Richard Corrigan is thrilled to announce the return of the London Oyster Championships, which is taking on the mantle from the ‘Tabasco British Oyster Championship‘ which ran for over 25 years . The event is taking place on the terrace at his Piccadilly stalwart Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill on Tuesday 19 September.
The event, dedicated to heralding the return of the native oyster season (September-April), is set to be a platform for education alongside some healthy competition. Participants from London’s top restaurants will compete in two heats; Best Dressed Oysters followed by a speed round with the shucking of 30 oysters.
The London Oyster Championships will uncover the city’s premier oyster shucker, the winner of which will subsequently represent London on an all expense paid trip to compete in the World Oyster Opening Championship held in Galway, Ireland the following week. Confirmed high profile restaurants include; Maison Francois, Notting Hill Fish Shop, Wiltons and Darby’s.
Compère for the afternoon’s antics is Co Founder of the soon-to-open Devonshire Arms, Oisín Rogers, while judges include English actor, writer, presenter, oyster lover and Bentley’s regular, Stephen Fry; Tristan Hugh-Jones from Rossmore Oysters; David Jarrad, CEO of the British Shellfish Association; and a Representative from Native Oyster Network, with further guest judges to be announced.
Beyond the competition, the event’s ethos centres on fostering discussions about native oysters, their historical significance, and pivotal rewilding projects in the British Isles alongside innovative harvesting techniques and the vital significance of sustainable seafood practices. All oyster shells from the event will be recycled to help with native oyster bed restoration within Loch Ryan. Returning shells to oyster beds aids with native oyster stock by creating valuable shell habitat for young oysters and larvae to settle and grow.
All proceeds generated from the event will be directed towards The Blue Marine Foundation, whose dedicated efforts in restoring Native Oyster beds in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex exemplify a shared dedication to safeguarding and maintaining our marine ecosystems.
Speaking of the event, Richard Corrigan said:
“Anyone that knows me well will know of my undying passion for the finest oysters from the British and Irish isles. To bring back the oyster championship in this new guise is really exciting for me, as we can bring together a whole host of brilliant people, all as equally passionate about oysters as me, to not only have some fun, but to discuss the importance of looking after our oceans and native stocks. If you’re planning to visit, come hungry!”
A limited number of spectator tickets are available for the event where guests can enjoy watching the expert shuckers, enjoy sampling the first natives of the season and take part in a Piper-Heidsieck Champagne masterclass. Tickets are available to purchase via www.londonoysterchampionships.com with all proceeds going to the Blue Marine Foundation.
Address: Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, 11-15 Swallow St, London W1B 4DG
Date: 19 September, 2023