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Fal Oyster Hole & Corner Magazine April 22 2017, 0 Comments

#AlfSmythers by Alan Clarke

Massive thanks to Hole & Corner Magazine issue 4 for the article and photos... read more here http://www.holeandcornermagazine.com/fal-oysters

#AlfSmythers Ranger hauling in Fal Oysters by Alan Clarke


New premises at Cornish Native Oysters November 15 2016, 0 Comments

One door closes, another one opens...
Cornish Native Oysters 2009-2016
After 8 years in service the old unit I purchased for a £1 has been upgraded to a new 20ft shipping container...
Corinsh Native Oysters
#CornishNativeOysters
Come and see: Zone 1, Mylor Yacht Harbour, Falmouth, TR11 5UF

BBC Food & Farming Awards - Fal Oyster Ltd. - Best Food Producer January 19 2016, 0 Comments

Here is the reply after sending a box of Fal Oysters...

"Thank you very much for sending through the samples for the BBC Food & Farming Awards judging meeting last week. The judges were impressed with your products, but I’m afraid that they did not select Fal Oyster to go through to the finalist stage. Real congratulations though – out of over 1000 nominations, to get through to the last 20 is brilliant. "

Fal Oysters

Here is my own 2016 nomination...

If I had a member of staff, I would have asked them to submit a nomination, but it's just me at the mo, so I though what the hell...

I've entered Best Food Producer category, because I believe we are one of them! But you can always nominate me and the pop up team for Street Food trader category ;)

Q1
Describe the food being produced. What do they make? Include the range of products, taste, price and where and how it’s sold. (250-300 words) 281

Unique gatherer and merchant of wild Cornish Native ‘Fal Oysters’, Fal Oyster Ltd. is the first company to conform to Trading Standards verification and have authority to use ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ on any oyster! Not to be mistaken for farmed Pacific oysters, these wild natives have a very distinct shape and flavour of melon and cucumber (fresh and zincy).

I supply top restaurants all over London and in the South West – I have appeared in numerous national papers; Guardian/Times/Telegraph and even on BBC Country File with Matt Baker a few years ago (although he said he liked oysters when we met, he later told Fiona Ware he preferred the ‘cooked’ ones ;) on national TV!)

Produced aboard a traditional sailing fishing vessel, one of the last wooden Falmouth Working Boats that I rebuilt in 2008 – AlfSmythers.co.uk

Processed in premises approved by DEFRA, CEFAS & Cornwall Council and many others trade price from 65p – CornishNativeOysters.co.uk

Packaged at the fishery for retail and wholesale distribution to homes and top restaurants, also showcased at my own pop up restaurant & bar, retail price from £1.65 – Ostraca.co.uk

Whilst the native oyster season is only September to April, the business has diversified during the summer months with the pop up events and festivals showcasing and working with other local artisan producers – PopUpGatherings.co.uk.

Since the launch of our unique pop up Ostraca we have worked closely with other top producers and served the freshest shellfish caught or harvested within 25 miles - such as Tempura Porthilly Rock Oysters 3 for £10 or Whole Cooked Crab at Carlyon Beach for £15

All can be viewed under the main company Fal Oyster Ltd. by visiting our website – faloyster.co.uk


Q2
Why should this producer win an award? What makes them and their food so special? (200-300 words) 244

I would really like to win this, not for me but for the Fal Oyster! The ONLY oyster with a PDO !

Since buying an old wooden boat in 2008 I have learnt to restore wooden vessels, learnt to sail properly, and learnt a 500 year old industry gathering wild Fal Oysters under sail and oar, using just the wind and the tides.

Once ashore they have to be carefully weighed and graded, some are stored in unique storage trays I designed to reduce the mortality. A small part of the process has saved hours in processing when it comes to purifying and documenting movements of Live Shellfish.

The sale of high risk foods comes at a price, but I have fully approved premises and a recognised food producer UKCQ710EC. Everything I have built over the years has been on a shoe string, financed by friends and family, and not paying myself, but with a little recognition I’m sure I can turn things round and make a living from this incredible industry.

