Check it out! PUT 'EM BACK™ Oyster Knife $38.
Toadfish Outfitters, 813 Weir Street, Charleston, SC
August 5 is National Oyster Day! With that in mind, I want to share my new favorite ergonomic shucking knife, PUT 'EM BACK™ by Toadfish Outfitters, a manufacturer of oyster knives and fishing products out of Charleston, SC .
The thing I love about the knife, other than it's wonderful to hold and is a stylish blue, is that the company is eco-active, meaning it is dedicated to protecting the saltwater environment and keeping it healthy, and educating customers to better understand the cause and effect of over-harvesting versus replenishment.
I'm not the only one in the house who loves this knife. "It's an awesome shucking tool with nice opening leverage and clean cuts inside the oyster." said Jim Gilbert, my personal live-in shucker who kindly opened these Wellfleet oysters for the photo shoot.
Founded by Casey Davidson,Toadfish is committed to donating a portion of its earnings to coastal preservation and oyster reclamation. For every product sold, Toadfish plants 10 square feet of oyster beds and to date has planted approximately 2600 square feet of beds.
Additionally, Toadfish has partnered with the Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina and has recently donated twenty thousand dollars to the organization's habitat efforts. With a motto of "shuck, recycle, rebuild," Toadfish strives to live its mission of being a good corporate citizen.
Check it out! PUT 'EM BACK™ Oyster Knife $38.
Toadfish Outfitters, 813 Weir Street, Charleston, SC
One of my favorite species--Ostrea Edulis--aka the native European flat--is being introduced into the waters around Scotland for the first time in more than 100 years.
According to BBC News, overfishing caused the European flat to become extinct in most areas around the coast of Scotland in the 18th century. Today, the food industry around the country mainly farms non-native oysters.
This is now changing as "a team from Heriot-Watt University has returned 300 natives to the Dornoch Firth as part of a water-purifcation project. If the oysters survive, the plan is to create a reef covering four hectares."
Here's hoping they survive and thrive! Read more of the story--and see a video of the project--HERE.
Sad news! According to my sources, Miami's oyster social has been cancelled: "The Southernmost Oyster Social, unfortunately, did not sell enough tickets and the organizer had to pull the event." WAH.
*Thanks to my artist pal Tabitha Vevers for this image of ""Shell Series: Pearlmaker." You can see more of her lovely paintings HERE.
So excited to learn about Miami Oyster Week! (January 20-28, 2017) Billed as a "curated collection of oyster-centric event," the week's festivities are produced by The OysterHood, the dynamic duo of Rudi Ehrlich and Kevin Joseph who also created and produced such phemon events as New York Oyster Week and International Oyster Day.
Of the many events in Miami this week, I'm pleased to be invited to the Southernmost Oyster Social. The party takes place at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel's chic event space, offering sweeping views of the sunset over Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline.
The OysterHood has chosen Miami to kick off it's National Touring "Oyster Social" Concept. What's that, you ask?
"An Oyster Social is an EPICurean Oyster Experience where various rare & exotic ultra-premium oyster species are paired with premium libations of all kinds. Expect us to Pop Up the Best Raw Bar on Earth paired with various other passed DelicaSEAS as well as craft beer, boutique wine and creative cocktails."
The Southernmost Oyster Social will be presented “Miami Style," meaning it will be featuring several ultra-premium oyster varieties from best the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific regions along with a selection of craft beers, boutique wines and creative cocktails.
Sounds like heaven to me. Tickets are still available! Prices $85 - $195. Get tickets HERE.
Mondrian South Beach, 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
Saturday January 28
4:00- 7:00 pm
(Photos by Tess Gostfrand)
So excited to hear that the duo behind Edgewater’s neighborhood oyster bar Mignonette is expanding their seafood shrine to North Miami Beach! Mignonette Uptown is housed in a former-1980s aluminum-sided diner along Biscayne Boulevard. I loved the diner that was here before but I'm looking forward to checking out the new incarnation.
From the press release: "Known as a fun oyster bar and seafood haven, Mignonette offers a dynamic menu of quality dishes as well as down-home options. At its heart, Mignonette is a place to slurp oysters, sample fine caviar, dig deep into a fried shrimp po'boy, savor one of Mignonette’s beautifully-rendered main plates, and enjoy a craft beer or a glass of wine from the award-winning wine list."
Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
The 16th annual Wellfleet OysterFest, produced by Wellfleet SPAT (Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc.), is happening--as scheduled--this weekend, October 15 and 16 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day.
I say "as scheduled" because--sadly--the festival is being hosted without any oysters! Due to a public health concern with shellfish in Wellfleet’s harbor – and in response to a closure issued by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (Mass. DMF) – SPAT has decided not to serve any raw shellfish at this year’s festival. The closure is not related to recent closures due to “ASP” nor is it Vibrio-related.
The good news? The annual Shuck Off is going on with oysters sourced from outside, open shellfish areas. Additionally, food vendors at the event are dishing out a lot of other tasty treats including conch fritters, pumpkin bisque, fish tacos, roasted sweet corn, grilled swordfish, savory crepes, steamed mussels and even barbecue.
Check out this succulent slice of grilled swordfish from Hatch's Fish Market! I hear today they are grilling scallops--but you have to get there early!
I'm thrilled to report that the crowds on Saturday were epic! So many people came to support the festival--and made donations to the fund for all the oyster farmers who are losing a huge chunk of their income this oysterless-weekend. The music is terrific--the crafts booths are fab--the beer is flowing--and the shuck off continues today at 1:00 p.m.
