Falmouth Oyster Festival 2023 – The Full Programme
9 October 2023
Final preparations are being made for Falmouth Oyster Festival, which takes place from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th October at The Waterfront, off Church Street
The Falmouth Oyster Festival brings together a blend of esteemed local chefs, hardworking oyster fishermen, food and drink enthusiasts and an eclectic mix of musicians, all in celebration of the start of Falmouth’s unique oyster fishery season. Each day offers a packed programme of culinary activity, Cornish seafood, and live music entertainment.
On Thursday, following a performance from local children, Guy Owen, award-winning chef from The St Enodoc Hotel, Rock, will officially open the festival with a cookery demonstration. Born and bred in Cornwall, Guy started his career in kitchens around Cornwall. His first experience of Michelin starred cooking came with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, he went on to work at one Michelin starred La Trompette and 2 Michelin starred Gidleigh Park before returning to Cornwall in 2020. Then David Waters, Head Chef, Hotel Meudon will join the festival for the first time. Born and raised in Cornwall, David’s passion for locally sourced ingredients is evident in his culinary creations. Nick Hemming, Chef Owner of The Heron Inn, Malpas will this year be joined by Ed Hughes, Beer Sommelier, from Sharp's Brewery. And finally in the late afternoon, Jasmine Sharma from Daaku, Falmouth will share her passion for mixing ancient and modern techniques of Indian cuisine.
On Friday, Cornwall College team Nick Batten and Ashley Carkeet, guarantee a masterclass in cookery demonstration skills and Nick Hodges returns in the afternoon. Head Chef at The Greenbank Hotel, Nick has been delivering demonstrations at the Oyster Festival since day one. A firm believer in simple and stylish dishes, Nick has garnered press recognition and accolades for his delicious, seasonal creations. Late afternoon Jude Kereama, Chef Owner of Kota and Kota Kai, Porthleven will share his culinary secrets. One of the county’s favourite chefs, his restaurant Kota proudly holds three AA rosettes and has been named Restaurant of the Year in the Cornwall Life Food and Drink Awards.
If you are serious about cooking fish, don’t miss Annie Seabourne’s cookery master class. “My underlying passion is to get people cooking more fish and using the best quality seafood in the world, which is on our doorstep” says Annie from My Fish Kitchen. “All of these fabulous chefs cook this amazing produce to inspire us all and not forgetting the use of our stunning native oyster, which they are using in such creative ways more and more each year”.
On Saturday the festival welcomes back James Strawbridge, James is an award-winning Cornish chef, photographer, and sustainable living expert as well as the author of several cookbooks. He is followed by Rupert Cooper. Chef Owner of Philleigh Way Cookery School & The Cove Café, Rupert is known for his refreshingly unpretentious approach to cooking great food. In the afternoon, Adrian Foulkes, Head Chef and Dave Ridgeon, Head Mixologist, will represent festival sponsor St Michael’s Resort, with an exciting duo demo. Don’t miss the chance to sample Dave’s Oyster Vermouth champagne cocktail! And, to end the demos for the day a second chance to gain top seafood skills from Annie.
On Sunday Culture Restaurant’s Hylton Espey, originally from South Africa, brings a bit of nature inspired cuisine to the morning followed by Alfie Hazlitt from Indidog, one of Falmouth’s most popular food destinations who will deliver the final demonstration of the festival.
If you’re more about sampling food than cooking it, there is a host of food and drink stalls offering local delicacies and pride of place must go of course to Cornish seafood and in particular the humble oyster, the star of the show. Not to be missed is the annual oyster shucking competition. Competitors will have to prove their skill in shucking oysters by opening and displaying 12 native oysters as quickly as possible without compromising on quality.
In addition to the daily cookery demonstrations, local food and craft stalls, sea shanties and live music and annual oyster parade, there is a great evening entertainment line-up. Get your dancing shoes on for The Brim Ceilidh Band on Thursday night, The Motown Pirates supported by Guilty Pleasures on Friday and Company B, supported by The Mighty Howlers on Saturday night. Day time entry to the festival is free. For the evening entertainment tickets can be purchased via the festival website or on the door.
To round off the festival Sunday sees the Oyster Working Boat Race take to the water. With the oyster season running from October to March, the festival’s race is the last before the hard graft begins – a great way to draw the annual celebrations to a close.
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