London's Greatest Live Music Restaurants

FOUND­ED BY BOIS­DALE & WRIGHT BROTHERS

A BLIND TAST­ING TO IDEN­TI­FY THE FINEST OYS­TERS IN THE UK & FRANCE

On Wednes­day 6 Novem­ber 2019 after a day of judg­ing and almost 1,000 oys­ters shucked, the results are in from the fourth Bois­dale & Wright Broth­ers Oys­ter Cham­pi­onship 2019, a blind tast­ing to iden­ti­fy the finest oys­ters in the UK & France.

The event held at Bois­dale of Bish­ops­gatein asso­ci­a­tion with The City of Lon­don Dis­tillery saw two vari­eties of oys­ter tast­ed from two coun­tries and eight pro­duc­ers, rep­re­sent­ed in front of 60 aca­d­e­m­ic judges includ­ing notable chefs, food crit­ics and 

restau­ra­teurs.

After a rig­or­ous and nail-bit­ing blind tast­ing, over­seen by food writer Bill Knott along­side Ben Wright and Robin Han­cock of Wright Broth­ers, the judg­ing pan­el award­ed Gold, Sil­ver and Bronze in Rock and Gold in Native cat­e­gories. The judges marked the oys­ters on appear­ance i.e. meat-to-shell ratio, flavour & minerality. 

The win­ners were as follows:

Native Gold Medal: Belon – Cadoret Brit­tany – sup­plied by Les Huitres Cadoret

Rock Gold Medal:Gillardeau Ile d’Oléron – sup­plied by Mai­son Gillardeau

Rock Sil­ver Medal: Spe­ciales – Cadoret Riec-sur-Belon – sup­plied by Les Huitres Cadoret

Rock Bronze Medal: More­cambe Bay Lan­cashire – sup­plied by Loch Fyne Oyster

The Life­time Achieve­ment Award was award­ed to a third gen­er­a­tion Jer­sey oys­ter farmer Chris Le Masuri­er whilst chef, restau­ra­teur and jour­nal­ist Row­ley Leigh was crowned Oys­ter Cham­pi­on 2019.

Bois­dale founder and own­er Ranald Mac­don­ald says, It was an extra­or­di­nary event with the mis­sion to ele­vate the pro­file of the hum­ble oys­ter. Most of the leg­endary Lon­don fish restau­rants, includ­ing Bois­dale of Bish­ops­gate (for­mer­ly Bent­ley’s Oys­ter Bar & Grill 1969 – 2001) — were invari­ably oys­ter bars to start with, where one could enjoy deli­cious mol­luscs cheap­ly and with aban­don. Oys­ters pro­vide the human body with a num­ber of unique nutri­ents and min­er­als and are one of the most sus­tain­able things to eat, cer­tain­ly the most sus­tain­able to come from the sea. By host­ing this Cham­pi­onship annu­al­ly, we are hop­ing to change the per­cep­tion of oys­ters as a lux­u­ry item for the few and get every­one eat­ing oys­ters again.”

Wright Broth­ers co-own­er Ben Wright says, Once again, it has been a plea­sure to bring togeth­er some of the UK and France’s finest oys­ters as well as many of Lon­don’s finest chefs and ostreaphiles.

The qual­i­ty of the oys­ters this year bears tes­ta­ment to the renais­sance in both oys­ter farm­ing and con­sump­tion which has tak­en place over the last five years, with grow­ers tak­ing a qual­i­ty and craft-dri­ven approach more akin to wine­mak­ing, whilst chefs and con­sumers are increas­ing­ly inter­est­ed in vari­ety, qual­i­ty, dif­fer­ent tastes and flavours as well as more cre­ative ways to enjoy this won­der­ful seafood. In Decem­ber 2002, Wright Broth­ers Whole­sale sold a few hun­dred oys­ters to 20 cus­tomers. This Christ­mas, we will sell half a mil­lion oys­ters to sev­er­al hun­dred customers.

With increas­ing pub­lic inter­est in sus­tain­abil­i­ty and clean oceans, and ini­tia­tives across the globe to restore oys­ter reefs in order to regen­er­ate the great estu­ar­ies and water­ways of the world, the future looks bright for these mir­a­cle mol­luscs. Unlike any oth­er food I can think of, the more we pro­duce and eat, the bet­ter the envi­ron­ment. Today was a fit­ting celebration.”

