FEDERICO FIORILLO has been named World Oyster Opening Champion 2023 following a hard-fought competition in Galway.
The 30-year-old, who has worked Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill in London for nine years, was representing Britain at the annual event.
Competitors from all over the world battled it out at the prestigious Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival last weekend, in the oyster opening challenge.
The shuckers were required to open and present 30 native oysters as quickly and professionally as possible, before serving their platter to a panel of judges.
But it was Fiorillo who ultimately took the title of World Oyster Opening Champion, which was last won by a British shucker in 2001.
Known as ‘Oyster Boy’ to his colleagues, Fiorillo won this year’s 26th British Oyster Championships - adding to previous wins in 2017 and 2018 - to qualify for the World Oyster Opening Championships.
The newly crowned world champion learnt his skill from Helio Garzon, the now-retired Chief Oyster Shucker at Bentley’s.
“I am still absolutely speechless,” he said following his win.
“It was an incredibly tough competition, but I am extremely proud to have represented the UK and hope I have the opportunity next September.
“It’s a true honour to take home the title of World Champion.”
Launched in 1954, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is deemed one of Europe’s longest-running food events.
It consistently attracts thousands of visitors to the west of Ireland to sample the famous native Galway oysters.