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Oyster ToursFebruary 5, 2015

Oysters in Thailand: Eating, Meeting, Diving, Surviving

It was the vacation of a lifetime. From slurping local and imported oysters to spotting wild oysters while scuba diving, Thailand has gifted us with an unforgettable oyster-dabbled getaway.

The Oyster Bar Bangkok

For the better half of January, B and I spent our honeymoon exploring the beautiful country of Thailand. Although I assured my husband that this wouldn’t be a full-on oyster trip, we still managed to squeeze in a few great half shell adventures. Besides, having oysters on a honeymoon feels only appropriate!

Are Oysters Really Aphrodisiacs?

The connection between raw oysters and romance is more than just a cultural one — there is some scientific evidence that backs it up. Oysters contain an incredible amount of zinc, which is known to boost testosterone in men and progesterone in women. These hormones are vital to our reproductive and overall health, so you could say that the Romans, Casanova, and King Henry VIII were on to something. Beyond the chemistry, our rituals of shucking, slurping, and savoring oysters can be undoubtedly suggestive. But seriously, get your minds out of the gutter, people!

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We started and ended our trip to Thailand in Bangkok, a true foodie’s paradise. Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or sketchy street food (I prefer the later), there’s more to consume here than most appetites or travel schedules would allow. First, some non-oyster eating highlights: delicious Khao Mun Gai (chicken rice) at the elegant The Montien Hotel, midnight shabu shabu by Lumpini Park, several bamboo steamers of Din Tai Fung soup dumplings, and garlicky fried chicken at the hard-to-find Soi Polo.

Everything we devoured was great and all, but we know what we’re really here to talk about…

The Oyster Bar Bangkok

For travelers like myself who are in search of a truly excellent oyster bar in Bangkok, there seems to be only one outstanding candidate. The Oyster Bar Bangkok is the brainchild of Bill Marinelli, an American shellfish importer, marine biologist, and OG of the US oyster market. To many around the world, he’s simply known as Oyster King.

I had exchanged a couple emails with Billy prior to arriving in Thailand and his enthusiasm immediately jumped off my screen. In person, his energy was tenfold. Had I re-read Robb Walsh’s chapter on “Wild Bill on Hog Island,” from his charming book, Sex, Death & Oysters, I would have been better prepared. Still deeply jetlagged and worn out from a long day of exploring the city, Billy was like pounding three shots of espresso. Once our talk about shellfish began, I felt like I had tumbled down the rabbit hole into Mr. Marinelli’s Oyster Emporium.

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The ambiance of The Oyster Bar Bangkok is simple and somewhat industrial. Located on a quiet residential street, this neighborhood bistro caters to a mixed crowd of connoisseurs, families, and international visitors. A handful of shellfish posters (including Billy’s very own design) and large regional maps of Puget Sound decorated the walls, making the restaurant feel more like a classroom than an eatery. My eyes gravitated to the two glass troughs that were sitting on both ends of the raw bar, one containing over a dozen oyster varieties and the other filled with fish and other shellfish.

I had hoped to find oodles of exotic Australian, Japanese, and local Thai oysters here, but to my dismay, I quickly learned that everything had been imported from North America. What?! Billy says that he only brings in product that is USDA-certified and Seafood Watch approved, which I suppose would sound like good news for most folks. But not exactly for me. This was foodie irony at its best: I had basically traveled for nearly 24 hours straight, to the opposite end of the world, to have oysters from my home country. To Billy’s credit, his selection was still pretty eclectic nonetheless… and we were really there for his company!

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Like many restaurant in Thailand, The Oyster Bar’s menu was like a manuscript. We were presented with a presentation binder filled with details about each oysters and wine. There were a few West Coast varieties on the menu that were brand new to me. Billy ordered a platter of four varieties for us to try:

Kusshi from Deep Bay, BC: a tried and true favorite in the states, but apparently new and unfamiliar to oyster lovers in Southeast Asia.

Flapjack Point from Eld Inlet, WA: Next to the Kusshi’s, these looked like giants. The Flapjack Point Oysters were bold and rich, meaty Pacific oysters. The ones we tried had varying degrees of sweetness and potency. Some were milder than others, but they were all generally delicious and fresh. These oysters are intertidally grown, bag to beach. Due to the size, they might be a little daunting for beginners.

