Rock Oyster Festival 2012: Competition
Food festival fever is about to hit Cornwall for the summer: if there’s a food in season, guaranteed there’ll be a festival in hot pursuit. Be it asparagus, oysters, mussels or the big players such as the Porthleven food festival, Truro’s Cornwall Food &Drink Festival or the first ever Looe Festival of Food and Drink at the end of June, the county is bursting with them.
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22nd - 24th June
Step forward the Rock Oyster Festival – one of the first festivals on the Cornish summer circuit and a rockin’ weekend of bivalve molluscs, Cornish chefs of regional and national fame and some pretty
decent music. Dubbing itself the ‘Glasto’ of the food world, expect a similar rural, ‘village’ feel at the event that showcases some of the best of Cornish produce alongside some exceptional musicians.
COMPETITION GCG have two festival tickets to give away: click here to enter the competition
With a list of performers that reads like a music aficionado’s playlist, look forward to the likes of the Dub Pistols who will be churning out some “renegade futuristic skank”, or the “dance music
explosion” that is the London Afrobeat Collective, chill out to the highly under-rated and excellent Bees from the Isle of Wight or the haunting folky vocals of the wonderful Rozi Plain from Bristol.
Unlike the Falmouth and Mylor native oysters which are harvested from October to March, Pacific oysters are farmable and can be eaten all year round, although are best shucked and downed with a squeeze of lemon and a couple of cheeky bites in June. These hugely popular oysters are sourced from nearby Porthilly Farm where Tim Marshall is working hard to meet demand.
The all star foodie line-up includes the likes of Paul Ainsworth of Number 6 Padstow, fresh from BBC2’s Great British menu who’ll be both shucking and giving food demos as well as chatting about
his recent TV experience. Other big food names in the chef’s theatre include Tom Scade, head chef at Tides in Rock, James O’Connor from the St Moritz hotel, as well as Stephane Delourme, David Sharland and Peter Murt representing Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. Two key figures from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, Andy Appleton and Neil Haydock will also be providing some ‘gastro-tainment’. And look out for the ultimate foodie challenge as some of the braver chefs go head to head in a speed oyster shucking competition.
Now in its third year, the event has expanded from its original location at Porthilly oyster farm and moved to Dinham House, situated right on the banks of the Camel estuary near Rock, home of the world famous Camel Valley wine. Make a weekend of it and camp in the grounds, options include: ‘rustic’ (essentials facilities), ‘posh’ (full campsite facilities), or request the luxury of your very own teepee at an extra cost. Alternatively, make a day of it and don’t forget to bring the kids – children’s entertainment is provided.
Event organizer Charlie Anderson describes the event as a “celebration of the delicious artisan-produced food and drink that we have here in Cornwall.” Any excuse to get the marquees out and put some tunes on in the open Cornish air, but what better excuse than some of the UK’s best seasonal food and culinary personalities to while away a balmy (we can only hope) summer evening down by the estuary.