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Oyster EventsSeptember 17, 2014

AHOYSTERS, Matey: I’m On a Boat At Oyster Week!

The 3rd Annual AHOYSTERS during Oyster Week 2014 was held this year on everybody’s favorite NYC oyster bar on a boat: Grand Banks. The stormy clouds decided to play nice for this special occasion, which resulted in stunning sunset slurps. Here are some of my favorite shots from the evening.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

The Sherman Zwicker felt a little more wobbly than usual today, but that didn’t stop this 40-some-strong crowd from having a ball at the bow.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

Billion Oyster Project director Pete Malinowski opens up a box of freshly harvested Fishers Island Oysters from Fishers Island, NY, which are home-grown by his mom and pop. All proceeds from this event will go straight to helping BOP restore New York Harbor.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

In addition to Fishers Island Oysters, Matunuck Oysters from Potter Pond, Rhode Island and Island Creek Oysters from Duxbury Bay were also served. Oyster Dude CJ Husk from Island Creek was there to help out the crew. I still remember that one time when CJ showed everyone how to shuck two oysters at the same time (using both hands). Ambishuckerous.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

Oyster Week founder Kevin Joseph brought out some special accoutrements: freshly grated horseradish and wasabi root. The horseradish was much milder than I expected it to be. The wasabi root was less nasal-blasting than the chemical powder you get from cheap sushi joints. Both weren’t bad to try, although I prefer mine naked.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

I think I had about two dozen or so amazingly delicious oysters from all three farms. All three exhibited similar salinity (I’d guess 28-30 ppt… although some tasted like 33+ ppt) but there were differences in the flavors and finishes. Island Creeks were decidedly fruity, almost rasberry-esque, Matunuks were slightly earthy and sometimes very briny at the nose. Fishers Islands had a distinctive mineral and rocky flavor.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

It didn’t take long for Grand Banks to fill up. Special guests from Australia, Michael and Roland from Cowell Area School in the Eyre Peninsula also came aboard. They help run an educational program that is similar to the NY Harbor School.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

CJ humored me by posing with a basket of Island Creek oysters.

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

It’s hard to tell from this shot (above left), but the Harbor School work boat arrived carrying a couple guests! Thought that was pretty cool. Who needs cabs anymore?

Photo by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.comPhoto by Julie Qiu / InAHalfShell.com

Lastly, I’ve taken hundreds… no, thousands of sunset photos in my day, but I rarely see so many interesting plays on light as I do when I look at New Jersey. Here, the light actually illuminates some light fog (?) that was just hanging around the surface of the water.

Oyster EventsSeptember 12, 2014

Kicking Off New York Oyster Week at BK Oyster Riot

The third annual New York Oyster Week kicked off yesterday with BK Oyster Riot, a spectacular 10-variety oyster tasting and grower meet-and-greet hosted by W&T Seafood and Charles Sally Charles Catering at the ever-elegant Palm House in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Although all of the oysters were outstanding, what I really loved about this event was getting to talk to the growers and chefs. Here’s a quick photo-filled recap of the event.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

I arrived promptly at 6:30PM to catch the “golden hour” of sunlight. The balmy weather and grapefruit-tinted sunset created an enchanting ambiance for this special affair. Kevin and Rudi from Oyster Week, along with Nellie, Crystal and Jordan from W&T Seafood were busy greeting and checking in eager guests. Meanwhile, a handful of ticket holders were already making it rain (with oyster tickets) inside the Palm House.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

The Palm House is one of the premier event venues in New York — especially desirable to brides-to-be in the summertime. One glance at the floor to ceiling glass dome and you’ll understand why. Walking in, I felt like a kid in a candy store. There were 8 oyster stations, each manned with a line of shuckers. I wasn’t quite sure where to begin, but strategically moved my way to the most open space.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Taylor Shellfish Farms

Tom Stocks, who works on the Taylor’s retail/restaurant side, was shucking insanely fresh Gigacup Oyster (Burley Lagoon, WA), Shigoku (Bay Center, WA), and Kumamoto (Peale Passage, WA). The first thing that I noticed was that all of his oysters were impeccably shucked. Pristine. Not a single piece of grit or gashed belly to be found. Even when I circled back at a much busier time, the oysters were still shucked perfectly. I remembered having a similar immaculate experience at the Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar at Melrose Market in Seattle a few years ago. Why can’t all oyster bars be like that?