Henderson Pearl from South Puget Sound, WA: This well-manicured bag-tumbled Pacific oyster features medium brininess and a sweet, clam-like flavor. The body was a little creamy, but also crunchy in some chews. I really liked its clean and refreshing milk finish. They are grown by the Nisqually Tribe in Henderson Inlet of the South Puget Sound.

“Iwagaki” from “Oki Islands, Japan”: A true Iwagaki oyster is of the Crassostrea nippona species. However, the ones you see below are enormous Crassostrea gigas, as Billy admits. Hence the quotations. As Emily Dickinson would say, “Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant.”

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After the raw oysters, B and I sampled a series of beautifully prepared plates while we discussed the faults and merits of farmed vs wild salmon. I won’t even get into how that went down… While Billy captivated us with his animated stories about the “wild west” days of the oyster industry, the swift and professional efforts of the staff should not be overlooked. The team at The Oyster Bar Bangkok had been very fast, friendly and efficient throughout the evening.

I’d definitely recommend a visit to The Oyster Bar Bangkok, but before you do, make sure the Oyster King is holding court. If Billy’s not around and you’re craving other varieties, consider Bélon Oyster Bar or The Raw Bar Bangkok (try to avoid Wednesday and Thursday if you can).

Island Time

We first spent time on the beautiful Phi Phi Islands and then ferried down to Koh Lipe, Thailand’s southernmost island. Koh Lipe travel tip: fly to Hat Yai (HDY), take a group shuttle to Pak Bara (2 hours, might get cramped), then take a speedboat (1 hour, might be bumpy) to Koh Lipe. This is far better than taking a ferry from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Lipe (7+ hours). It’s a pain either way, but it will definitely be worth it. Trust me.

Here are a few of my favorite snapshots.

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Oyster Culture in Thailand

Both pearl oysters and edible oysters are cultivated around Thailand. Although not much information is available online about the country’s oyster industry today, there is a comprehensive bivalve report from the 80’s that provides some basic level of understanding.

#1 There are three different species of edible oysters being commercially grown in Thailand.

  • Saccostrea commercialis / Saccostrea cucullata / Saccostrea glomerata / “Sydney Rock Oyster”
  • Saccostrea lugubris
  • Crassostrea belcheri

#2 A variety of grow out methods are employed.

  • Rock culture
  • Cement poles or pipes
  • Wooden culture
  • Tray culture
  • Suspension
  • The “being resourceful” culture (car tires, roof tiles, cement blocks, etc)

#3 There seems to be a lot of confusion and overlap with the local names for oysters.

Sidebar About Pearl Oysters

Phuket, also known as “The Pearl of the Andaman Sea” is home to many pearl farms and tourist traps. Several varieties of pearl oysters are cultured in Thailand, including the Akoya, South Sea, and Mabe. Akoya and South Sea pearls are gonad grown, usually one pearl per oyster at a time. Akoyas take 2-4 years before they’re ready to harvest in Thailand. Mabe Pearl Oysters are also called Penguin Wing Oysters, and they are used differently to make “half pearls.” It is accomplished by inserting the nucleus flush against the side of the mollusk, causing the oyster to make its nacre deposits over the nucleus, and against the inside of its shell, forming a semi-spherical pearl.

I had personal encounters with the Penguin Wing Oyster, Sydney Rock Oyster, and Crassostrea belcheri. More about all that below!

Discovering Bivalves in the Wild

During our time in Koh Lipe, I was able to get my PADI Open Water Diving certification with Adang Sea Divers. B was certified when he was a teenager, so he just tagged along and captured cool underwater footage with our new GoPro Hero 4. Fortunately, the course was pretty painless, thanks to my lovely instructor Claudia. We did four open water dives in total and were able to see a TON of sea life on each trip. Claudia even made a custom hand signal for “OYSTER” (by cupping both hands together to make an “O” shape), which we used several times.

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Here’s a still shot (above) of the Penguin Wing Oyster. The water isn’t super clear because it happened to be coral spawning season. Nonetheless, we were able to spot several of these hanging around the coral. I’m going to try and post some video once I get a chance to edit the raw footage.


On our last day in Koh Lipe, we decided to take a private longtail boat tour around the inner islands. Our friends at Sawan Resort packed us a tasty picnic lunch to go. Near the deserted beach where we shared our afternoon snack, I noticed that the big rocks just off the beach were teaming with oysters. I believe these are the Sydney Rock Oyster species, but I could be wrong. Can anyone confirm?

