Island Creek Oysters - great tasting, great fun and a great business.

I recently enjoyed a night of eating Island Creek Oysters at a local Boston raw bar. Intrigued, I wanted to learn about the oyster and its origins... where exactly is "Island Creek" and what is it all about? I was pleasantly surprised to find so much information online...

1. Island Creek Oysters has an informative website with lots of oyster info and very colorful photos by David Grossman.

2. They have a Facebook page with 1141 fans. To become a fan, just sign up for a free Facebook account and search for Island Creek Oysters. Island Creek has a fun contest going on right now called, "Where in Boston is CJ"?

CJ, also known as the Oyster Dude, was recently featured in a magazine called the Improper Bostonian, click here to read the article and to learn more about him.

The current contest consists of finding CJ while he is driving in Boston then photographing yourself with him and his truck. Then you must post that picture on the Island Creek Facebook page. The most entertaining picture will win ICO stuff: oysters, gear, all things Island Creek.

Today was my lucky day as I found CJ outside No 9 Park. Here is the photo:

Wish me luck in the contest. I would love free oysters or anything else from Island Creek!

3. They have, "Shucked". Shucked is a blog authored by a journalist, Erin, who spends her days working on the oyster farm.

4. Finally, Island Creek has 62 followers on Twitter. To learn more about Twitter or to sign up to receive tweets, click here.

Clearly this is group of fun people but make no mistake about it, when it comes to work, they are all business. Have a look at this web page for more information about their business story.

Now, I can't stop thinking about oysters but I think I might have to wait until the May 3rd event at B&G Oysters.

Oyster Invitational, May 3, 2009 - Boston

Oyster Invitational
Sunday, May 3, 2009
12pm-8pm, rain or shine!

B&G Oyster’s 550 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02118

What better way to kick off the summer season and celebrate B&G Oyster’s 5th patio opening than with an oyster extravaganza? Join us on Sunday, May 3rd for a day filled with friendly (and tasty) competitions, a discerning panel of judges, cold beer and oyster-friendly wines, signature small plates, unlimited oysters, and even appearances by the WORLD’S fastest oyster shucker!

Tickets are available by calling (617.423.0550) or visiting B&G Oysters and are $45 per person in advance ($55 day of). Ticket price includes admission, one raffle ticket, two drink tickets, and unlimited oysters along with passed signature dishes & competition dishes. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Massachusetts Oyster Project, an organization dedicated to the restoration of oysters to marine estuaries in the Boston area.

The celebration will continue across the street at Stir (102 Waltham Street), where B&G servers and chefs will host “What’s your Oyster Profile?” classes throughout the afternoon. The 45 minute class will explore east coast and west coast varieties and include a sampling of oysters and a glass of wine. Tickets to the class will be available for $40 (or $75 for class plus entrance to the Oyster Invitational) and a spot may be reserved by calling or visiting B&G Oysters. In addition to the classes, author Rowan Jacobsen will be at Stir for an afternoon book signing.

B&G Oysters
Great Bay
Kingfish Hall
Neptune Oyster
No.9 Park
O Ya
Sel de la Terre
Summer Shack
Chopper Young, The World’s Fastest Oyster Shucker
Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Geography of Oysters
Island Creek Oysters
Cotuit Oysters
Harpoon Brewery

Schedule of Events:

12:30 to 1:15 “Discover Your Oyster Profile” Stir Seminar*: Are you more East Coast or West Coast? B&G servers Heather Kennaway and Mark Simes will guide guests through the ins and outs of East and West Coast oysters complete with a sampling of different varieties and glass of wine.

12:45 Raffle Drawing

1:00 B&G Shuckers Shuck Off!: We’ve been debating and they’ve been training, so who’s the best? Today we find out when B&G’s top-notch team takes on their Chef in the fight for the title of B&G’s fastest shucker and the right to be B&G’s champion in the Oyster Invitational Shucking Finals!

