A chef at the restaurant Bistro Pinot in Grou, located in the province of Friesland, found a rare pearl in an oyster. Restaurant owner Tariq Gessesse could not believe it at first. “It’s a unique discovery,” he told NL Times.
The discovery happened last Saturday. Chef Bas Koorevaar was alone in the kitchen when a guest ordered six oysters. He had only been opening oysters for three months. “I haven’t even opened fifty yet,” he told Omrop Fryslân.
Only about 1 in 15,000 wild oysters contain a pearl. Pearls start out as a grain of sand or a tiny piece of seaweed the oyster accidentally sucked into its shell. This small bit of foreign matter irritates the shellfish, so it covers it with a thin layer of mother-of-pearl. It continues to do so as long as the dirt remains, slowly creating a pearl over a period of years.
Owner Tariq Gessesse could not be happier with the find. “I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for 20 years, and this is the first time something like this happens,” he remarked. It is also the first time he has seen one. “It’s beautiful, but it actually looks like a baby tooth,” he said laughing.
The pearl is still at the restaurant. Gessesse is unsure of its value. “We haven’t visited any jewelers yet; we plan to do so next week.” Regardless of its value, the pearl has brought some attention to the restaurant. “It’s good publicity, but we haven’t seen a direct impact on our reservations yet.”
The recent discovery of the pearl is not the only cause for celebration at the restaurant. Just two weeks ago, Gessesse received the news that Bistro Pinot will be featured in a Michelin Guide.