Shucks, love my job working with oysters

In his element: Oyster shucking extraordinaire Neil Forbes just loves his job.
In his element: Oyster shucking extraordinaire Neil Forbes just loves his job.

‘After making headstones as a stonemason my whole life, I had basically torn every muscle in my body,’ Mr Forbes said.

‘The first six months learning to shuck oysters just about drove me up the wall.

‘I was getting cramps in my hands and everything, but I knew I had to knuckle down. Then one day the boss came up to me and asked if I would like to shuck oysters at a party that Andrew Forrest was hosting and I just loved it. Now, out in the open chatting to people, I am completely in my element. In a lot of ways I think oyster shucking is my retirement.’

Black Pearl Oyster Shucking will be one of many stalls at Subiaco Square Road for the second annual Subi Sunset Food Markets on Thursday nights from 5 to 9pm.

Mr Forbes said he would be freshly shucking the very best oysters in WA.

‘Most people eat their oysters fresh in the brine, but I’ll be cooking some there if people want and I’ve got containers and ice bags for people to take them home on the train,’ he said.

‘A word of warning: If you’re going to sit next to me then get ready for an ear-bashing because I can definitely shuck and talk at the same time.

‘I’ve also got some beautiful sauces like chilli mango that is absolutely beautiful, chilli and kiwi mint, chilli citrus, wasabi soy, jalapeno and a really hot Aussie smoky sauce. It’s about a careful balance, you want a little bit of a kick but you don’t want to overwhelm the natural oyster flavour.’

Visit Subiaco executive officer Annaliese Doesburg said the sunset markets would offer delicious food from around the globe, family entertainment and activities, a DJ and alfresco dining.

Adopting a traditional Asian hawker market-style, each week 12-15 market stalls will offer a diverse range of foods from Japanese pastries to Moroccan tagines, Indonesian satays, Mexican tacos, Turkish gozlemes and wood-fired pizza.

‘Subiaco Square is the perfect fit for these night markets as the weather warms up,’ Ms Doesburg said.