The Oyster Companion: A Field Guide (Paperback)
"In speed and presentation, one of North America's top talents is Patrick McMurray."
-- The New York Times Magazine
Consider this: France's 3,400 oyster growers produce most of the world's oysters, about 130,000 tons annually, and the French consume about 50 percent of those oysters between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day alone. During that same week, however, Parisian hospitals receive about 2,000 oyster-shucking-related injuries Perhaps it's time to let an expert show you how to open them safely.
In The Oyster Companion renowned expert Patrick McMurray takes readers down the path to oyster expertise and injury-free enjoyment. Patrick knows oysters. For him it was love at first taste as a sixteen-year-old busboy in Toronto and he's never looked back, going so far that he launched three restaurants where oysters take pride of place, and he holds two Guinness World Records for oyster shucking -- 38 in a minute, and 8,800 in an hour in a team of 10. In fact, he designed a bestselling oyster knife, the pistol grip Paddyshucker.
Rich in history and lore, The Oyster Companion weaves together anecdotes from the author's experience as a restaurateur and competitive shucker with practical information on everything from opening oysters with finesse to ordering hard-to-get bivalves online. Fully illustrated with gorgeous color photography, the book includes:
- History of oysters in civilization
- Detailed breakdown of the differences among 50 oyster varieties found worldwide
- Lifecycle, anatomy, ecological footprint, health benefits, and how feeding habits and locations affect taste (the "merroir")
- Tips for growing oysters
- Growers and exporters of the world's best oysters
- The best oyster bars from North America and Europe
- How to sample oysters and a tasting wheel to pair oysters with the proper drink
- Throwing an oyster-themed dinner party
- Tips on sourcing the freshest and best-tasting oysters in the world
- Shucker Paddy's Oyster Opening 101: Tips on shucking and presenting
- Expert's guide to some of the best knives and shuckers in the world and their techniques.
This is an essential selection for all cooking collections.
About the Author
Patrick McMurray is a professional Oyster Shucker, Oyster Sommelier, World Champion and Guinness World Records holder for Shucking. He is the publican and owner of Toronto Restaurant The Ceili Cottage where he shucks about 4,000 oysters a week on the bar and through catering. He regularly competes and does demonstrations around the world and he is also a consultant to oyster producers and restaurants in the US, Asia, and Europe. Patrick has appeared on food television shows, including Gordon Ramsay's The F Word, and is often featured in magazines and newspapers.