The first time I met Patrick McMurray was at the original Rodney’s Oyster House here in Toronto (on Adelaide). Patrick was shucking oysters behind the bar at this Toronto food destination spot and if I recall, this was where I first tried raw oysters. Tasting oysters is akin to wine: there are many types of oysters from all over the world and all of them have differing flavour profiles. Shuck an oyster, slide it down your throat and you’re transported to the very same seas where that oyster came from.Fast-forward twenty-five years and I find myself in Starfish Oyster Bed, the restaurant that Patrick McMurray owns and operates on Adelaide Street East in Toronto. Patrick (aka Shucker Paddy) is still shucking oysters and the dude currently holds the Guinness World Record for oyster-shucking – breaking the previous record of 33 oysters in one minute with a remarkable 38 oysters in one minute last year. Oh, and by the way – it was Patrick’s own record that he broke!
Patrick has shucked on average about 1000 oysters a day so he kinda’ knows his way around oysters. I was invited to the Starfish this last week to be introduced to Patrick’s oyster shucking knife (The Shucker Paddy) that will make even the most timid shucker a pro and you may even be tempted to try to break the Guinness Book of World Records!
The knife is ergodynamically designed with Patrick perfecting the handle design over the course of years until the feel, fit, operation (shucking oysters) and safety were optimized. Patrick used pliable epoxy to create the handle that suits both right & left-handled shuckers. The Shucker Paddy is built with a 4-inch stainless steel blade that makes it compatible for shucking even the largest of oysters.
Patrick guarantees that the Shucker Paddy is good for over 228,000 oysters and if it breaks, Patrick will fix the blade personally! If anyone’s met Patrick at the Starfish, you’ll find him behind the bar, helping out, serving drinks and yes…shucking oysters. On the evening I was at the Starfish, Patrick was even inviting us to jump behind the bar and learn how to properly shuck an oyster. With a little bit of practice and the Shucker Paddy in hand, opening an oyster is easier that turning the key to start your car engine!
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