Chris Eden, proudly known as being the first Cornishman to receive a Michelin star for a restaurant in Cornwall, will officially launch the 20th Falmouth Oyster Festival next month. Opening the festival at 11am on Thursday 13th October, Chris Eden will demonstrate his award winning culinary skills using Falmouth dredged oysters and the day’s catch. Annie Sibert, ‘My Fish Kitchen’, will accompany him on stage for what promises to be a Cornish culinary delight.
Cornish born, Chris Eden’s passion for food and wanting to be a chef started by cooking with his mum. He trained at St Austell Catering College and after gaining experience in London; he returned to Cornwall and joined the Driftwood Hotel in Portscatho as Head Chef, where he has been for the past 10 years; achieving 3 AA Rosettes and in 2012 earning the Driftwood its first Michelin Star – becoming the first Cornish born chef to do so. Building on success, this year, the Driftwood has also made it into the National Restaurant Awards Top 100 Restaurants in the UK.
The Michelin Guide have applauded ‘unfussy, modern, seasonally pertinent dishes’ and Chris has a produce-led ethos; his food is seasonally focused and he is obsessive about sourcing the best produce that Cornwall has to offer, working with suppliers to ensure only the finest quality ingredients make it on to the plate.
“Our aim at the restaurant is to regularly evolve and get better and I am hugely proud of what we have achieved,” shares Chris. “It’s great to return to Falmouth Oyster Festival; I like the friendly atmosphere and the festival’s food driven focus. I feel there’s a real passion for food that follows the event and it’s very satisfying that after my demonstration everyone comes up on stage to taste what I’ve cooked and share their own foodie experiences.”
This year, Chris will be cooking for some very discerning food critics. Food Ambassadors selected from Falmouth’s five primary schools will sit at the Chefs Table and critique the chef’s culinary skills. Two children from each primary school have learnt to cook a fish based dish first hand, visiting the kitchens of local chefs from St Michael’s Hotel and Spa, Samphire and Oliver’s. The chefs and children have then in turn taught the meal to their class and all the children have been given the ingredients to take home and cook for their parents. Joining the opening ceremony and to support their class mates will be the Oyster Man accompanied by 50 local children.
More than 40,000 visitors are expected over the four-day festival, which runs from October 13-16. 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.