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Oyster Olympics 2002


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Tonight is the 13th Annual Oyster Olympics at Anthony's Homeport Shilshore Bay, Seattle.  Have any of you been before?  I went a few years ago, complements of my nice next door neighbor who gave me tickets (tickets are $75, not cheap, but it's a benefit for Puget Soundkeepers who keep our Puget Sound waters clean).  If you like oysters, you'll enjoy sampling freshly shucked on the spot oysters from the more than a dozen different oyster growers represented.  It's really an oyster on the half shell tasting (plus wine, and more).  One notices the different brininess of the various waters they come from, some a little more mineral tasting, some more salty, some sweeter.  I remember I liked the kumomoto and olympia the best (alas I can't go this year).  For more details, see:  Oyster Olympics

On another note, does anyone have a favorite oyster restaurant in the northwest?  I've been wanting to go to Xinh's Clam & Oyster House in Shelton, WA.  Xinh is a champion oyster shucker and does oysters & other seafood with an asian twist.  Xinh's Clam & Oyster House    

Who's got good pan fried oysters?  Or does anyone have any oyster stories worth sharing?

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My friend Brian Fowke is exec chef at a place in Vancouver called Joe Fortes. His oyster shucker is competing tonight, and I'll be pulling for him from afar. Joe Fortes's top shucker beat the world time at the Western Canadian contest last year. Apparently the winner will be off to Ireland for the world competition. And to answer your question, Joe Fortes is the place I'd recommend for oysters on the halfshell in your region. (Forgive me Canada board for making this recommendation here.)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 11 months later...

Just reviving this old thread to report that the 2003 Oyster Olympics will be here soon. The event is Tuesday, March 25 2003 at Anthony's on Shilshole.

Here's the schedule:

3 p.m.: Oyster Olympic Competitions

5 p.m.: Celebrity Slurp

3-8 p.m.: Clean Water Celebration

Tickets are $75 and it's still a benefit for the Puget Soundkeep Alliance. Again this year, teams from local and Canadian restaurants will compete for a variety of prizes. They'll have to do all kinds of crazy things. Besides shucking, they'll have to identify different oysters by sight and taste.. and name oysters by their species and market names. Geesh! Talk about a challenge! I can't wait to see it happen :biggrin:

I'm going this year for the first time. In fact, I have a FREE extra ticket if anyone wants to join me. PM me if you're interested. :biggrin:

Edit: The free ticket is now officially spoken for!! Blue Heron and I will post here after the big event :biggrin:

Edited by girl chow (log)

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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I'm going this year for the first time. In fact, I have a FREE extra ticket if anyone wants to join me. PM me if you're interested. :biggrin:

Edit: The free ticket is now officially spoken for!! Blue Heron and I will post here after the big event  :biggrin:

Duoh! Where's the love for the fellow southender gc?? :biggrin: I think you made it WAY too easy; a 5000 word essay on how and why attending this event would have a) benefitted your enjoyment of it; b) furthered the said individual's desire to deepen their understanding of mollusks and c) how said individual's attendance would have served the community of south King County would have separated the wheat from the chaff....

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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So how do they get the little shellfish to throw a javelin and jump the pole vault?

No no no. They're on ice, so they are WINTER Olympic events. Can't wait to see Bivalve Boitano's quadruple axel this year.

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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So how do they get the little shellfish to throw a javelin and jump the pole vault?

No no no. They're on ice, so they are WINTER Olympic events. Can't wait to see Bivalve Boitano's quadruple axel this year.

HA! :laugh::laugh:That was funny!

Now I have to say it: "What would Bivalve Boitano do?"

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Edit: The free ticket is now officially spoken for!! Blue Heron and I will post here after the big event  :biggrin:

I am so happy my fast typing skills came in handy yesterday and that I am the lucky recipient of girlchow's extra ticket to the Oyster Olympics! Thank you girlchow! I'm so grateful. :wub:

I can hardly wait!! I will also give a full report along with girlchow afterwards.

But I have to say my favorite bivalve is Philippe Candeloro, (even if he is from France). What a cutie. Maybe he will be on ice with his shirt off. :wink:

winners.JPG

Edited by Blue Heron (log)
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Edit: The free ticket is now officially spoken for!! Blue Heron and I will post here after the big event  :biggrin:

I am so happy my fast typing skills came in handy yesterday and that I am the lucky recipient of girlchow's extra ticket to the Oyster Olympics!

Gloating isn't pretty. :laugh::laugh:

Edited by MsRamsey (log)

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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Duoh!  Where's the love for the fellow southender gc??  :biggrin:  I think you made it WAY too easy; a 5000 word essay on how and why attending this event would have a) benefitted your enjoyment of it; b) furthered the said individual's desire to deepen their understanding of mollusks and c) how said individual's attendance would have served the community of south King County would have separated the wheat from the chaff....

Oh man, I didn't even think about making it that tough! Ok, next time I get a free ticket to something, I'm going to make everyone who wants a shot at the ticket write a limerick or a haiku about said event. Mamster can judge the entries. :biggrin: hehehe

Blue Heron and I already have some nifty plans, including Blue Heron's swell idea to bring our own squeeze bottles full of revved up cocktail sauce or maybe a mignonette? Thoughts, suggestions, recipes are appreciated!