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Embarking on Some Risky Business

No trip to Thailand is complete without some sketchy street food and after our relatively tame Bangkok experience, I was craving for some action!

On the Walking Street in Koh Lipe, we happened across some live oysters at a seafood BBQ restaurant. These were large, Gulf-sized oysters with green and grey cement-smattered shells. They were kept in a dingy cement tank that pumped in lord knows what kind of water. Everything about this situation screamed, “Are you crazy?” But I couldn’t help myself. I’m pretty sure these were the local Crassostrea belcheri’s and I had to try one. Or maybe two. I inquired about the oysters, aka Hoi Nang Rom and here was the basic exchange that sold me.

“How do you cook them?”

“No cooking. You eat raw.”

“Oh… is it safe?”

“Yes, no problem. It’s very delicious!”

“Where are they from?”

“Around the islands. Nearby.” (She gestures in swirls)

“How much?”

“Small one, 60 baht. Medium one, 80 baht. Big, 100 baht. But I think medium is best. Not too big.”

“Ok, I’ll take two medium oysters. And a kilo of squid, half kilo prawns. And big beers please!”

The waitress took down the order, smiled and walked off. Here we go!

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A few minutes later, my local oysters arrived with an array of accoutrements. Deep fried garlic. Fresh wedge of lime. Chili oil/paste, and something else that I didn’t recognize. These were pretty traditional Thai oyster toppings. B and I looked at the dark, scrunchy oysters and then at each other.

“Are you SURE you want to eat that?” My thoughtful husband started growing visibly concerned for me.

Before he could change my mind, I took a sniff (all systems go) and slurped the first oyster up. Immediate impression: it was very chewy, almost beef-like in texture. There was no liquor to sip and the salinity was very mild. In fact, everything was pretty mild. I chewed some more. Hints of iodine and minerality slowly started to emerge, then became apparent, almost pungent. It reminded me of eating a metallic European Flat from France or a piscine Tio Point from New Zealand. I tried the second topped with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of garlic and dab of chili. The combination was a nice symphony of flavors — not bad! It definitely helped enhance the overall experience.

The next day, I felt perfectly fine. Phew.

I managed to complete my Open Water Diving certification and to celebrate, we had some steamed local crabs, a seafood stir fry, and spicy oyster salad. The oysters in this salad were raw, but fermented or pickled to an extreme degree. They were not my thing.


We spent our last several days in Chiang Mai, a beautiful city in the north. The food scene was very different from the south’s. There were a lot of spices, herbs, and fresh vegetables. We stayed at the Anantara Resort, which happened to be quite close to a popular (read: touristy) night market. There, I attempted raw oysters again at another busy seafood restaurant. A couple large, white-bellied oysters arrived with the same sort of toppings. These were similarly mild and meaty, but with the accoutrements, were just right.

I also ordered a fried oyster omelette, and it ended up being far more tasty than its uncooked counterpart. The oyster omelette is a signature dish in SE Asia. Taiwan makes a mean oyster omelette, and I believe they are popular snacks in Malaysia and Singapore as well. Here’s a great video (also below) and blog post by Mark Wiens about them.

Cooking With Oyster Sauce & Sexy Ladies

Last but not least, I have to give a quick recap of the amazing Zabb-e-lee cooking class that we took in Chiang Mai. Cooking classes are apparently all the rage in Thailand, but I would bet money that this school beats out the rest. Fon, our HILARIOUS teacher kept us chuckling and smiling all night long. She had the cutest mannerisms and jokes. “We will cook with our eMooootions,” was the key takeaway.

Fon taught us how to use several fundamental Thai cooking ingredients, including oyster sauce! I never really knew what to do with it until now. Authentic oyster sauce is made from real oysters. The oysters are boiled and reduced to a salty, brown sauce. You add it to stir fry, steamed veggies, and noodles to boost umami and flavor. A little goes a long way and if you have a high quality sauce, it shouldn’t taste fishy.

Over the course of the evening, we each made four dishes. One appetizer, one soup, one curry, and entree. My entree was a spicy seafood stir-fry (below), which somehow earned me and another gal the “sexy ladies” nickname from Fon. So every time when she’d call upon us, we were referred to as “MY SEXY LADIES.” How fun! I highly recommend her class.

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WOW. This was an epic post. I hope you enjoyed my whirlwind recap of our trip and about the oysters in Thailand. If you’ve gone on your own oyster adventure in SE Asia, I want to hear about it! Was it similar to mine or vastly different? Post a comment below. Until then, have a great weekend!

