Our day starts pretty early, as we have two small kids. The eldest is nearly three and the wee one is 16 months. First thing I do is have a coffee, no matter what, and then a bit of playing with the kids in the sitting room.
We usually have breakfast all together. Banana and oat milk smoothie is a hit, then usually some toast or porridge for everybody. Then it is time to take our son to nursery.
There isn’t a strict routine to The Oysterman’s day, but there is a procedure. Oysters will be ordered from Loch Fyne Oyster Co by the end of the previous week to be delivered on the same day or the day before the event. There’s then a bit of paperwork to do when the oysters arrive, as we control temperature on arrival, check quality and place them in the oyster fridge. We also take a note of the healthmark for the batch as it’s then associated with the specific event. Traceability is key when it comes to dealing with oysters.
After that I will do some admin online and organise the shucking kit; apron, buckets, knives, gloves and seasonings.
Lunch times are pretty random and everyone does their own thing. We make sure that our wee girl gets fed properly though, she loves homemade butternut squash soup. If I get the chance to escape the family, an all day breakfast at Word of Mouth on Albert Street is one of my pleasures. It has friendly staff and a cosy atmosphere.
A few hours before the event, it is time to get the oysters stocked in our cool boxes, do another temperature check, load the van and start the journey. As we are Edinburgh-based, it can be a really short drive as events often take place in the city, such the one we do at Le Di-Vin once a month, or it can be a bit further. For example, our next one is at the Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe, which will be around six hours there and back.
Once I get home, it is time to clean and sanitise all the gear, polish the brass on the apron and the leather belt. On days that I am not working or have lunchtime events, we always try to have dinner together. Being Mediterranean, a lot of our socialisation takes place around the table. We try to encourage the kids to have a variety of food, veg, fish and meat. If I’m not working, we do have a bit of an indulgent routine on Saturday late afternoons. Our son stays with his grandma overnight and we’ll have a drink in Leith, our neighbourhood, then order pizza at home. Our favorite is Razzo, though if it’s a special celebration we love Aurora, both on Great Junction Street.