One of my fondest food memories was with my Dad and some friends on Arniston beach sinking ice cold oysters in the hot sun, I remember eating 45 of them that day age 9. A few years later we were once again in amongst the sand cliffs and aqua green waters of Arniston and my dad went diving while I played in the rock pools.
I found an absolute gem of a rock pool and as I splashed the side and rinsed of the sand I realised that I was surrounded by hundreds of perfect oysters. When my Dad eventually returned from the water with a couple my Mom and I showed him our treasure.
Now living on the south coast of Cornwall we have some of the best Oysters that I have ever had. Last year we moored our Sail Boat in Ponzence Cove at the entrance to the Helford and foraged for natives which we ate freshly shucked seasoned with sea water.
Oysters will always have a special place on my menus. We currently serve them in an Oregon style which a friend of mine Robbie Kostrba cooked for us in Colorado. The oysters are thrown onto an open fire until the shells pop open, they are then finished with creamed horseradish and garlic butter. My version has them poached in the shell, finished with wild garlic butter, seasoned with dried sea lettuce and topped with a horseradish Aioli.
From the Fal to the Helford, Native or Pacific, North Coast or South Coast, they are all amazing and World Class.
Words by Chef Hylton Espey