After a day of judging with 585 oysters shucked over the two varieties of oyster tasted and 13 producers represented in front of 15 academic judges, the results are finally in from the inaugural Boisdale & Wright Brothers Oyster Tasting Championship 2011.
Poole, Dorset supplied byDorset Oysters in the Rock category and Loch Ryan supplied byRossmore Oystersin the Native took the gold medals at the event held at Boisdale of Canary Wharf in association with Champagne G.H. Mumm on Friday November 4, 2011 but the day was a triumph for the British Isles’ oyster industry as a whole.
“The oyster tasting turned out to be even more thrilling than we had hoped,” says Boisdale founder and owner Ranald Macdonald. “The quality was incredibly high and even the judges were astounded by the variety of oysters on offer. The days of people ordering ‘half a dozen oysters’ are long gone; now the discerning shellfish lover wants to talk about a given oyster’s flavour profile, its provenance and production. People now know their Maldons from their West Merseas, their Colchesters from their Caledonians. At Boisdale, we are finding more and more diners are comfortable tasting and talking about oysters just as they would wine.”
After a rigorous and nail-biting blind tasting, the judging panel selected oysters for the top award as well as silver and bronze in both categories. The judges marked the oysters on appearance i.e. meat-to-shell ratio, flavour & minerality.
Gold – Poole, Dorset supplied by Dorset Oysters
Silver – Maldon Rock supplied byMaldon Oysters
Bronze – Portland supplied byFleet Oyster Farm, Dorset
Gold – Loch Ryan supplied by Rossmore Oysters
Silver – Duchy of Cornwall supplied by Wright Brothers
Bronze – Maldon supplied by Maldon Oysters
The Judging Panel:
Joe Warwick, Tom Parker-Bowles, Dai Francis, Robin Hancock, Lucas Hollweg, Trevor Gulliver, Dominic Prince, Richard Harden, Bill Knott, Ranald Macdonald, Nicki Kerman, David Loewi, Douglas Blyde, Henry Deedes and Nina Caplan.
Oyster lovers can taste all the oysters with podium places on Boisdale’s ‘Six Medal Plate’ available at all Boisdale and Wright Brothers Soho restaurants in London for the duration of the Boisdale and Wright Brothers Oyster Festival. To ensure that as many as people as possible have the opportunity to taste these spectacular oysters, Boisdale and Wright Brothers will be offering them at half price Monday to Friday during the festival at ‘Crazy Hour’ from 5pm to 6pm. (Please note that there will be a limit of 84 oysters per customer per ‘Crazy Hour’.)
The Oyster Festival takes place from November 8th to December 1st at Boisale of Belgravia, Boisdale of Bishopsgate and Boisdale of Canary Wharf and at Wright Brothers Soho.