The Judg­ing Panel’s Chefs:

Alfred Prasad • Tamarind 

Andre Gar­rett •Corinthia

Andrew Turn­er • Alfred Dun­hill Pri­vate Mem­bers Club 

Brid­get Hugo •Stroz­za­preti

Francesco Mazzei • Sartoria 

Jacob Kenedy • Boc­ca di Lupo 

James Knap­pett • Kitchen Table 

Jemi­ma Jones • Wild By Tart 

Jesse Dun­ford • Wood Parlour 

Joe Wad­sack • BBC Food and Drink expert 

Lucy Carr-Elli­son • Wild By Tart 

Nick Gib­son • Drap­ers Arms 

Oisin Rogers • The Guinea Grill 

Pas­cal Aussi­gnac • Club Gascon 

Peter Fiori • Coutts 

Row­ley Leigh • Sam’s River­side Restaurant 

Rus­sell Nor­man • Polpo 

Valen­tine Warn­er • TV Chef 

Vivek Singh • Cin­na­mon Kitchen 

Will Guess • Rowley’s

Zeren Wil­son • Bit­ten and Written

The Tast­ing:

UK

Rock:

Jer­sey Chan­nel Islandssup­plied by Jer­sey Oyster

Car­ling­ford Ire­landsup­plied by Car­ling­ford Oys­ter Company

More­cambe Bay Lan­cashire sup­plied by Loch Fyne Oyster

Native: Fal Native Corn­wall sup­plied by Cor­nish Shell­fish Company

FRANCE

Rock:

Pres­tige Marennes d’Oléronsup­plied by Miet Geor­geon

Spe­ciales – Cadoret Riec-sur-Belonsup­plied by Les Huitres Cadoret

Gillardeau Ile d’Oléron sup­plied by Mai­son Gillardeau

Native:

Belon – Cadoret Brit­tany sup­plied by Les Huitres Cadoret

MENU

City of Lon­don Dis­tillery Square Mile Gin Sam­phire Martini 

Ham­ble­don, Clas­sic Cuvée, Hamp­shire, England

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Brix­ham cut­tle­fish cro­quettes, aioli
Sweet pick­led her­rings, gin & dill
Devon­shire dressed crab
Native Hebridean smoked salmon

2017 Chablis, Les Allées du Domaine, Le Domaine d’Henri, Burgundy

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Poached Brix­ham John Dory, sauce vin jaune
Scot­tish chanterelles, leeks, Ayr­shire bacon

2017 Mâcon La Roche-Vineuse, Olivi­er Mer­lin, Burgundy

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British cheese, pears & oat­cakes
Sheep Rustler, Som­er­set
Blue Mon­day, Yorkshire

2018 Beau­jo­lais Vil­lages, Les Vignes de Lantig­nié, Jean-Marc Burgaudy

About The City of Lon­don Distillery

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The City Negroni, City of Lon­don Dis­tillery Mur­cian Orange Gin, Cam­pari and Mar­ti­ni Rosso

About The City of Lon­don Distillery

The City of Lon­don Dis­tillery opened on 20 Decem­ber 2012 inside Jonathan Clark’s cock­tail bar in Bride Lane, with­in the City of Lon­don. The first gin pro­duced was a clas­sic Lon­don Dry Gin – fol­lowed soon after by the cel­e­bra­tion of the City of Lon­don – Square Mile Gin, Sloe Gin, Old Tom Gin and the Christo­pher Wren Gin.

In 2017 The City of Lon­don Dis­tillery won three Dou­ble-Gold Awards at the San Fran­cis­co World Spir­it Com­pe­ti­tion – for City of Lon­don Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin and Square Mile Gin and a cov­et­ed Gold Award at the Inter­na­tion­al Wine & Spir­its Com­pe­ti­tion for Christo­pher Wren Gin. The Sloe Gin was just avail­able in time to go into the Spir­its Busi­ness Com­pe­ti­tion in which it won a Gin Mas­ters Award – bet­ter than a gold.