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Food galore at The Rock Oyster Festival

2nd May 2012 Print

The Rock Oyster Festival is set to return to the north Cornish coast this June with an all star foodie line-up destined to tantalise your taste buds.

Now in its third year, the boutique food and music festival will for the first time feature the Flying Fish chefs’ theatre where some of Cornwall’s best culinary talents will take to the stage.

The festival, a ‘Glasto for the foodies’, is held in the grounds of Dinham House near Rock, North Cornwall, and will run from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 June 2012.

Event organiser Charlie Anderson said: “The festival has always had a strong food focus and so it seemed like a natural progression to introduce live cookery demonstrations. Flying Fish have kindly sponsored the theatre and will be providing the chefs with fresh Cornish fish for the weekend.

“The chefs’ theatre will have plasma screens so the audience will be able to see their favorite chefs preparing dishes close up. They will also be able to learn professional tips and sample some of their cooking afterwards.”

The Camel Estuary, where the festival is set, has rapidly become synonymous with fabulous food, amazing produce and talented chefs, and the demonstration line-up is certainly representative of this.

Local chef James O’Connor from the St Moritz Hotel will be showcasing his culinary skills along with Tom Scade, who is head chef at the nearby Tides restaurant and was 2011 South West Chef of the Year.

From across the estuary, Paul Ainsworth will be demonstrating some of his favourite dishes and talking about his time on the BBC2 program The Great British Menu.

Sharing their secrets on stage will be Stephane Delourme, head chef from The Seafood Restaurant, alongside Rick Stein’s executive chef David Sharland and sous chef Peter Murt.

More gastronomic entertainment will come from Andy Appleton, head chef of the Jamie Oliver inspired restaurant Fifteen Cornwall and Neil Haydock, executive chef for Watergate Bay Hotel. Andy was one of the team that launched the original Fifteen concept which has gone from strength to strength and has just celebrated its tenth birthday, with sister restaurants in London and Amsterdam.

James Nathan, Masterchef winner in 2008, will be going head to head with a mystery guest in a timed ‘chef off’ with Daphne Skinnard from BBC Radio Cornwall judging the winner.

Annie Sibert of My Fish Kitchen was a fishmonger from the start of her working life. She set up My Fish Kitchen to be able to share the knowledge and experience she has from her upbringing as part of a large Cornish fishing family. Annie can teach us everything we need to know about how to buy, prepare and cook fish fresh from the sea.

Festival goers will also be able to watch their favorite chefs compete in the hotly contested oyster shucking competition. Contestants battle it out to present perfectly prepared fresh oysters in the fastest time possible.

As well as demonstrations, a wealth of Cornwall’s best food and drink producers will be on site selling their wares for you to buy and take away.

Charlie said: “The Rock Oyster Festival is all about celebrating the delicious artisan-produced food and drink that we have here in Cornwall. Many chefs that are demonstrating will be in the food court selling their food.

“Tickets are selling quickly so people should buy now so as not to avoid disappointment.”

The Rock Oyster Festival certainly promises more than just oysters with critically acclaimed music acts, children’s entertainment and food galore.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit

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