London’s Top Chefs visit Carlingford Oyster Company
Carlingford Oyster Company recently welcomed a delegation of 45 Chefs, from London’s finest restaurants who between them boast 15 Michelin stars to their farm in Carlingford, County Louth to learn more about how their world famous oysters are grown and processed. The chefs came from establishments such as Claridge’s, Muse by Tom Aitkens, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Amazonico, Ikoyi and various Four Seasons sites.
The talented delegation began their visit to Carlingford Oyster Farm with a delicious hearty lunch prepared by local Chef Conor Woods from The Bay Tree restaurant in Carlingford which featured Carlingford Mussels and local crab among its many locally sourced ingredients.
Emma Gill, Food Business Development Officer for the Boyne Valley region was on hand to welcome the chefs and highlight the region's vast strengths as a producer of premium food and drinks with a showcase of products from across the Boyne Valley including Dunany Flour, Marty Mill, Newgrange Gold Oil, The Wooded Pig Charcuterie, Oriel Sea Salt and Boyne Valley Cheese to mention just a few.
Emma Gill, Food Business Development Officer for the Boyne Valley
“Thank you to Carlingford Oyster Company for allowing us this fantastic opportunity to showcase some of our wonderful Boyne Valley produce to this group of talented and enthusiastic London chefs. Reactions to our food and craft drinks were hugely positive, and we hope we may see some more Boyne Valley products on London menus in the future”.
Following lunch and a tour of Carlingford Oyster Company’s Visitor Centre the chefs donned their welly boots and braved the bracing winds courtesy of Storm Isha for a tour of the Oyster Farm with Kian Louet-Feisser (owner of Carlingford Oyster Company) as tour guide. Kian showed them oyster seeds and then examples of 1, 2 and 3 year old oysters. Kian explained to the chefs the difference between the 2 types of oysters he produces - the Carlingford Oyster and the Louet-Feisser Oyster with the latter commanding a price premium. This is because regular turning of the Louet-Feisser Oyster results in its distinctive shape and smooth shell. Both oysters are available in the London and Irish market.
Kian Louet-Feisser, Owner Carlingford Oyster Farm
“Our Team here were incredibly excited but also a little daunted to host such a prestigious gathering. It was a tremendous opportunity to showcase our oysters and local produce to the palettes of some of the world’s most distinguished Chefs. The feedback from the Chefs was fantastic and I think they left a little bit in love with our north-east corner of Ireland. None of this would have been possible without the kind support we received especially from Conor Woods in the Bay Tree Restaurant and Raymond McArdle in the Ballymascanlon Hotel. Both Chefs received numerous glowing compliments on the quality and deliciousness of the meals they prepared which focused on local ingredients.
Many thanks also to Bethnal Green for choosing to bring their exceptional clientele here, and Boyne Valley Flavours, Shells Driftwood, Foxes Rock Brewery, @carlingfordire and all our dedicated team. Carlingford Oysters is celebrating 50 years and I’m incredibly grateful to my father Peter for creating this wonderful way of making a livelihood, nurturing with our hands these oysters which are enjoyed all over the world.”
Serge Lea, Owner and Director of Bethnal Green Fish Supplies, who organised the trip.
“Our motto being ‘a more personal fishmonger’ it was a privilege to be able to enjoy this trip with such great chefs and thank them for their loyalty and custom. Carlingford gave us the best hospitality and hopefully we can return in the near future to visit Kian and the team at the farm.”
The visiting chefs spent the night in Ballymascanlon Hotel and Golf Resort just outside Carlingford town. Here they were treated to a stunning meal prepared by Chef Raymond McArdle, a past winner of the Great British Menu in 2013. The menu featured a plethora of beautiful Irish produce including Carlingford Mackerel, Ballymakenny Potatoes and Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese. The chefs also enjoyed sipping from the huge array of drinks produced in the Boyne Valley with The Whistler Whiskey, Silks Gin, Kells Gin, Listoke Gin, Slane Whiskey, Coole Swan and Cockagee Cider.
Carlingford Oyster Company and Boyne Valley Flavours were delighted to host this delegation of chefs which was organised by Bethnal Green Fish Supplies and to be allowed the opportunity to showcase the unique environment that Carlingford Oysters are grown that gives them their unique characteristics as well as food and drinks from across the Boyne Valley region.