The beginning of September means The Tabasco® British Oyster Opening Championship and the official opening of the Native oyster season. At this year’s (the 19th) competition the UK’s fifteen finest oyster shuckers each opened 30 oysters working against the clock. The winner, Fredrik Lindfors of the Fish Shop, finished with a stunning time of 3 minutes 35 seconds – that’s a tiny bit over 7 seconds an oyster. He goes on to represent Britain in the World Championship at the end of September.

The venue for this year’s competition was Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill on Swallow Street where a crowd of over 100 cheered the fifteen professional oyster openers as they battled for the British title. Guests included Larry Lamb, Tara Fitzgerald, Katie Waissel and many famous faces from the hospitality industry celebrated the opening of the season in true style enjoying the classic combination of Champagne Moutard and Loch Ryan oysters served with an invigorating splash of Tabasco® Pepper Sauce.

Loch Ryan reports that it looks like being a very good year for oysters with supplies plentiful and keenly priced.

Final Times

Placed Name Restaurant Times
1 Fredrik Lindfors The Fish Shop, Kensington Place, London 3.35
2 Cristian Macovei Corrigan’s Mayfair, London 3.56
3 Michael Dawson West Mersea Oysters, West Mersea 3.57
4 Sam Tamsanguan Wilton’s Restaurant, London 4.14
5 Maria Maio Selfridges Oyster Bar, London 4.18
6 Serge Ahua J-Sheekey, London 4.45
7 Filipo Salamone Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, London 4.53
8 Vincente Pereira Green’s Restaurant, London 4.58
9 Lukasz Nowicki The Italian Club Ltd, Bold St Liverpool 6.03
10 Michael Hines Scott’s, London 6.05
11 David Roy Riddle and Finns, Brighton 6.22
12 Kyryl Drozdov Bibendum, London 6.30
13 Slavomir Dic English’s Of Brighton, Brighton 7.04
14 Nareman Hassan The Italian Club Fish, Liverpool 8.26
15 Tommy Sherred Fishy Fishy, Poole 10.03

For further information please contact Louise Byron-Sinclair at Food Matters. Email: louise@foodmatters.co.uk or tel: 020 7371 6466