Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Best Dressed Oysters in Town - Irish Atlantic Oysters

I first fell in love with oysters on a beach in Cancale in France where the oysters were brought in from their beds only a few yards from the shore to the shacks selling them by the coast.  They were so fresh filling your mouth with sensations of sea, sun and saltwater.

Fast forward to now and I will order oysters whenever I get a chance.  I was therefore no hardship for me to attend The Best Dressed Oyster event at Hix Oyster and Chop House in London at an event put on by Bord Bia the Irish Food Board.
Champagne was flowing,
and oysters by the dozens,
kept us busy whilst 10 chefs competed across two heats and in two categories - hot and cold oysters basing their recipes on creativity, working methods, hygiene, presentation, taste and flavours.

The guests had the pleasure of sampling all of the entries which was no hardship whatsoever!  The overall winner in both categories (hot and cold oysters) was Simon Lamont from Shuck
who blew the judges away
with his Blown Seaweed, an oyster grilled with a blowtorch gently sweetened with mustard and miso and balanced by clean, tart ginger.

Here are a few photos of the amazing variety of oyster dishes created by the contestants:-
And my favourite - a deep fried oyster in tempura batter
Now for some oyster facts:-
* Irish oyster cultivation dates back to the 13th century but Irish people have been eating oysters for over 4,000 years - discarded oyster shell fossils have been found on Irish beaches dating back 5000 !

* Irish oysters can be found in the finest restaurants and fish wholesales throughout Ireland, Europe and around the world.

* Casanove, the great 18th century Italian lover believed in starting the day by eating 50 oysters.

* Only about 1 in 10,000 oysters contains a pearl! That's a lot of oysters to eat!!

My favourite way to eat oysters is simply as they come with a good squeeze of lemon juice and of course a glass of champagne in the other hand!

I was a guest of Hix Oyster and Chop House and Bord Bia. I was not required to write a positive review of the event.  All opinions and photos are my own.  No photographs may be reproduced without my written permission.

19 comments:

  1. Oh my Heidi, that Blown Seaweed sounds tremendous! What a fab sounding event. Not jealous at all ;-)

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    1. I prefer them as naturally as they come out of the sea with a bit of lemon!

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  2. Oh my, I have never tried oysters before but reading about these has made me so hungry for them:-)

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    1. If you like seafood Camilla you should try one! But be careful you may love them!!

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  3. I think that Shuck is a wonderful name for the winner's restaurant!

    I adore oysters!

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    1. Oysters and champagne - could have them everyday!

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  4. Oooh, I love the look of those first oysters! is that hollandaise sauce??

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    1. The different ways they were presented was fantastic!

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  5. Interesting facts about oysters, who would have thought of Irish oysters. You always get to hear about other famous Irish dishes like shepherd's pie, soda bread etc.

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    1. The Irish oysters are so fresh and taste so pure

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  6. Those oysters look amazing.. Thanks for sharing the facts about the cultivation.

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    1. The different ways of cooking them was interesting but I really prefer them pure and simple

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  7. I have never been a big oyster fan, but love all other seafood. I think it's about time I give these another shot..

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    1. I didn't think I liked them but once I tried them I was instantly a fan!!

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  8. I can totally believe that Casanova started his day gulping oysters! We just got back from Vienna and there is some much talk about Casanova woven around local folk lore, but this new nugget of information is quite cool! I missed out on attending this event looks like a really fab one and I love-uh oysters! - Manjiri

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    1. I love this kind of event when the champagne is flowing and the oysters are on ice!!

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  9. That looks amazing, what a great opportunity.

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  10. Looks like you had a brilliant time - how lavish!!!!!

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  11. What a fab event. I love the fresh sea flavour of oysters but I'm now allergic to shellfish and they're totally off the menu so I'm really jel. GG

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