Friday, August 28, 2009
Well, it's been a wildly wonderful event. The thought of an eating contest and oysters do not normally meet in my mind. Hot dogs, pie, spaghetti all come to mind for the contest world, but not oysters. That is until recently.
The lovely folks at Tourism Ireland asked me to put together a little something to get someone over to Ireland, for one of their many festivals, and for some reason The Hillsborough Oyster Festival just popped into my head. I haven't been there before, and they had an eating contest - something for the Oyster lovers out there, not just the pros who open them.
So I came up with he idea of holding the All Canadian Oyster Eating Championship at The Ceili Cottage, qualifier for the World Championships.
The main contest is how many oyster can be consumed in 3 minutes? The record...233! A staggering amount, and how would I conduct a contest of that amount of oysters?
I came up with the idea of $20 = 20 oysters, timed to see how fast one could eat the 20. The top 6 times would compete head-to-head on the three minute format to get them used to the event. Over the two weeks, we had about 12 eaters vie for the spot. for the 20, the best times were: Mike-23.9 sec, Linda 24.7 sec, Shawn 27.0 sec, Peter 28.3 sec, Rod 28.8 sec, and Darlene at 35.1 sec.
On August 20th I had the competitors pop by to The Cottage and get all geared up. I put them 3 on 3 on the customer side of the bar, and we, the crew, fed them plates of oysters. I had pre-shucked 1200 oysters reserved the shells and put the oysters into containers - to make sure that the oyster was severed from the bottom shell, and that all of the work was done ahead of time.
Once we had the oysters stacked 15 per plate and 10 plates per person=150 oysters, we were ready to go. 5,4,3,2,1 go! and the shells were flying. Each person had their own method to the madness - one-hand, two hands, tilt and slide,and suck all soft things off the hard...Cheering and madness ensued. All kept their oysters down, and kept on pinting afterwards!
In the end, the video (thanks to Rich) can explain all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY6j5Kv6C4A
Linda Li - ate the most oysters at 148 in the three minutes. She will be joining me to attend the Hillsborough Oyster Fest next week. We will be training on Sunday at The Cottage, so come and cheer her on!
We will leave Sept 3 and be back on the 8th. I will keep in touch while away!