Oyster Championships 2019

Oyster Championships 2019

November 6 2019


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 Bish­ops­gate in 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.

Oyster Championships 2019

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:



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



Pres­tige Marennes d’Oléronsup­plied by Miet Geor­geon

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

Gillardeau Ile d’Oléron sup­plied by Mai­son Gillardeau


Belon – Cadoret Brit­tany sup­plied by Les Huitres Cadoret