Dale McIntosh, head chef at Gylly Beach Café in Falmouth, will officially launch the 21st Falmouth Oyster Festival. At 11am on Thursday 12th October, Dale will open the festival with a demonstration of his award winning food design skills using Falmouth dredged oysters and the day’s catch.

With significant achievements, experience and accolades, including Cornwall Catering Challenge winner, South West Chef of the Year Finalist 2014/15 and quarter finalist of Masterchef: The Professionals, the Ponsanooth-based chef, who moved to Cornwall in 2001, has built a reputation for preparing new menus, experimenting with new produce and crafting his kitchen into a roaring success.

Dale confessed that he found Masterchef tough, however he impressed two Michelin-starred Chef Marcus Wareing, who declared his fish and chip butty as ‘sensational’. “Masterchef: The Professionals was a fantastic experience, friends and family warned me against putting myself in such a big spotlight, but I feel it’s done me no harm. I enjoyed every moment, well almost every moment… leaving the sugar out of my dessert wasn’t so much fun!”  said Dale.  “Since moving to Gylly Beach Café almost 2 years ago, I have really enjoyed the buzz and pressure of a busy beach side restaurant. We are really making our mark in Falmouth for locally sourced produce, producing almost everything in house.  We have lots more to come and it has so far been the best move of my career.  I am extremely proud to be part of taking this thriving, successful, family run business to the next level.”

Dale will be cooking for some very discerning food critics at the festival.  Two children, selected from each of Falmouth’s five primary schools will sit at the Chefs Table and critique his culinary skills.  These Food Ambassadors have learnt how to cook a fish based dish first hand, visiting the kitchens of local chefs providing demos at the festival and then teaching the meal to their class and parents.  The initiative, now in its 10th year has contributed to growing awareness of great local produce and the importance of healthy eating in schools.  This year, Marlborough School, supported by their chef Jessica Oughton and parents, launched its very own cook book “Feed’ as a celebration of the fresh, local homemade food they serve. The book, with proceeds supporting the school’s kitchen, will be available for purchase at the festival. Joining the opening ceremony and to support their classmates, will be the Oyster Man accompanied by local children.

More than 40,000 visitors are expected over the four-day festival, which runs from October 12-15.  Further daily cookery demonstrations are held during the festival by top chefs and food experts from Cornwall’s hotels and restaurants, inspiring visitors to try their hand at unusual and exciting seafood combinations and indulge in the tastes of native oysters, wines, ales and local produce.