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Fishers Island Oyster Farm

After getting a taste of the Pacific Northwest, I headed closer to home and tried some of Steve and Sarah Malinowski’s Fishers Island Oysters from Fishers Island, New York. It was such a pleasure to finally meet Steve and Sarah, who I diligently follow on Instagram. Their oysters are great — a true New York classic — but what I think is even cooler is the fact that Fishers Island supply oyster seed to many growers along the East Coast, including several at the event! The distinctive black stripe on the shell (coupled with the black trim on the mantle), which is signature to that particular genetic strain, makes it relatively easy to identify who’s growing who’s oyster seed.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Coromandel Oysters by W&T Seafood

The first oyster station guests see when they come in is the Coromandel table. Coromandel Oysters from New Zealand are a rare, but satisfying treat. I’ve had them on many occasions and they’ve always been predictably excellent. I almost want to call them sea veggies because they taste very much like a cucumber mixed with celery! The cool thing about Kiwi oysters is that they’re in their prime during our summer (as it’s winter down under).

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Forty North Oyster Farms & Atlantic Cape Fisheries

In the red flannel, Matt Gregg shucks his new 40N Shore Point Oyster for me to taste. It had a nice, full-bodied brininess to it with softer buttery finish. I was particularly giddy about scoring the Forty North “I’m Not a Playa, I Just Shuck A Lot” hoodie, as I’ve had my eye on it for a couple of years now.

Next to Forty North, in the blue, were fellow NJ oystermen from Atlantic Cape Fisheries. They were shucking Cape May Salt Oysters, which are grown at the southernmost tip of the state. Geographically speaking, the position and shape of Cape May sort of reminds me of the Eastern Shore of VA. But they definitely had their own distinctive taste.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Montauk Shellfish Co.

Mike Doall and Mike Martinsen, the exclusive growers of Montauk Pearl Oysters, donned matching t-shirts and mesh gloves. In the last few years, Montauk Pearls have become a truly iconic New York oyster. They possess a potent, clean, and crisp brine that keeps you wanting to eat more. Sort of like oceanic potato chips that are actually good for you.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Duxbury Bay Shellfish

It was fun to reunite with brothers Paul and Matt Hagan, growers of these impressively large-and-in-charge King Caesar Oysters from Duxbury, MA. A few weeks ago, I went out to Duxbury to get a first hand look at how they work (which I will definitely be writing about soon…) The guys brought oysters and gigantic mega Cherrystone clams with them. I was really blown away by the size of both bivalves. Also quite impressed with Matt for missing school to do help with this event! He’s definitely has his priorities right.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Perfect timing: Oystour, a new oyster appreciation app, launched with the launch of Oyster Week. App creators Dana and Steve were at the event, doing some real-time usability testing between every slurp.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Barnstable Oyster Farm

Lastly, trying the Barnstable Oyster from Barnstable Bay, MA was a wonderful taste-down-memory-lane of my recent Cape Cod Oyster Tour. I didn’t get much of a chance to chat with the growers, but we realized that we shared mutual friends: Dave Ryan from WiAnno! Small oyster world.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Star struck: Oyster #Shellebrity / Pro Shucker John Bil came down from Canada to partake in the festivities. I met John at the beginning of this year at the Seafood Expo in Boston. Don’t be fooled by his poker face. He’s a very friendly guy and someone you’d probably want to have on speed dial.

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

Shuck It for the Kids! Around the room there were large black bins set up to collect oyster shells for the Billion Oyster Project. I met New York Harbor School founder Murray Fisher along with an amazing crew of teachers and other faculty. Had a great time talking to the guys about the curriculum, teaching experience, and potential BOP parties and merch to come!

2014 BK Oyster Riot. Photo Credit: Julie Qiu of In A Half Shell.

For more photos, check out the full album on W&T Seafood’s Facebook page!

Oyster EventsSeptember 3, 2014

5 September Oyster Happenings in NYC

Although the R rule doesn’t really apply anymore, there is no denying that oysters taste better when the climate cools down. Around the country, fall brings about a wave of oyster festivals and events. NYC is no different. No matter what kind of oyster lover you are, September has a special event for you!

#1 For the Oyster Wanderluster: Greenport Oyster Farm Tour & U-Shuck on 9/6 (website)

I recently went on my own (very similar) Greenport oyster adventure and highly recommend this perfectly packaged day trip with the New York Oyster Lovers. You’ll get to shuck your own oysters at the Little Island Oyster Farm Shuck Shop, get the lay of the land from Captain Dave aboard his solar-powered boat, The Glory, and learn all about oyster farming from the Osinski’s at Widow’s Hole.