One year ago: Rapid Oyster Bar Hopping in Boston
Two years ago: I Ate the Forbidden Oyster
Three years ago: Oyster Magic at Saxon + Parole
Four years ago: Oyster Extinction? Stop Panicking and Get the Facts

Oyster ToolsJanuary 28, 2015

Where to Buy My NY Oyster Map in NYC

My New York Oyster Map highlights 30 of NYC’s best places for oysters, but how do you get your hands on this map? It’s a question that my friends have asked me for months now and I finally have an answer.


Kinokuniya Bookstore – 1073 Avenue of the Americas, between 40th & 41st St

Nepenthes – 307 West 38th Street, between 8th and 9th Ave

KIOSK – 540 LaGuardia Pl, between W 3rd and Thompson

Greenwich Letterpress – 39 Christopher Street, between Waverly Place and 7th Ave

Project No. 8 Travel at Ace Hotel – 22 W. 29th Street & Broadway

Spoonbill Books – 218 Bedford Avenue & N 5th St, Brooklyn

Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store – 232 5th Ave & President St, Brooklyn

Order it Online

If you don’t live in NYC, but still want to get a copy, you can order it online for $8 (plus shipping).

Meanwhile, my friend Jeremy sent me this photo a few days ago while he was shopping in Tokyo. Small world!
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If you’re a retailer and would like to carry my map, and/or along with All-You-Can-Eat‘s many other delightful food maps, email me and I’ll make it happen!

Oyster Know-HowJanuary 27, 2015

What Do Oysters Eat? A Q&A Series for the Bivalve Curious

In my new mini-series, “Bivalve Curious,” I’ll be asking and answering some questions about oysters that you’ve always (or maybe never) wanted to know. They say you are what you eat… so what do oysters eat?


What do oysters eat?

Oysters eat phytoplankton or small bits of algae suspended in the water. They are filter feeders, which means that they obtain their food by filtering water in and over their gills. Sometimes they’re referred to as bottom feeders, but don’t mistake them as detritivores. Whatever they can’t eat or digest, they expel as feces and pseudofeces. Not unlike myself, oysters are voracious eaters. Adult Virginica oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. To demonstrate their filtering power, here is a fascinating time-lapse of some oysters in a tank doing their thing.

You know that saying, “you are what you eat?” It’s just as true with oysters as it is with anything or anyone else. While I am highly suspect that algae and water composition impacts the taste of the oyster, it is quite difficult to quantify. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to prove the link.

Have you ever come across a green-gilled oyster?


No, they’re not sea sick. The greenish-bluish color is caused by a special type of phytoplankton known as Navicula ostrearia. The effect has been studied by scientists as early as 1820, and I found this research paper from 1885 most intriguing. The green tint is temporary and doesn’t change the taste. If the presence of this diatom subsides, then the oyster would also turn back to its original color in a few weeks. Green oysters enjoy a positive and desirable reputation in France, where they are specially cultured in Marennes, but they can just as easily occur in nature without any human interference. The photos above are of oysters from the Rhode Island and Long Island Sound, respectively. Green oysters have also shown up as south as Lynnhaven, Virginia.

You’re also probably wondering about the darker side of this equation: are oysters also eating things that can be harmful to us? It is possible, but it all depends on the location. Trace metals, chemicals, and bacteria can find their way into oysters if they are present where the oysters live, which is why you don’t see any oysters being consumed from New York Harbor anymore. (Btw: I found this blog post by Chris Len for Deep Sea News that is worth a read.) In general though, this shouldn’t be a concern. The oysters that you find in today’s restaurants and seafood markets are perfectly safe to consume. They are properly harvested from highly regulated waters that contain minimal levels of contaminants. I tend to think that people are more dangerous to your health than the oysters themselves, and this is why you should always buy your oysters from trusted sources.

Got a burning oyster question you want answered? Post a comment below or tweet me at @inahalfshell.

Want more oyster trivia? Check out my extensive Q&A “9 Things to Know About Oysters: Myths, Facts, and Trivia.”

Oyster EventsJanuary 8, 2015

New York | New Year Oyster Crawl Recap + Looking Forward

To start 2015 off right, I decided to organize a city-wide oyster crawl for anyone who wanted to celebrate the new year with good friends and great oysters. In just under one week’s time, I was able to wrangle up 12 official participating restaurants and 220 crawl sign ups. Not too shabby for its first year! Here’s the story about its inception, the planning, and most importantly, the crawl itself.



