Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fast before the Oyster Festival, June 2-3

New location, great restaurants, live entertainment, oyster eating contest!

Lucien Gunter of Acme Oyster House
works to dispel rumors that one
should not partake in eating
the Gulf oyster during months that
do not contain the letter 'r'.
"It’s a misnomer that one shouldn’t indulge in Gulf oysters in months that don’t contain the letter ‘r’,” said Lucien Gunter of Acme Oyster House. “June is actually the best month for oysters and they are at the height of perfection, plump and salty.”

Gulf oysters are some of the most delicious in the world and at their best, are juicy and briny. Whether they are raw, charbroiled, in a gumbo or fried, we can get enough of these bivalves. The New Orleans Oyster Festival kicks off June 2-3 at a new site—Woldenberg Park on the Mississippi River.
“The New Orleans Oyster Festival was something that was in planning long before Hurricane Katrina,” said Lucien Hunter of Acme Oyster House. “Holding the festival in June has generated questions about whether or not oysters are good in the summer.”

The oyster has seen its fair share of struggles as many articles have reported the impact on the static grown shelled delicacy following the BP Oil Spill. One industry insider attributes the high availability of the oyster right now to the fact that those out-of-Louisiana aren’t assured of their safety even now.

But here in Louisiana, we can’t seem to get enough and festival goers will have the opportunity, unlike any other, to try a wide array of oyster dishes in one spot.

With nearly 20 of New Orleans finest restaurants  featuring the beloved oyster be prepared to enjoy an oyster boudin po-boy from Superior Seafood, meat and oyster pies from Remoulade, BBQ oyster po-boy from Red Fish Grill, pepper jelly oysters from the Gumbo Pot, an oyster brochette po-boy from Galatoire’s, fried oysters with foie gras and truffle aioli from Elizabeth’s, charbroiled oysters from Drago’s, bourbon BBQ shrimp po-boy from Bourbon House, raw oysters on the half shell from Acme Oyster House, oyster Almondine from Borgne and so many others.
BBQ po-boy with blue cheese by Red Fish Grill takes the
traditional fried oyster po-boy and kicks up it!

Good news for previous Oyster Festival attendees, the festival this year relocates to Woldenberg Park away from the former site which was a scorching blacktop parking lot that became so unbearable at moments and certainly for those restaurateurs and staff that worked the two-day event. Woldenberg Park will certainly be transformed into a smorgasbord of oyster creations this weekend. 

In keeping with the philanthropy that is embedded deep in the heart of Louisiana’s restaurant industry, this festival benefits a great cause. Last year, the festival also pitched in to fulfill needs of added security in the French Quarter.  
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Live entertainment like Bonerama, Rockin' Dopsie,
Kermit Ruffins and Irma Thomas are just the highlights
of who you can expect to hear at the 2012 New Orleans
Oyster Festival.
“The funds raised through sponsorships and restaurant booth rentals from the festival goes to coastal restoration, specifically for the rehab of an island that was Black Bay,” said Gunter. “Last year, the festival also made a contribution to the French Quarter division of the New Orleans Police Department for bikes and scooters.”

This Saturdays line-up of live entertainment features the Treme Brass Band, Rockin’ Dopsie, the Benjy Davis Project and Wet Willie will surely have people Shuckin’ and Jivin’. Sunday’s entertainment kicks-off with the Zion-Harmonizers, Kermit Ruffins, Bonerama and concludes with “The Soul Queen of New Orleans,” the legendary Irma Thomas.

If you are planning to attend the festival on Saturday, P&J Oyster will host an oyster shucking contest. The art of shucking will be celebrated in this extremely competitive contest of skills. Local shuckers will compete to see who can shuck the most, the cleanest and most appetizing oysters in just two minutes. 

Sunday, Acme Oyster House will host an oyster eating contest with nearly a dozen major league eaters. Last year, Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertolett took first place in the Acme Oyster Eating Contest and set a state record by eating an astounding 39 dozen (468 individual) oysters in eight minutes. 

New Orleans Fish House will recognize Louisiana oyster farmers who have planted and nurtured their prize oysters with the Largest Oyster Contest. Oysters will be judged on the length, width and weight. The contestant’s oysters will be displayed throughout the festival under the cultural tent.

For the full menu and entertainment schedule, visit www.neworleansoysterfestival.org.

We can't wait until this weekend!

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