Cost: $101 which includes everything!

©2014 Julie Qiu Photography for In A Half Shell. All Rights Reserved.

#2 For the “Shellebrity” Stalker: BK Oyster Riot on 9/11 (website)

Get your oyster game on at the first very BK Oyster Riot! Meet oyster growers and influencers alike at the kick off to New York Oyster Week. Presented by W&T Seafood & CharlesSallyCharles Caterers, this event is an unprecedented opportunity for guests to meet, mingle with, and learn from oyster farmers, foragers and award-winning shucking champions while eating a ton of oysters. All shells from the event will be recycled and donated to the Billion Oyster Project and New York Harbor School.

Cost: $95 early bird tickets until 9/6, then $150 after… so hurry!

brooklyn-oyster-riot

 

#3 For the Bivalve Foodie: Oyster Bash NYC on 9/18 (website)

If you’re looking for an exceptional evening of culinary revelry, definitely consider this event. Oyster Bash NYC, presented by Chef’s Table NYC, promises to be a foodie’s delight–with creatively cooked and raw oysters, cleverly paired with specialty cocktails, beers, and wines. I’ll be there giving talks about the oysters. At the end of the evening, leave with a swag bag of goodies.

Cost: $175 for normal folks, but use the promo code “HALF_SHELL_30” to get $30 off!

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#4 For the Discerning Slurper: Kaki & Sake Oyster Tasting on 9/25 (website / Facebook Event)

Time for some shameless promotion of my very own New York Oyster Week event! Kaki & Sake is a special West Coast oyster and sake pairing event where guests will get to try three different Pacific oyster varieties with six premium sakes. My dear friend Monica Samuels, sake importer & expert for Vine Connections, and I will be demystifying this exotic pairing. We’re going to cap the event to 50 lucky guests, so buy yours today!

Cost: $36 which makes this the most wallet-friendly event of them all 😉

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#5 For the Shuckaholic: Grand Central Oyster Frenzy on 9/27 (website)

The 12th Annual Grand Central Oyster Oyster Frenzy, presented by Blue Island Oyster Company, is an awesome afternoon of all sorts of oyster shenanigans. From pro shucking competitions to chef demonstrations to a enticing “Slurp Off” contest… I can assure you that by the end of the day, you’ll have some great stories to tell, Tweet, and Instagram.

Cost: FREE admission… but oysters & drinks are extra.

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Still can’t get enough?

Check out the rest of the New York Oyster Week line-up.

Join the New York Oyster Lovers meetup.

Tag your best #shellfies to @inahalfshellblog on Instagram!

Oyster EventsJune 23, 2014

The Ultimate Oyster Themed Wedding

Six years ago when I met my husband on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at a dive bar that no longer exists (thanks to the 2nd Avenue subway construction), we both never in a million years imagined that we’d be toasting to our new marriage in Maine with oysters and bubbly.

Although this blog has captured many of our oyster escapades together, this one really takes the cake… literally. Here is an exclusive look into the many oyster shenanigans of this particular oyster lover’s wedding day.

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Bridal Accessories

After scouring Etsy for months, I discovered the most beautiful, ethereal freshwater pearl jewelry by Virginia Geiger. Early on during my planning phase, I came across these gorgeous DIY gold-gilded oyster shell salt cellars on Pinterest and decided to create my own and repurpose them for a few uses: first as a jewelry holder and then as an escort “card.”

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The Escort Shells & Table Display

I spent two years carefully collecting and curating the perfect oyster shell collection for this moment. It sounds kind of insane, but since we had time on our hands, I didn’t feel pressured to compromise. Where did they all come from? Some of the shells traveled as far as Ireland and Japan, while others were “recruited” along my many oyster outings around the country. To help boost the oyster’s natural color, I sprayed a Crystal Clear Acrylic coating over the outside. The insides were painted gold and stamped with a table number.

I used coral Himalayan rock salt as the canvas for the escort table display. Truth be told, I probably should’ve ordered a grain size up. Coarser salt would’ve probably delivered a better look, but it got the job done nonetheless. Each name was painstakingly written by hand by yours truly. I learned “modern calligraphy” over a weekend through Skillshare and spared Chavelli Tsui, my ever-talented friend/bridesmaid/invite suite designer/chalkboard artist from having to add on to her lengthy to-do list. 😉

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The Table Setting

This is where Meagan and Judy, my wedding planner and florist really worked their magic. Every table had a gorgeous floral centerpiece, scattering of gold-tinted candles and lanterns, and a bone-white river of oyster shells. Judy is a fellow oyster lover and she came prepared with two gigantic tubs of shells of all shapes and sizes.