I was inspired to organize the first-ever New York | New Year Oyster Crawl when I learned about my friends’ Lauren and Laurence Edelman‘s very own Jan 1st Oyster Fest tradition. As a chef, Laurence only gets a few holidays off every year. So to make each moment matter, he and his lovely wife decided to spend the first day of every year (for the past six or seven years now) visiting their favorite places to eat oysters. Hopping around a handful of oyster bars on New Year’s Day is pretty impressive, considering what typically goes on the night before.

Just Do It

For months, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the concept. There was a lot to consider — should I ask people to pay to be on the crawl? Should I sell tickets or build a revenue share program? Should I reach out for beverage partners? Media sponsors? All of the questions about commercialism and monetization started to feel really disingenuous and petty. Kind of a buzzkill, to be honest. So then on Christmas Day, I resolved to just go for it.

The goal was to keep it simple, light and fun. For this first year, I resolved to pull together a list of Oyster Destinations and Special Deals for anyone who wanted in, free of charge. This also proved to be the easiest way to make something happen — most of my restaurant & oyster friends responded with a lot of support and positivity.

Once the crawl finished, I also received a ton of helpful feedback (thank you) about what worked, what didn’t, and what people wanted to see for next year. It would be amazing to grow the event and give it more structure, but my goal would be to still keep it affordable and flexible.

Crawl Highlights

While I couldn’t stop by every Crawl Destination, I did my very best to visit what I could. 9 oyster bars in 9 hours has certainly become my new record. Here’s a recap of the day…


My strategy for the crawl was to work from the outer boroughs in. Although there was probably no reason to fret, I was concerned that Maison Premiere was going to be packed. (I mean, it usually is.) Fortunately, there were plenty of seats at the oyster bar. My dear friend A joined me for the first dozen of the day. The Oyster Crawl flight was really terrific.

The selection featured Shooting Point Salts (VA), Onsets (MA), European Flats aka Belons (ME), Blackberry Points (PEI), Effinghams (BC), and Steamboats (WA). The assortment expressed a diverse flavor range, which varied from crisp and briny to buttery-sweet to slightly metallic and full of umami.

I was also really giddy when our server asked to see the special Oyster Crawl badge! 🙂

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When A and I left Maison, it had started to snow. This was my first time at Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co and Greenpoint, for that matter. Just like the neighborhood itself, this restaurant and seafood mart was super charming and homey. The village-esque vibe just made you want to talk to everyone around.

I ordered the Oyster Crawl special, which was a flight of half a dozen oysters — Shigoku (WA), Blackfish Creek Wellfleets (MA), and Montauk Pearls (NY) with three small draft beer pours that were still too large for me to handle without getting the “Asian glow.” The Black Duck Porter went quite well with the Shigoku, the Victory Prima Pils complemented the Montauk Pearls, and the aromatic Ballast Point Big Eye IPA made the Blackfish Creek Wellfleet taste super sweet.

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By the time I had reached my third stop, Grey Lady in the Lower East Side, the snow had turned to sleet. Nothing that a dozen of these Grey Lady Petites couldn’t solve. Although the Grey Lady refers to the thick fog in Nantucket, these namesake oysters are from the Damariscotta River, Maine. They were super plump, fruity and all around delicious. Presentation and flawless shucking also helped enhance the tasting.

Randomly bumped into a few groups of people who were on the crawl as well! Before moving onto the next stop, my bartender bestowed upon me the best gift a crawler would ever receive: a big ass golf umbrella. It turned out to be a huge crawl saver.

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After eating so many raw oysters, I felt like I needed to nosh on something more substantial. Fortunately, the specials at Live Bait really hit the spot. A spicy oyster shooter, followed by grilled oysters with smoked bacon, and a crisp oyster po’boy and beer… all for $13. A pretty good bargain, if you ask me.



Walked up to L&W Oyster Co where I met up with some more friends at the bar. L&W were offering a six oyster tasting flight as well. Their platter consisted of a Widow’s Hole (NY), Little Shemogues (NB), Glidden Points (ME), Matunuck (RI), Fanny Bay (BC), and Cranberry Creek (WA). The Little Shemogues were not so little, but oh so tasty. Flipping over the shells, I discovered an equally gorgeous sight.



