CONOR DALTON CROWNED WINNER OF THE UK’S BEST DRESSED IRISH OYSTER COMPETITION 2018

Conor Dalton

Conor Dalton

Sous Chef 18th October 2018

CONOR DALTON CROWNED WINNER OF THE UK’S BEST DRESSED IRISH OYSTER COMPETITION 2018

This week, Conor Dalton of Five Fields was crowned the overall champion of the 2018 Best Dressed Irish Oyster Competition, after winning the event’s cold category and beating the hot category winner, Thomas Browne from Decatur during an exhilarating live cook-off at The Hero of Maida.

To claim the title, Conor fought off competition from eleven of the leading seafood chefs in the UK to impress a panel of industry experts, including: Elizabeth Carter, Editor of the Good Food Guide; Bobby Groves, Chiltern Firehouse; Patrick Powell, renowned Irish chef; and author and restaurant critic, Joe Warwick.

Overall champion, Conor impressed judges with his Sunshine & Iodine oysters with a watermelon salad and sweet and savoury dressing, which was praised for its presentation, creativity and combination of interesting flavours. Meanwhile, Thomas came out on top in the hot category with his dish New Orleans Chargrilled Oysters topped with garlic parmesan butter, Cajun spices and hot sauce, which was praised for its inventiveness whilst at the same time allowing the original flavour of the oyster to come through.

Both category winners were presented with a state-of-the-art engraved chef’s knife on the day; while Conor also took home a trip to Ireland to visit some of the fantastic seafood producers that supply high-end restaurants throughout the UK.

Conor Dalton commented: “I’m honoured to have been crowned this year’s Best Dressed Irish Oyster champion. With some of the UK’s leading seafood chefs in the running, the competition was fierce, which makes the victory all the sweeter. I’m fascinated by Irish oysters, so the icing on the cake will be visiting some of the country’s leading seafood producers.”

Michelle Butler, General Manager at Bord Bia added: “From Galway to Carlingford, some of the world’s finest rock and native oysters grow in Irish waters and this event is a celebration of the quality of those magnificent molluscs and the talent of shuckers and seafood chefs across the UK. We were truly blown away by the quantity and calibre of entries this year, so immensely well done to Conor for coming out on top.”

The 12 Best Dressed Irish Oyster finalists, chosen after an extensive round of paper judging, included:
• Conor Dalton – Five Fields, Mayfair, London
• Thomas Browne – Decatur, London
• Mark Wadsworth – Riddle & Finns, Brighton, Sussex
• Nathan Richardson – The Guinea Grill, Mayfair, London
• Doug Grigg – Oyster Shack, Bigbury, Devon
• Mark Taft – Assheton Arms, Downham, Lancashire
• Matthew Leivers – The Star Inn The Harbour, Whitby, Yorkshire
• Karol Marciszewski – Fancy Crab, Marylebone, London
• Mark O’Brien – The Dairy, Clapham, London
• Andy Wood – Wrights Brothers, Borough, London
• Daniel Plumb – Oyster Shack, Bigbury, Devon
• Dovydas Vasiovas - Wrights Brothers, Battersea, London