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The Oyster Bar

Now onto the interactive and edible portion of the evening! Since our wedding took place in mid-coast Maine (Stockton Springs to be exact), I wanted to highlight the local oysters from the region. Despite the rampant oyster culture in NYC, most Maine oysters are still well-kept secrets from the walruses and carpenters of the city. It boggles me as to why. The cold waters of Maine produce some of the best tasting oysters year round. My guess is that Mainers just would rather keep the good stuff for themselves! (I certainly would. Don’t know why I even bother to advertise all of this.) I consider myself lucky for being able to share both Little Island Oysters from Bagaduce River and Johns River oysters from the Damariscotta with my guests.

I first encountered the Johns River Oysters two years ago when we were scouting for wedding venues in Maine. Our friends encouraged us to try them so we purchased several dozen from the Harbor Fish Market. Grower Dave Cheney’s regimented grow-out process leverages a mix of locations along the Damariscotta and methods to optimize shell hardness and cup depth. Part of his crop are sold as Johns Rivers, while the other half are finished into Colonials, which Dave claims taste even better (hard to imagine that!).

A little more up north, Frank and Tonyia Peasley of Little Island Oyster Co. have been farming their little half shell delights along the Bagaduce River around their family island since 2009. I experienced my first Little Island Oyster last fall during New York Oyster Week, although I had no idea that they were grown so (relatively) close to our wedding venue! The Peasleys were gracious enough to help shuck their oysters and the Johns Rivers for our cocktail hour. Although I only had a quick moment during the crazy day to say hello, Frank and Tonyia’s warmth and down-to-earthness was magnetic. They are a great duo to have at any wedding reception!

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Oyster Cake Toppers

Of course, I cannot forget the other edible oysters either. I discovered these super life-like chocolate oysters on Etsy awhile ago and immediately thought about putting them atop the wedding cake. Those are also edible pearls too!

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The Oyster & Champagne Toast

Last, but certainly not least, was our unforgettable oyster and champagne toast! To celebrate our first moments as husband and wife, we thought it would be cool to share a sip and slurp with our family and friends. After we clinked the oysters shells and champagne flutes, the room fell quiet as everyone paused to savor the delicious pairing. It was the perfect way to set the mood for an incredible evening of laughter, heartwarming speeches, good eats, and oh yes, lots of dancing.

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Check Out our Style Me Pretty Features!

Style Me Pretty – Casual Maine Lobster Rehearsal Dinner

Style Me Pretty – Coastal Glamour Maine Wedding

Many, Many Thanks

This fantastical vision of our big day came together with the help and generous support of many amazing individuals:

Frank & Tonyia Peasley of Little Island Oyster Co for gifting us a with a truly phenomenal raw bar experience
Dave Cheney of Johns River Oysters for the generous gift of your signature Johns River oysters to toast with
Meagan Gilpatrick of Maine Seasons Events for the creative vision, craftsmanship, execution, & moral support
Rebecca Arthurs of Rebecca Arthurs Photography for capturing all of the beautiful details of the weekend
Judy Bourgeois of Flora Fauna for the luscious flower arrangements and dreamy oyster tablescapes
Christina Grimsley of French’s Point for patiently, and most diligently attending to us, our friends and family
Chavelli Tsui for the exquisite chalkboard menu, wedding newspaper, and other delightful prints
Simon Tai (aka DJ Taiga) of The Remixologists for getting the party started and keeping the good times going
Zach Boyce for your calm, cool and collected artistry (can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!)
Sweet Sensations for the cake and many dessert table treats
Kim Doll for the lovely do, talking me out of wearing my hair down during a rainstorm, and tent miracle
Cynthia Clayton for bridal party makeup services

Photography Credits:
Rebecca Arthurs for most of the photos (if you can’t get enough, check out her blog post about our wedding and rehearsal dinner!)
Jen Liu for select oyster bar photos

Oyster EventsJune 19, 2014

Virginia is for Oyster Lovers

"Virginia Is For Lovers" isn't just a sweet state slogan. It hints at a wondrous new world for epicureans everywhere. At the recent Virginia Craft Event held in Chelsea Market, NYC's most insatiable foodies were treated to a stunning array of homemade and hand-grown culinary delights from VA. Oysters, of course, were one of the highlights.