I have all the credentials to go with a very unique food product, Fal Oysters, which admitted may not be everyone’s first choice, but I have tempted many to try and have a very high success rate, I believe Fal Oysters are very good for us and the environment.

The Fal Oyster has only just achieved this status, so I hope we are at the beginning of some positive recognition for the fishery.


CrowdFund pitch is now live! January 17 2016, 0 Comments


#Crinnis - Press Release 2 - Mark Apsey June 08 2015, 0 Comments

Press Release
@OstracaCornwall #CRINNIS - Opens Tuesday 16th June 2015
 
Following in the sandy footsteps of Sam’s @ The Bay, a second pop up venue that has been 
constructed from a recycled 20ft shipping container has landed at Carlyon Beach for a series 
of temporary events and pop up gatherings during the summer of 2015. 
 
‘Ostraca’ is a pop up restaurant & bar serving fresh Cornish produce direct from fishermen and 
farmers to bakers and coffee makers, it has also been titled the “1st Camel Valley Wine Bar” 
says (Chris) Ranger - Director of Fal Oyster Ltd., designer and proprietor of the unique pop up. 
“We have known the Lindo family for many years and it’s a real honour to see the family sitting 
on our decking when we have popped up in Falmouth, Truro and now St. Austell”  
 
“Having spent the past 8 years supplying Fal Oysters to many top chefs we are also very 
pleased to announce our 1st guest chef on the beach is the incredibly talented Mark Apsey” 
says Ranger “[fresh out of The Idle Rocks in St Mawes] we couldn’t have a better opportunity 
to impress our guests, I can cook, but Mark is a master!” 
 
“The booking system is also another 1st for Cornwall. Due to the limited capacity at the chefs 
table of 8 guests (in all weathers) we need to know you are definitely coming so we can get the 
freshest produce just for you.”  
 
Instead of phoning and leaving just a name and number Ostraca ask you to purchase a 
voucher online (Ostraca.co.uk), which you then use against the menu at your reserved time. 
Currently the vouchers are just £20 for lunches and £40 for evenings. This will get you a glass 
of wine, a starter and a main, however if you are after an eight-course taster menu you can just 
pay any balance by cash or card at the end like any other restaurant. 
In lovely Cornish sunshine the staff can seat a further 24 on the decking and 60 at the banquet 
tables where they will host the ‘Pop Up Gatherings #Crinnis Feasts’ and you bring your own 
alcohol. The mini restaurant & bar can cater for more bookings and more visitors to the beach 
when other local pop ups join in for summer activities. So keep an eye on the website and 
social networking for more dates and availability as the weather improves. 
 
Fal Oyster Ltd. t/a Ostraca 
/PopUpFineDining 
@OstracaCornwall 
07807 290315 
ENDS 

'Shellfish BRUT' - Fal Oyster and Camel Valley BRUT September 15 2014, 0 Comments

Exciting news... during the summer we met up with Sam at Camel Valley Wines and asked if we could sell Camel Valley Sparkling Wines with our unique Fal Oysters in our new pop up restaurant & bar - Ostraca.co.uk - his reply was better than we had ever hoped for as they didn't have anyone they could work with at outdoor events, festivals, weddings etc.  

Ostraca Cornish Shellfish Box is the "1st Official Camel Valley Wine Bar" - and with the new Protected Designation of Origin status for our 'Fal Oyster' - we think we have a winner on any menu with "Cornwall's reply to the French Champagne & Oyster" !

Can't wait... well then you can order online now...


Stunning Pop Up Venue - Ostraca April 21 2014, 0 Comments

The unique Pop Up Restaurant is now available for hire - weddings, parties, private dining and social gatherings - visit ostraca.co.uk for latest information and contact details


Shellfish Association of Great Britain November 27 2013, 0 Comments

 

Fal Oyster Ltd. is a member of the Shellfish Association of GB


'Shadow' 1870 November 27 2013, 0 Comments

We are pleased toannounce that Ranger has purchased the oldest vessel of the fleet. 'Shadow' was built by Frank Hitchens of Point Feock in around 1870... She needs a little work, but she will rejoin the Fal Oyster fleet sooner than 'Boy Phil'. If you are interested in sponsoring or funding some of the restorations, please email ranger@alfsmythers.co.uk 

 


Protected Name Status - Fal Oyster November 16 2013, 0 Comments

Finally, news of our unique wild native Fal Oyster get the recognition it deserves... Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) - covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how

 

http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/frontpage/2013/13_127_en.htm


Free delivery... September 12 2013, 0 Comments

Free delivery on orders over £50 in September 2013...