The seventh stop of the night took me uptown to Crave Fishbar in Midtown East. I caught a taxi with some new oyster friends that I met at L&W. Instead of raw oysters, Crave upped the ante by offering two very unique creations. The first was an Oyster Pickleback, which consisted of one shot of Benchmark Bourbon, followed by a Black Duck Salt Oyster with Apple Mignonette chaser. It was AWESOME. I’d do those all night long if I could.

The second special featured six Black Duck Salt (VA) oysters dressed with a mildly sweet Kabocha squash puree and pistachio nut powder. The chef took care to top just half of each oyster, leaving the other half exposed. This peek-a-boo style was a clever way to give a nod to the oyster itself. While sipping some briny Junmai from Rihaku, these shucks were gone in no time.

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Feeling a bit tipsy, I wandered back downtown to Virgola, a secretive sliver of a hideaway on Greenwich Avenue. I sampled the oyster menu of Puffer’s Petites (MA), Ichabod Flats (MA), Beach Points (MA), and Montauk Pearls (NY). Although they were really meant to be savored with the brand new Virgola prosecco, I simply couldn’t imbibe anymore at the moment. Despite its petite size, Virgola brings back big, joyous memories of my birthday party last year.



Although I enjoyed meeting up with friends at each of the oyster bars, there was something wonderful about exploring them solo. I hadn’t been to Flex in quite awhile, so entering this lower level seafood haven felt like the very first time. Their crawl special was a little vague — a dozen oysters (shucker’s choice) and a glass of prosecco for $25 — but it turned out to be amazing. Shucker’s choice? It was more like slurper’s choice. I had my pick of the menu, so I selected four Kumamotos (WA), four Shigokus (WA), three Watch Hills (RI), and the very last Wiley Point (ME) of the night.

The perk of sitting at the oyster bar is that you get to watch the magic happen. I was mesmerized by Danielle’s shucking skills. Each one that she effortlessly popped open looked pristine. No bellies popped, no shards of oyster shrapnel. Must be the mussel memory. 😛 In all seriousness, the platter arrived in perfection and one of the Watch Hills was especially jaw-droppingly gorgeous. It was the most beautiful shuck of the night.

By the way, you can’t leave Flex without trying their crazy good doughnuts. The salted caramel was divine.



Finally, I rushed into a near-empty Chelsea Market for my last fix of the night at Cull & Pistol. I sat in front of the oysters and peered through the glass. A dozen and a Narragansett beer for $20. I selected four Pemaquids (ME), four Watch Hills (RI), and four Barron Points (WA) from the lengthy list. The most notable oyster had to be the monstrous Barron Point. It was about the size of small poached egg, I swear! Super sweet, pillowy, and savory with a slight mineral finish. It was an amazing way to finish an epic night.


Other oyster bars involved that I couldn’t get to include: Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn, Bait & Hook, and Flex UES. Thank you to all of the participants, restaurants, and friends for your support and involvement! I can’t wait to take the learning from this first round and make the next one even better.

Now I’m off to Thailand for my next oyster adventure…

Oyster NewsDecember 26, 2014

Top Oyster Moments of 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect back on all of the oyster adventures that were had. This was a momentous year of many milestones and memories. I am so grateful for these experiences and opportunities and want to thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way. Here’s to a bright and bivalve-filled new year!

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

Greenport Oyster Adventure: Five Fantastic Ways to Enjoy the Day — Loved shucking oysters at the Little Creek Oyster Market and re-visiting Widow’s Hole Oyster Farm.


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

Cape Cod Oyster Tour: A Look Into the WiAnno Way — Learned a ton during this incredible oyster farm immersion.


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

Kicking Off New York Oyster Week at BK Oyster Riot — There’s nothing better than slurping ungodly amounts of oysters with fellow oyster fans.



A Dozen Ways to Enjoy A Dozen Oysters in New Orleans — My stomach went on strike after this trip, but it was well worth it.


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

Virginia Wine & Brine Retreat — Loved every minute spent on the Eastern Shore of VA.



Virginia Oyster Road Trip: Lynnhaven — A close and personal look at Pleasure House Oysters.



The Hidden Pearls of Hiroshima — That time when I went to Japan to visit an oyster farm!



What You Should Know About Oysters and Sustainability — The Billion Oyster Project has got to be one of the most inspiring and awesome oyster restoration initiatives around.


View More: http://rebeccaarthurs.pass.us/julie-bryan

Oyster Love: Details from the Ultimate Half Shell Wedding — A photo-filled recap of my magical oyster-themed nuptials.