1:15 World’s Fastest Shucker Demo: Our guys are fast but this guy is faster! 37 oysters in 2.5 minutes fast to be exact! William “Chopper’ Young from Wellfleet is the fastest shucker in the world and winner of the Guinness World Oyster Opening Championships and he’s here to demonstrate his shucking prowess.

1:15-2:00 Book Signing at Stir: Meet oyster guru, Rowan Jacobson, author of A Geography of Oysters. This book is a staff favorite and a must-read for any oyster lover.

2:00 World’s Fastest Shucker Demo: William “Chopper” Young demonstrates his unique oyster shucking technique, which has earned him bragging rights as the world’s fastest oyster shucker.

1:30-2:15 Chef’s competition: Best Original Raw presentationWhile we all appreciate the sublime simplicity of an icy, unadorned oyster, a little creativity from chefs is always a fun thing to observe (and taste). For this competition, three chefs will think outside of the box and present their most original raw oyster dish.

2:15 to 3:00 Stir Seminar*: We all know that the staff at B&G knows their oysters. But even we get stumped sometimes. When we have a question, there’s one guy we go to: Rowan Jacobson, author of A Geography of Oysters. He knows it all! In this class Rowan will guide guests through different varieties of oysters, East and West Coast, North to South, to help determine their oyster profiles.

2:45 Oyster Company Shuck Off!: Yeah, they grow great oysters, but how fast can they shuck ‘em? Oyster farmers from Island Creek and Cotuit Oyster Company show what they can do with a shucking knife.

3:00 Raffle Drawing

3:15 World’s Fastest Shucker Demo William “Chopper” Young, the world’s fastest oyster shucker shows off his stuff. Be quick, or you might miss it; Chopper can shuck 37 oysters in 2.5 minutes!

3:15 to 4:00 Book signing at Stir: Chat with Rowan Jacobson, author of A Geography of Oysters.

3:30 Invitational Shuck Off! Round 1: Professional oyster shuckers from O Ya, Great Bay and Kingfish Hall face off for a place in the Invitational finals.

4-4:45 Chef’s Competition: Best Riff on a ClassicOysters on the half shell with mignonette, oyster po’ boys, & oysters Rockefeller are all tried and true classics but in this competition, participating chefs will present their modern take on a favorite, time-honored dish.

5:00 Invitational Shuck Off! Round 2 Neptune Oyster, Summer Shack and No 9 Park have sent us their fastest oyster shuckers to battle it out in our Shuck Off!

5:15 Raffle Drawing

5:30 Shuck Off! Finals! Who’s the fastest of them all? The day’s festivities culminate with this final competition. B&G’s Oyster Shucking champion will take on three challengers in the final Shuck Off of the day!

She is currently working on an oyster farm for a year.

Many of us dream but only a few turn the dream into a reality.

With pleasure I introduce you to Erin, "A 31-year-old, Boston-based online editor and freelance writer who’s taking a break from the media world to work on an oyster farm..." Not just any oyster farm mind you, the internationally known Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, MA.

Spend your free time today reading her blog, Shucked, and you'll feel is if you were on the farm with her. I can even taste the bacon wrapped scallops she recently described cooking and eating. If my local fish market was open this late at night, I would not wait another second to try to cook them the way she learned from Berg. Who is Berg you ask? Take a look at ICOlogoy to find out.

For more frequent updates join the 107 other people who follow Erin's every move on Twitter.

Massachusetts Oyster Project - Let them flourish!

Oysters are more than just something something tasty to shuck and eat. Who knew?

The Massachusetts Oyster Project is working to "return Massachusetts marine estuaries to their historic natures through the re-introduction of once native oysters. Through the placement, we can improve water quality, as well as attract other sealife including crabs, eelgrass, shrimp bluefish and striped bass."

For more information about the Mass Oyster Project, click here.

To learn more about the environmental benefits of oysters, click here.

Video of oysters cleaning water:

Check back soon for more on the Mass Oyster Project. During April and May I will provide updates on how their oysters are doing.