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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It all makes so much sense now.....

It's official: Great blue heron flies away with Seattle votes

gc is just trying to get in good with the new official Seattle bird :raz: ...

(This is my completely transparent ploy to get something on the board that is not even remotely related to food. I humbly await the axe)

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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It all makes so much sense now.....

It's official: Great blue heron flies away with Seattle votes

gc is just trying to get in good with the new official Seattle bird  :raz: ...

(This is my completely transparent ploy to get something on the board that is not even remotely related to food.  I humbly await the axe)

Thanks for letting me know. I was wondering why everyone was staring at me today. :blush::blink::raz:

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Blue Heron and I had a great time last night at the Oyster Olympics! I'm sure she'll soon be posting her thoughts, but here are my thoughts on the event.

I ate entirely too many oysters! Probably 30, maybe more. I stopped counting after the first dozen! I saw one guy slurp a half dozen in a minute. Impressive.

A number of oyster purveyors set up booths throughout Anthony's dining areas (three indoor and one outdoor area). Guests could roam around and sample the oysters, which were shucked fresh right in front of us.

Primarily, the oysters available at just about every booth were Pacifics, the most common oyster available in this area. Also available more readily were the Kumamotos, an oyster originally from Japan that is smaller and more plump than the Pacifics. Several booths carried those. I think the Kumamotos might have been my favorite. I also enjoyed the Olympias, the tiny oysters that are the only native oyster to this area (and almost were completely extinct until recently). I loved the subtle flavor and meaty texture of the Olympia oysters. One booth, from Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, had "Eastern" oysters, although I think another market name for these are "European Flats." (I could be wrong). Didn't like those! They had a funky aftertaste (I only tried two, both were wrong).

Scattered between the oyster booths were lots of Northwest wineries -- Hedges, Chateau Ste. Michelle, King Estate, Hogue and Chehelem, etc -- which offered a variety of wines, including pinot gris and noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and syrah and merlot. My favorite was a delicious pinot gris from Chehelem (a winery I hadn't heard of before last night). I had a syrah that I was surprised paired so well with raw oysters, which I've always considered a "white wine" natural. Mamster's article todayon the egullet Zine about wine is right -- drink what you like with your food. I think I'll be eating oysters with syrah more often :blink:

They also offered grilled oysters with a garlic butter sauce (amazingly good). They had a red vinegar-shallot mignonette near the grilled oysters, but I wasn't impressed. Not many booths offered sauces to accompany the raw oysters, so we were glad we brought our own. Blue Heron made a fantastic cocktail sauce (Blue Heron, tell us what went in it) and I made an Asian style mignonette with lime juice, ginger, cilantro, yellow bell pepper and shallots. We shared our sauces with a few other people we met and they loved them!

We didn't see a lot of the competitions (wine and oyster identification and a shucking contest). We saw one heat of the shucking contest and it went fast! Those guys are lightening quick with their knives. Sort of scary to watch. The moderator told the shuckers that any oyster with a drop of blood would be considered "unpresentable." He was only half joking (yikes!).

There were other noshes available for those who wanted to supplement the raw oysters... they had decent cheese platters and vegetable and fruit platters, a few hot pasta dishes and a few salads. They also served salmon, some of which was horribly overcooked. The dessert trays were gorgeous, although the nibbles were tiny and we felt guilty taking more than a few (they should have had a dessert bar!!).

All in all, a really great event and a great night. We met a lot of really nice people and even found out that the Sheraton has an oyster bar! Who knew?

And it was all for a good cause for the Puget Soundkeepers Alliance :biggrin:

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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girl chow... thank you again so much for the extra ticket and letting me tag along with you last night at the Oyster Olympics. I had a blast with you! :wub:

Whereas girl chow thought she ate too many oysters, I think I drank wayyy too much wine! All those tiny sips of this and that add up after a few hours. Like gc, I also loved the Chehalem Pinot Gris, as well as their chardonnay which was not too oaky. Chateau St. Michelle served a sparkling blanc de blanc which paired nicely. I also enjoyed a couple of syrahs and merlots, and wish I had taken better notes. Although we didn't drink any beer, Red Hook was also there.

I think I ate 3 dozen oysters or more! The kumamotos were my favorite... just the perfect amount of saltiness, brininess, texture and size. They were a favorite of the crowd, too, and seemed to disappear quickly towards the end of the evening. The prized tiny Olympias were my 2nd favorite, about the size of a thumbnail, mild and delicious. We stood there eating them as fast as the Olympia Oyster purveyor could shuck them, but he didn't seem to mind, and we didn't either, because he was a real cutie. :laugh:

Of note, during the oyster shucking competition it was announced the 2 Canadian teams from Vancouver had to cancel due to problems at the border, so unfortunately they were not in attendance (in case Steven S. is reading along).

My cocktail sauce is a basic but good one that comes from Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe book. It includes ketchup, horseradish, s & p, chile powder, cayenne and fresh lemon juice. girl chow's mignonette was really good and clearly beat the pants off the 1 mignonette they served w/ the barbequed oysters.

Edited by Blue Heron (log)
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