The growers of Scotland's best shellfish: Craig Archibald (Pacific oyster category), Tristan Hugh-Jones (native oyster category) and Michael Tait (mussel category). Image: Nicki Holmyard.

Mollusc moguls annointed

The growers of Scotland's best shellfish were presented with prize-winners' plates in Oban last week.

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One of the highlights of last week's Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers (ASSG) conference was the eagerly anticipated competition to find the country's best Ostrea edulis, Crassostrea gigas and Mytilus edulis.

Hopeful entrants from across the length and breadth of Scotland brought samples of their shellfish to be evaluated by the fearsome foodie trio of John Ogden, Patrick Blow and Doug Macleod - Oban seafood supremo, M&S aquaculture director and former head of the ASSG respectively.

After much deliberation, scratching of beards...and the occasional sip of vin blanc, the winners were finally decided to be:

Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) - Craig Archibald of Islay Oysters.

Native oyster (Ostrea edulis) - Tristan Hugh-Jones, Rossmore Oyster Co.

Mussel (Mytilus edulis) - Michael Tait, Shetland Mussels.

The prizes, in the form of highly coveted Richard Bramble plates, were presented at a ceremony at Oban's Fishhouse Restaurant, rounding off the ASSG's 30th anniversary celebrations in style.