Canadian chef John Baby and yours truly are honored to be judging the oyster competition. So come on out!
Calling all oyster lovers in Miami! August 5 is National Oyster Day and I'm happy to share the news that Midtown Oyster Bar, located in the bustling Midtown Miami restaurant alley (3301 NE 1st Ave), is celebrating with a self-service oyster bar from 5 to 7pm on Friday August 5th for a $25 all-you-can-eat oyster bonanza! And in partnership with Wynwood Brewing Company, Midtown Oyster Bar will also be offering $2 pints of the signature La Rubia. In addition guests can enjoy individual oysters at $1 piece ALL DAY on Friday August 5th (no ticket required).
Guests must have pre-purchased tickets for this event. Get your tickets HERE.
So excited to hear that the Island Creek Oysters Farm Share is now accepting memberships for monthly Farm Share subscriptions, which are available to be shipped or picked up. A fantastic gift for shellfish lovers (hint, hint)...or even as a treat for yourself.
New for this year’s Farm Share program: members can pick up at either of the Row 34 locations in Boston and Portsmouth, NH for a deeply discounted price. The summer membership costs $499 (or $299 for pickup in Duxbury, Row 34 Boston or Row 34 Portsmouth and orders are delivered on the last Friday of the month depending on availability and quantity of product from June through October 2016.
The ICO Farm Share is five different shipments of the freshest seafood Duxbury Bay has to offer at the peak of each species' respective season. Each shipment features a shellfish or locally-caught, sustainable finfish such as skate and mackerel, but also includes a sprinkling of oysters and other odd goodies - and even recipe suggestions by the ICO team and their friends.
The farm is also in the process of creating a web-based app that will allow members to update their shipping information on their phone or home computer instantly with just the order number and last name.
Quantities and products shipped in the past have included:
June: 4 dozen Oysters
July: 4 dozen Littlenecks
August: 5lbs Razor Clams
September: 5lbs Steamers
October: 6 1½lb Lobsters
A shucking good time was had by all at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s Oyster Bash. Celebrating—or as they promoted it, shellebrating—the festival’s 15th year, the event was held at the fashionably-chic Lure Fishbar at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
Sponsored by Lure Fishbar’s own Josh Capon along with Chef Jeremy Sewall from Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34 in Boston and Portsmouth, the two-hour feast included oysters plucked from the flats of Duxbury Bay, the marshlands of Virginia and the glacial waters of Washington State.
I was able to slurp oysters prepared my favorite way—naked, with a drop of lemon on the half shell—and also tried varieties with mignonette toppings, chargrilled and sizzling in garlic butter, and fried. Many of Miami’s best oyster restaurant were represented, as well as others from Charleston and New Orleans.
I arrived early and had a chance to chat with CJ from Island Creek Oyster Bar and Chef Jamie DeRosa from Miami Beach's newest oyster hotspot, Izzy's Fish & Oyster.
CJ got some help shucking from Skip Bennett, left, who founded Island Creek Oysters in 1992, and another pal (with the orange glove) whose name I didn't get! (My excuse? To busy eating oysters!)
CJ told me they brought 30 bags--about 3,000 oysters--for the event, and he guessed he'd personally open a third of them. He was also the only person at the event with a full size poster of himself (actually, there were two of him) available for Instagram selfies. ("It's kinda embarrassing," he sheepishly admitted.)
Outside, Chef Angelo Masarin--owner of the Midtown Oyster Bar and Salumeria 104--donned fashionable sunglasses to personally pop open bivalves from Island Creek that were served with a colorful drop of saffron and bottarga.
"Two restaurants were offering char-grilled oysters. The oysters on the left are from Chef Ryan Haigler of New Orlean's Grand Isle Restaurant. Made with Cajun Tasso, smoked oysters, butter and New Orleans-style breadcrumbs. (Whatever "NoLa-style breadcrumbs" means--it is obviously a synonym for yummy.) On another grill, right, Chef Ben McClean from Leon's Oyster Shop in Charleston served bubbling hot oysters with lemon, parsley, butter and Parmesan.
Represnting Izzy's Fish & Oyster Bar, Chef Jamie DeRosa, left, and Chef William Crandall served Island Creek Oysters with a sexy Latin twist of chorizo and salsa verde.
Miami's Mignonette, another local seafood and oyster bar, mixed it up a bit with Irish Points from PEI, and west coast Hama Hamas.
Last, but certainly not least, the crew at Lure served freshly-shucked oysters with an array of tasty toppings.
In another room, the folks at Oyster Creek were playing a spin-the-wheel game for prizes. I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to win this knife! It feels so light in the hand--apparently it's hollow--and I'd love to give it a try. Alas, I didn't win. The good news? It's only 364 days to the next Oyster Bash. Better luck to me next time?
Thrilled to share my story about the Canadian oyster shucking National Championship, available online--for free!-- in this month's TraveLife Magazine! Read the story HERE. See page 32. Happy reading and slurping!
I grew up spending part of every summer in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, which included eating many oysters. After stumbling into an oyster shucking competition in Miami Beach in 2006, I’ve become a fan of the sport and have written about local, national, and international competitions for the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, American Way Magazine, and the Huffington Post. I've also written oyster-centric stories for Rustik and Modern Farmer. I’ve never met an oyster I didn’t want to eat.