Towards the end of August, fever pitch in the oyster world is palpable. In restaurants all over Britain, silver platters and stands are dusted off. Ice machines cranked up. And Tabasco® emerges in one of its many guises – as the perfect accompaniment to Native Oysters. For the past 21 years, Tabasco® has championed the start of the Native Oyster Season, celebrating this cornerstone of the culinary calendar in great style. This year, J Sheekey Oyster Bar in the heart of Covent Garden, will be hosting the annual Tabasco® British Oyster Opening Championship on 9 September 2013. Since founder Josef Sheekey had originally owned an oyster cart before being granted the premises in St Martin’s Court, it’s almost like they’ve come full circle.

Professionals from the restaurant industry will vie for the enviable crown of “King or Queen Oyster Shucker” by shucking 30 oysters against the clock. The finished product will be then judged on both presentation and timing by a panel of expert people.

The J Sheekey Oyster Bar team will be serving oysters with Tabasco® Pepper Sauce and Pol Roger Champagne – the only way to start the native oyster season.

The event is fiercely competitive. Shucking has never looked so easy. Any professional oyster shuckers who would like to enter the Tabasco® British Oyster Opening Championship should contact the organisers – Laura Alix (laura@foodmatters.co.uk) or call: 020 7388 0492, deadline for entries is 21st August 2013.

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