A Recap of The Duxbury Oyster Festival at The Winsor House Inn

By Marci Bracken

The Duxbury Oyster Festival has been a well-anticipated, popular event in this beach side community and this year did not fall short of any expectations. In its third year being held at The Windsor House Inn, this sold out event took place on May 5, 2016 and provided all-you-can- eat oysters, burgers and hot dogs, live music, day drinking and a ton of laughs. Not only is The Duxbury Oyster Festival delicious and fun, it is also a wonderful fundraiser for The Duxbury Student Union. This event provides a wonderful connection of local companies supporting their local school system and students.

Oyster farmers sampling included Island Creek Oysters, Snug Harbor Oysters, Sweet Sounds Oysters, Duxbury Oyster Company, Standish Shore Oyster and more…there was no shortage of oyster to be found! All fresh and delicious!

Upon arrival, the frenzy to try them all began. The oysters were overflowing from every direction. Each oyster farmer was generous with his or her sampling and it seemed as if there was an endless supply of the delicacy.

The Windsor House Inn truly did this event right. The staff was friendly and attentive, the tented area was the perfect size to house the crowd and there was even an inside area that hosted a great silent auction.

As we indulged, we were entertained by student musicians and student bands courtesy of the Duxbury Student Union. This was a wonderful way to connect the event to the fundraising. The student talent was amazing. As the afternoon rolled on and the cocktails set in The Waves took to the stage to get the party really going.

With stomachs full of amazing, fresh oysters, shoes came off and the dancing began.

Overall this was a wonderful event in support of a great cause…with GREAT oysters!

We look forward to returning again next year and encourage you to attend and also support the students and oyster farmers. 

Third Annual Duxbury Oyster Festival - May 15, 2016

The Third Annual Duxbury Oyster Festival is taking place on May 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM at the Winsor House Inn in Snug Harbor.

This year the festival will showcase local Duxbury Oyster Farmers and will benefit students through the Duxbury Education Foundation and the Duxbury Student Union.

Oyster farmers include Island Creek Oysters, Snug Harbor Oysters, and Sweet Sound Oysters among others.

This year, festival goers can look forward to all-you-can-eat oysters, casual fare like grilled pizza and sliders and lots of beer, wine, and festival cocktails.

Purchase tickets by clicking here.

Looking forward to the third year of this event, Holly Safford, one of the proprietors of the Winsor House Inn reflects, “As new owners of the Winsor House Inn, we were eager to revise the long standing tradition known as the Duxbury Oyster Festival. You’ll want to be under the tent with us in May to see the talented kids from the Duxbury Student Union, the local band The Waves, and the best oysters on the planet that come right from our bay! This festival is so important in our quest to not only to the local oyster farming community and the individual growers, but the students of Duxbury and the foundations that support them.”

This year’s Duxbury Oyster Festival will also include live music from The Waves and DSU’s own Coffee House Musicians. Tickets are $100.00 and attendance is limited to ensure the entire festival offers a premier experience with no lines and plenty of food.

As New England continues to develop its foodie-centric culture, The Winsor House Inn is proud to present a spring festival showcasing Duxbury’s globally known oyster industry.

The Duxbury Oyster Festival is the first event of the Winsor House Inn’s busy summer schedule. By kicking off the season with this high energy event, the Winsor House Inn continues to be recognized as an important part of the Duxbury community—just as it has always been under its historic list of prior owners.


The Winsor House Inn is a historic inn and restaurant nestled in a seaside village known as Snug Harbor. Rich with history stretching from its owners to its visitors, the inn is a long-time favorite of locals who love our charm and great cuisine. The family owners have a “passion for excellence” and have used that enthusiasm to restore the inn to its rightful place as one of the community’s destinations The inn and restaurant have a welcoming English pub-style atmosphere with a cozy fireplace and special brand of New England hospitality. Under the culinary leadership of Chef Franco Carubia, the restaurant menu offers a wide range from casual fare to fine dining featuring fresh seafood, New England classics, and Duxbury’s own oysters.

We look forward to attending this festival! See you there.

For tickets to the Duxbury Oyster Festival, click here.

Camelot’s Bubbles and Blues on the West Palm Beach Waterfront 

By Rand Hoch, Food Editor, GoShuckAnOyster.com
December 4, 2015

Camelot, a unique restaurant/lounge/night club just steps away from my home, opened after much anticipation in the late Summer, 2014. Having been drawn to the concept of bringing a JFK-inspired, 1960s Palm Beach style venue to the West Palm Beach waterfront, I applied for membership long before Camelot opened its doors.

And as it is said, “membership has its privileges”.

Recently, Camelot informed members that “Bubbles and Blues” would be held every Friday evening throughout Season.  “Bubbles” –  Veuve Cliquot at $9 per flute – to perfectly compliment “Blues” ($1 Blue Points).

