Riverfood Event Overview

Oysters

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On the 21st of July the inaugural Riverfood Event took place on board the MV Royalty at Festival Pier on the banks of the river Thames. The event was hosted by Phil Cooper, Amo Marsman and Andrea Britton from Coopers Restaurant Consultants. The idea was to introduce a selection of dishes which has been sourced from rivers throughout the UK including the Thames Estuary.

Upon boarding our boat for the afternoon we were offered a complimentary drink which was very welcome as the sun definetly had its hat on, it was scorching. Going up to the main viewing room of the boat an area had been set up as an oyster-shucking station. There was a huge pile of oysters being shucked to order, luckily there were 2 people because it seemed everyone wanted them. I have to say, after seeing the size of shellfish overseas, I was expecting the English variety to be somewhat miniscule. I was wrong, the oysters were of a considerable size, in fact one was so big I couldn’t fit it all in my mouth. And they tasted great, too, creamy and extremely fresh.

On the bow of the boat a barbecue was in full swing. Here a chef was cooking up a storm with pike sausages served on a bed of puy lentils and Zander fish skewers. The sausages in particular were very good, meaty and a great filling for a sausage. Our taste buds were well and truly amused. Also, wandering amongst the guests were servers with trays of green tomato soup with whelks and pots of cockles.

There was a full bar service on board and we were treated to a 2 hour cruise past London’s famous landmarks. The only thing I would do differently is to have servers taking the bbqd food around rather than lining up at the barbecue and have a bigger bbq to enable more to be cooked at a time. Once the initially cooked food was gone you could be standing in the queue for a while waiting for yours to cook as no one wanted to miss out. It was great food although I would have liked to see some more unusual dishes, for example eel or crays.

The event was open to everyone, not just food writers and it was great to meet other people as passionate about locally sourced British fayre. It was a fabulous way to try new dishes and if you’re a foodie like me I suggest you mark your calender for next year’s event. Dont worry, of course I’ll remind you closer to the time, see you there!

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