Natives are back in season September 10 2013, 0 Comments

With an 'R' in the month natives are back in season in the UK and this was celebrated at the 21st Tabasco British Oyster Opening Competition at J Sheekey's Oyster Bar on 09/09/13 - congratulations Sam from Wiltons... we have some lay stock from the beach available prior to our season starting on the 1st October... Pre order now for the first wild Fal Oysters

Available now... Porthilly Rock Oysters and Wild Fal Mussels... May 20 2013, 0 Comments

 Due to popular demand from local chefs, we are pleased to announce we can now supply Porthilly Rock Oysters, Wild Fal Mussels and Camel Valley Wines... check out the store for more details...


Falmouth's Original Oyster Bar reopens for Falmouth Food & Drink Week 9-17 Feb February 07 2013, 0 Comments

Taken from: http://www.heritagepubs.org.uk/pubs/national-inventory-entry.asp?pubid=12 



 The completely unspoilt public bar at the front has a late Victorian counter, shelves and a wooden stillage from around 1898. The beer is served from casks behind the bar the metal stillages were introduced in 1947 and 1949. The white marble counter on the right dates from the days when there was a separate oyster bar - see the brown paper bag in a frame on the wall on the left. 

 See also http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Oyster-bar-return-Seven-Stars-pub-Falmouth/story-18079224-detail/story.html#axzz2KCs4j4wm

Thank you for all the orders over the Festive Period... January 04 2013, 0 Comments

We really thought that with Christmas and New Year falling on a Tuesday the delivery schedule would be a real problem, but we planned well in advance and with the exception of two late deliveries we successfully delivered thousands of oysters to homes and restaurants across the UK and even as far as Kuala Lumper! Thanks to Carn Logistics, Rossmore Oysters and Azah for the big dispatch days... We totally sold out and in fact could have done with another 18 oysters! A Happy and Prosperous 2013 to you all... Thank you!

Guardian News - Shell out for this season's oysters... November 29 2012, 0 Comments

Britain's native oysters are in decline, depriving fishermen of a living and food lovers of a wonderful treat. And the best way to save them? Eat more of them... 

 Read more at 
 Guardian News Article Susan Smillie The Guardian, Wednesday 7 November 2012 19.30 GMT

BBC News - 'Eat UK oysters' October 23 2012, 0 Comments

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20042050


Time to polish the trophy, Silver Oyster Race, November 5th... October 23 2012, 0 Comments

The annual Silver Oyster Race was held, at Mylor Yacht Club, in a bracing force-five wind from the north, but this did not deter 13 working boats from commemorating the Truro Oyster fishery’s High Court victory over Truro Corporation on November 5, 1901. This allowed the oyster fishermen to leave their dredged oysters in bags along the foreshore free of charge, before the catch is sent to market. Since then, November 5 has been a holiday for the oystermen and the custom is for licensed and unlicensed working boats to race, hosted by Mylor Yacht Club, for two silver trophies cast from oyster shells. In the large unlicensed class of boats, two experienced racing crews in Lola and Moon had a close battle all round the course, but ultimately Lola (Sandy Creeder) won by just over a minute. Deliverance (Mike Stratton) sailed an extremely good race to win the small unlicenced class. In the licensed boats, sailed with their everyday working sails, Alf Smythers (Chris Ranger) pulled out a five-minute lead over Ada (Jason Pascoe) to win this year's Silver Oyster. The prizes were awarded in the bar at Mylor YC by the Commodore, Alan Ramsden. The race course took the boats through water near St Mawes Bank which, if the recommendations in the Finding Sanctuary report are adopted, may be out of bounds to them in future; this despite the fact that the oystermen themselves have for many decades maintained and, uniquely, worked under sail a successful, sustainable oyster fishery. http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/sport/sailing/9351263.Lola_takes_victory_in_Mylor_Yacht_Club_s_Silver_Oyster_Race/r/?ref=rss