Needless to say, there was no way that I was going to miss the inaugural event.

I arrived shortly after five and staked out two seats by the oyster bar. Minutes later I was joined by Don Todorich, one of Palm Beach’s leading REALTORS and a frequent dining companion. Camelot’s newly hired executive chef, Joe Bonavita, introduced himself and started talking to us about oysters.

Chef Bonavita, who grew up in Long Island, New York, told us that from a young age, he often went fishing with his father, afterwhich they would prepare the day’s catch in their kitchen. From a very young age, he realized that cooking was his true passion and that the sea was his source of endless inspiration. It did not take us long to realize that Joe really knows his seafood!

The chef works with shellfish purveyors up and down the East Coast, including Sea to Table, Blue Island Oyster Company and Island Creek Oysters. He also knows individual fishermen who text him almost about what they have caught. These relationships ensure that the freshest oysters, clams, lobsters and fish are flown out each morning, so that the bounty lands at Palm Beach International Airport in time to print up the day’s menu for Camelot’s raw bar program and ever changing menu items.

“I believe fish tastes better when there’s a story and a face behind us,” Chef Bonavita told us. “At Camelot, we only buy sustainably harvested, line caught, or wild seafood.”

Chef Bonavita, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, is a man after my own heart. (I’m willing to bet that Rodney Mayo, the genius behind Camelot and several other successful South Florida restaurants and clubs, has plans for his talents beyond Camelot. (The chef has worked in Boston, Chicago, Miami Beach and New York with chefs Graham Elliot, Grant Achatz and Todd English, including a stint at Alina, a 3 Michelin starred restaurant).

While I generally eat my oysters “naked”, I was curious to see what the secret ingredient was in his mignonette (in addition to the obvious french Champagne vinegar and shallots). It turned out to be a nice SeaGlass Pinot Grigio from Santa Barbara, If was definitely worth a taste.

Despite having advertised the ubiquitous Blue Points, Joseph had obtained Blue Islands ($3 each when it is not happy hour) from Great South Bay, near Fire Island in New York. So, we began ordering by the dozen. The crisp wild oysters were lightly salty, with a sweet body finishing with a hint of celery.

The time came to sample the specialty oysters Joseph had selected for the evening.

He presented us with Tomahawks ($3 each) from Shinnecock Island (just south of Southampton, Long Island, New York), explaining that these were the only oysters produced by Native Americans. The Tomahawks were huge with shallow, jade colored cups. Contrary to what one would expect from an oyster this size, the chewy Tomahawks were pleasantly salty and sweet (almost buttery!) with a slightly herb finish.

Next we sampled medium-sized Black Duck Salts ($3 each) from Hog Island, Virginia. Although saltier than the previously two varieties we tasted, they were perfect the way they are. The crisp, sweet oysters featured an enjoyable grassy finish.

To round out his oyster selection, Joseph offered some farmed Kusshis ($4 each) from Deep Bay, in Northern Washington. While most Kusshis are generally very small, these were slightly larger. The soft, yet meaty, flesh filled the deep cups. The Kusshis had a delicate flavor and a faintly salty finish.

Joe, a master at preparing shellfish and seafood (with a modern flare) using local Florida ingredients, also insisted we try a few items from the day’s menu – Gloucester scallops and perfect Bigeye (Ahi) tuna sashimi.

Joe’s goal is to make Camelot a destination for oyster lovers as well as a nice quiet dinner spot where you can come and have a great meal. But as day turns to night and Camelot turns into a night club, the chef gets creative with shellfish towers, caviar service, even their own version of a "krabby paddy" (but only around midnight on Saturday nights).

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to this Season at Camelot.

Camelot Yacht Club
114 S. Narcissus Ave
West Palm Beach, FL
Phone: (561) 318-7675

The Oyster Tasting Journal by Julie Qiu

oyster journal
When Julie Qiu, of In a Half Shell does something with oysters, it's done right. And when she teamed up with 33 Books Co., together they perfected the pocket-sized oyster journal. 

Understanding oysters isn't very different from understanding scotch, or wine, or beer. Each are complex in their own way. 

Oysters grown in different locations will taste differently. The shapes will be different. Flavors can range from buttery to briney, seaweed, nutty and more. Textures can differ as well. I like my oysters firm and crunchy. Some prefer a creamy texture. Oysters are grown and farmed in some of our most beautiful waters where oysters contribute to improving water quality and oyster reefs provide habitat for many fish species. 

The oyster is a complex species. This journal provides a framework for thinking about and understanding the different oysters you eat. And later you have the journal to recall your experiences.  

oysters in New YorkThis journal is done well and will be delightfully enjoyed by all those who use it. Buy one for yourself and consider buying a few to share. They could make the perfect party favor for your next oyster party!

Purchase some today for just $5.00 each online here.

Need some ideas on where to eat oysters in your area? Try this City Guide.