Virginia Craft Event
As far as tasting events go, the Virginia Tourism Corp and BCF Agency really nailed it. This semi-private media shindig was tastefully curated on all fronts — from the food & beverage representation to the venue (who doesn’t love Chelsea Market) to the decor (the beautiful chalkboard art by Carolina Ro Knight) to the design of paper goods (love the sleeve and invite).

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Yay for oyster reunions! It was nice to catch up with my friends from H.M. Terry, Pleasure House Oysters, and Shooting Point Oysters as well as meeting Travis and Ryan Croxton from Rappahannock River Oyster Co. If  you’re still of the mindset that an oyster is an oyster, think again. While these four companies all grow the same oyster species — Crassostrea virginica — no operation and product are alike, and hopping from one oyster table to the next and tasting the differences between each micro-region is what I live for!

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It’s been over a year since I’ve had the ultra boutique Pleasure House Oysters from Lynnhaven River and they are just as meaty and delicious as I remember them to be. Grower Chris Ludford estimates that the salt content from that day’s oysters were around 22-24 ppt (and has since gone up to 26-28 ppt due to lack of rain and heat), which can be broadly reinterpreted as “medium brininess.” It balanced quite nicely with the rich, buttery meat. Although Chris prefers to shuck his oysters on demand, I really liked the presentation of these PHO’s over the dark, leafy kale leaves. It makes for a beautifully styled photo, don’t you think?

I also tried my very first raw pea crab on a Pleasure House Oyster. That… was an experience. :O I have a video of me doing the deed and *might* consider posting it later…

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Across the way were Tom Gallivan’s Shooting Point Oysters. Each plate showcased two different slurps: the signature Shooting Point Salt oyster grown on the sea side of Eastern Virginia (water salinity: 32-33 ppt) and the Nassawadox Salt oyster that’s grown on the bay side (22-23 ppt). It was interesting to compare and contrast the two. The Nassawadox’s were consistently rounder in shape and deeper cupped. The meat was a bit creamier than the Shooting Point Salts. The colors and construction of the shells were also telling of the different environment that they were each grown in.

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Here we have the Sewansecott Oyster by H.M. Terry, my very first Virginia oyster love (on the left). The company’s bread and butter is actually their massive clam business, but their seaside oyster grown out of Hog Island Bay on the Eastern Shore has made quite the name for itself. After years (seriously) of talking about it, I’m finally going to go check out their farm during the week of July 4th.

Meanwhile, the Rappahannock River Oyster Company were also showing off their famous slurps: the Rappahannock Oyster grown at the mouth of the Rappahannock near Topping, VA (water salinity: 13-17 ppt) and their seaside oyster, Olde Salt (28-33 ppt). Not only are these guys pro oyster growers, but pro oyster storytellers too. They were some of the first to help change perceptions about Chesapeake oysters from commodity to differentiated/specialty product. At the event, Travis Croxton also gave me the hard sell about visiting their one-of-a-kind oyster tasting room: Merroir. 😛

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In addition to slurping a hearty helping of oysters during my time at the event, I got a chance to sip and savor many different beverages and bites. It didn’t take long for me to become particularly fixated on one cocktail — A smoked Old Fashioned mixed by Mattias Häglund of Heritage in Richmond, VA with Belle Isle Moonshine. The standard Old Fashioned is usually way too strong for me. This one, however, was just right! I’m a total newb when it comes to cocktail creation, but I really loved the addition of local maple syrup and booze-infused cinnamon to give it that warming “sugar and spice” layer. It paired nicely with the Virginia trout and acorn cracker bite by Chef Travis Milton of Comfort/Pasture in Richmond, VA

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The most interesting drink preparation was by mixologist Todd Trasher of PX/Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA. After five or six sturdy, double-handed shakes in the air, the cocktail was poured and topped with the lightest of the light foams. A beautiful mad science project! 

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Two other bites that I loved include: the slow-cooked lamb from Border Springs Farm in Patrick Springs, VA, prepared by chef Ian Boden of the Shack in Staunton, VA, and the lump blue crab dish prepared by Harper Bradshaw of Harper’s Table in Suffolk, VA.

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This was a great “teaser” for my upcoming Virginia trip. I’m headed down to the Eastern Shore of Virginia during the last week of June to eat oysters, go fishing, and relax on the beach. Perhaps there will be even more to discover once I really put on my “Lovers” hat.

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Many thanks to Pleasure House Oysters, Virginia Tourism and BCF Agency for the invite!