Take a Walk

Wednesday night I walked a different path to my destination and found Marliave and the Littlest Oyster Bar.

Friday night I retraced my steps to see if it was a mirage. It was truly there so I went inside and had the pleasure of sampling North Haven, Moonstone, and Beau Soleil oysters. Also available were Wianno and Duxbury. Although the place lacked in ambiance and service, the selection of oysters was impressive.

Another oyster bar open in Boston speaks to the strong comeback oysters are making, locally and nationally.

Next time you take a walk, take a new route and who knows what you'll find...

Who is the Worlds Best Shucker?

William "Chopper" Young!

Here are some recent articles about Chopper:

Chopper Wins — Again - March 16, 2009
Chopper's a True Champion - March 11, 2009
U.S. Takes 2008 World "OYSTER OPENING" Championship
The Oyster is His World - October 18, 2008
Remember William "Chopper" Young"?, - October 18, 2008
This was in the Wellfleet Chamber's newsletter

Shucking Competition - What does it take to enter?

Now that my shucking skills are improving, I can shuck four to five oysters per minute, I've begun to wonder what it takes to enter a shucking competition...

Here is a list of four web pages on competitive shucking:

1. Shucking Competition by John McCabe.

2. JP's World International Oyster Shucking Championship - 2008

3. Mohegan Sun Oyster Open - Rules and Regulations

4. Narooma Oyster Festival Shucking Competition - Rules and Procedures

Let me know if you enter a competition and/or how many oysters you can shuck per minute.

I might even consider eating them cooked.

Submitted by Rachel.

As an oyster-lover that has only taken to the raw variety, I always thought that all I need is a freshly shucked oyster, a touch of lemon, a drop of tabasco, or sometimes, just a nice cold pint. I considered it a crime to the perfect, delicious raw oyster to cook, boil, fry or derange it in any way.

As a fan of Bravo TV's reality show Top Chef, I was thrilled when the semi-finals landed the contestants in New Orleans. The competition among the four finalists was to cook traditional Creole cuisine to be judged by Emeril Lagasse, one of my all-time favorite celebrity chefs. I was glued to the episode when many of the contestants chose to cook with a traditional New Orleans staple, the gulf oyster.

Carla Hall won the competition with her oyster stew, a combination of freshly shucked oysters, bacon and cream. Jeff was a close second with an appetizer of fried oyster with saffron aioli and chorizo. Their recipes looked incredible, and my mouth watered as the judges sampled the fresh, meaty, juicy, perfectly cooked oysters.

Although I am an amateur in the kitchen, I love to experiment with recipes and attempt to re-create great dishes I've had in restaurants. Top Chef is one of my top shows. And more recently, as I've been avoiding the raw bar, I've been interested in finding recipes to cook and enjoy the oysters my husband shucks on a weekly basis. I can't wait to try making Carla's oyster stew, I will let you know what the judge, I mean my husband, thinks!

How was your Monday Night?

If it involved oysters, beer, great people, raising money, and a classic shuck off, I bet it was a great night!

On Monday, February 23, 2009, Shuck Off!, LLC, held a gathering for oyster lovers to benefit the Massachusetts Oyster Project. The event was held at Tavern on the Water in Charlestown, MA. For a $10 donation guests received two tickets that could each be traded for 1 beer or 4 oysters. As you might imagine, the night didn't end before a classic shuck off. The packed crowd enjoy the event but those who arrived early enjoyed it the most as the 400 oysters donated by Island Creek Oysters went quick. If you've had an oyster from Island Creek in Duxbury, MA, you can understand why these went so fast.

The next time you hear about Shuck Off! putting on an event, check it out! This is a fun group of people who are trying to make a positive difference in the world of oysters. Be sure to spend a few extra dollars on a clever t-shirt as they donate some of the profit to the Massachusetts Oyster Project.

I look forward to posting information on the upcoming events associated with Shuck Off!. Stay tuned and see you there.

Oyster Shells - A Great Wedding Decoration?

Indeed they are.  Rachel and I were married on June 28, 2008, at the Coonamessett Inn on Cape Cod, MA. The planning started about a year in advance. Eventually we secured the location, band, photographer, officiant, cake, dress and of course a raw bar. Leading up to the wedding we were shucking oysters at home once or twice a week. Sometimes for dinner, sometimes for a snack or appetizer and often with friends. It's during this time we had a great idea!

 We decided to save the shells to use at the wedding. After we ate oysters, we would wash the shells and then put them through a cycle in the dishwasher. Rachel would then keep the "pretty" shells for us to use. We decided we would need 200 shells to place on tables at the wedding. I was so excited. I knew we would be eating at least 250 oysters at home during the next seven months. We accomplished our goal with plenty of time to spare. The shells looked great at the wedding added to our special day. ...

Wellfleet Oyster Fest - October 17-18, 2009

Save the Date - Mark your calendar now for the 9th Annual Wellfleet Oyster Fest. An event I don't like to miss and I don't recommend you skip if you can make it to Wellfleet, MA on Cape Cod in October.

For the What, When, Where, To Do's, Who, Why, and all the information about the Wellfleet Oyster Fest, click here.

I can tell you from experience, arrive early on Saturday to avoid a long wait for parking and plan to spend the day as there is lots to see, do and eat. If you don't get to everything or eat everything on Saturday, do not panic. The Fest is two days so wake up on Sunday morning and go back for more!

I hope my favorite vendor returns again this year, W.O. Hesperus. They make great hot sauces and last year I got a Kick in the Nuts and enjoyed it!

I know my father-in-law will be looking to add to his collection with an item from Mike McCarthy's Mattapoisett Bird Works.

For a complete list of artists and food vendors look around on the Wellfleet Oyster Fest website.

See you in October!