International appeal is strong October 23 2012, 0 Comments

THE HARVEST attracts visitors from all over the world and will have top local and London chefs preparing the freshest seafood. Oystermen have been gathering wild native oysters from the Carrick Roads for hundreds of years. Christopher Ranger is one of a new breed of Cornish business owners, passionate about locally sourced food harvested using traditional methods. "I grew up on The Roseland, and for the past four years I have been gathering native oysters, working under sail in a traditional Truro River oyster boat," explained Ranger, who was named in this year's Telegraph Good Produce Guide as the Best Fish and Seafood Supplier in the UK. "I pinch myself regularly when I see the other Truro River Oyster Boats 'hove too', drifting gracefully down the oyster beds and then realise my boat the Alf Smythers has her sails set exactly the same and I am doing a job that's hundreds of years old." Cornish Native Oysters supplies some of Cornwall's leading restaurants and hotels, but most of the oysters are destined for top London restaurants. Ranger added: "There is a brilliant food scene down here, which is backed up by the quality of the stallholders we have in Mylor this weekend. It's definitely an exciting time to be involved, but it is tough running a small business in the county." With plans to rebuild another 100-year-old oyster boat he saved from destruction, Ranger is looking for someone to help with the work and then skipper her on the fishery. "With two boats landing I could afford to employ someone in the purification room, meaning I could double the business and ultimately make it viable for the future." You can order Wild Native Oysters from the Cornish Food Box Company in Truro or online at www.cornishnativeoysters.co.uk. http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/International-appeal-strong/story-15657293-detail/story.html

Childhood memories... October 23 2012, 0 Comments

On Monday, I was lucky enough to go out and see how oysters are caught. We went out on the Orca Sea Safari and crossed over onto an oyster boat, the Alf Smythers. It was brilliant. I pulled up a dredge and got to sort out and measure the oysters. It's hard work being an oysterman. Sometimes they don't find many at all. The ones that they do find are often too small, or have been damaged by slipper limpets, and have to be thrown back. I had such a good time working with the Oystermen. I won't forget it. Jack P (y5)

'Shucks away' at Falmouth Oyster Festival October 23 2012, 0 Comments

Tricks of the trade were on show at the Oyster Festival in Falmouth on Saturday as competitors lined-up for one of the most eagerly awaited events, the chance to be crowned the champion oyster shucker. The competition always draws big crowds, and this year was no exception as former champions, seasoned festival shuckers and a keen amateur or two went head to head on the main stage. With ten shuckers racing against the clock to plate the best oysters, judged by experts, the pressure was on as knives flew and oysters were prised open. With the art of opening oysters a tricky one to master there were some who whittled through their piles in record times while others struggled with the mighty molluscs, even using gloves to get a better grip, and to save those fingers from nasty cuts from the sharp knives. This year saw the judges, seasoned shucker Robert Bunny, and Annie Sibert from My Fish Kitchen, decide on a winner, with Ann Oliver picking up a bottle of champagne, and the honour that goes with the title of best Falmouth Oyster Festival Oyster Shucker. 2:52:56 'no penalties' 2nd place Ranger 3rd place Tristan Hugh Jones

BBC News Cornwall October 23 2012, 0 Comments

Oyster festival gets underway... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-19913492

Classic Boat Magazine - National Historic Ships Photo Competition October 23 2012, 0 Comments

One of my photographs appears on the Classic Boat website

 http://www.classicboat.co.uk/news/national-historic-boats-photo-competition-a-few-of-this-years-entries-see-below/

Falmouth Oyster Festival - Annual Oyster Shucking Competition 2012 October 21 2012, 1 Comment

Having come last in 2011 I wanted to show that I could compete with the best shuckers and this year with a time of 2m 52.52 seconds I came second! Yes... My only complaint was the size of the 12 oysters presented, of which we had to open and present 10 as quickly as possible