger, Food Urchin
  • Adam Lestrelle, Roehampton Club, London
  • Anton Manganaro, from BAFTA Piccadilly, London
  • Majella O'Connell, food photographer, Pavlova and Cream
  • Adrian Oliver, Padstow Harbour Hotel – last year’s champion
  • Maurizio Pellegrini, The Italian Club, Liverpool
  • Amber Southon, The Quarrymans Arms, Wiltshire
  • David Steele, Bartlett Mitchell
  • James Taylor The Bulls Head, Oldham
  • Robert Taylor, The Compasses Inn, Kent
  • Alec Tomasso, ex Masterchef contestant, The Weeping Chef

The Champion

After much deliberation, this year’s runner-up spot was awarded to Amber Southon of The Quarrymans Arms, Wiltshire, with her ‘Old Spot in the Orchard’ walnut, apple and pear roll.

The judges crowned Alan Chilton of The Bower Inn, Somerset, Champion of The Great Sausage Roll Off 2020! His winning entry comprised Old English pork, flavoured with cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, caraway, chilli and garlic.

Speaking of his win, Alan said: “I’m overwhelmed to have won this award! This is the first cooking competition I have ever entered after over 20 years working in kitchens. My sausage roll was inspired by my travels around India some years ago. The day was lots of fun and it was great to meet so many other talented chefs.”

Thank you to The Red Lion team for being wonderful hosts of the evening, especially Angus McKean, co-licensee of the Red Lion and founder of the Great Sausage Roll Off.

And a final word from HA’s Chief Executive, Mark Lewis: “I cannot thank the customers and sausage roll fans of The Red Lion enough, their generosity with their donations was incredible. The money raised will be used to help and support the people of the hospitality industry.”

Roll on #rolloff 2021, we can’t wait!  

If you’ve got a fundraising idea you would like to get off the ground, get in touch with the Fundraising Team on 0203 004 5505 or Maybe next year we’ll see the first ever hotdog eating competition taking place in our honour!