By George McIvor, chairman of The Master Chefs of Great Britain The Master Chefs of Great Britain was formed in 1980 to provide a forum for the exchange of culinary ideas and to further the profession through training and the guidance of young chefs. In addition, the association seeks to promote all that is best about British cuisine and produce. By the time this goes to print the final of Zest Quest Asia will have taken place and we will have our new winners (log onto their website to see who took this year’s title https://www. We are now looking forward to the semi-finals and finals of our Young Pastry Chef of the Year competition. Email shaune. for more details. For more information on the association and the competitions and training opportunities we provide contact

Oysters are one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients safely housed in a rough, grey shell. Prepare them by scrubbing the shells with a stiff brush under cold running water. All should be tightly shut or snap shut when you tap them – if they don’t then discard, the oyster inside will be dead. Shucking is the process of opening the oyster and care must be taken. Wrap a tea towel round your hand, grip the oyster, shallow side up, with the hinge towards you and insert your shucking knife into the small gap by the hinge and twist until the hinge breaks and run the knife along the inner edges. Discard the top shell and gently prise the oyster from the muscle which holds it into it shell being careful not to spill any of the juice and enjoy. If you are not going to use your oysters straight away, rinse them in cold water and allow to drain before popping them, flat side up, into a glass container covering with a damp cloth before storing in the fridge.

  1. New york New york – This adaptation of the famous Oysters Rockerfeller uses butter, shallots, parsley, tarragon, spinach, celery salt, tabasco, angostura and ciabatta breadcrumbs
  2. Tremendous Trio – Serve up a triple treat with oysters three ways – with soy and jalapeño; oyster crème, and oyster paper, accompanied by sorbet of cucumber and preserved ginger, Acclla cress and cucumber coulis.
  3. On Fire – Fire up the oven and put 12 oysters on a high grill until the lids pop. Remove the lids and add some herb butter to each shell and serve immediately.
  4. Louisiana Roots – Serve your oysters raw with a sauce made by combining Tabasco Green sauce, which originated in Louisiana, with lime and coriander.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Don’t throw your oyster shells away: they’re a good source of calcium and can be ground into a powder which can then be used in the garden to balance the pH of your soil leading to healthier plants!

Recipes supplied by: 1. George McIvor, 2. By Jeroen-van-Oijen from Gastronomix and Franck Pontais from Koppert Cress, 3. Ben Bartlett, 4. Tabasco sauces Visit for full recipes.