Oyster Class with W&T Seafood at the Astor Center!

Events / Giveaways / Partnerships

I recently was invited to attend an oyster class hosted by W&T Seafood at the Astor Center. I was super excited for several reasons:

  1. Raw Oysters = one of my favorite foods ever
  2. I’m a huge nerd and I love being in class!
  3. Oysters
  4. Oysters
  5. Did I mention oysters?

Appropriately named “Aw, Shucks: A Hands-On Oyster Primer” (I love puns and giggle at the name of this class every time I think about it), the class was a great introduction to the history of oyster consumption, oyster farming, East vs West coast oysters, wine pairings, and the art of shucking an oyster.  With 6 glasses of wine and a dozen oysters in front of me, I was ready to get started!

Our hosts for the evening were:

– Nellie Wu of W&T Seafood and Kimberly Severson of the Astor Center!  Both Nellie and Kimberly were so knowledgeable about oysters and wine, respectively – and they were able to share their expertise in a way that was fun, easy-to-understand, and humorous.

In addition to a ginormous oyster shell that Nellie brought along, a selection of books also awaited our perusal – I think I’ll have to add these to my Nook!

Since I have an alcohol tolerance of approximately zero, these six wine selections (including sparkling, and I do love those bubbles) went largely untouched – though I did have a sip or two of each to experience the pairing suggestions. Yum!

Kimberly walked us through her wine pairings for the oysters – some classic, some new and exciting.

Thankfully six of the dozen oysters were pre-shucked for me.  Though I did really enjoy learning to shuck them (there’s nothing quite so satisfying as feeling the “pop” when you’ve successfully shucked your first oyster!), I was exceedingly slow at it. So these Oysters – Ready to Eat, were definitely appreciated! Just look at how gorgeous they are:

I really enjoyed the notes for each oyster, with a little bit on each oyster’s history, origin, cultivation and taste profile.  I just love reading about food!

Then came the hands-on part (besides using my hand to bring an oyster to my mouth, that is) – learning how to shuck oysters!  Nellie makes it look super easy:

And I was pretty sure it would be easy-peasy for me too.  Little did I know how fiesty these suckers would be!  A natural oyster wrangler, I am not. However, I make up for that by eating oysters with gusto.

Half an hour later (I kid, I kid…kinda)  – voila! My first shucked oyster!

I eventually got the hang of it – can you tell?

14 oysters, 12 sips of wine, and an oyster class later, I was stuffed silly, slightly buzzzed and much more knowledgeable about these beautiful bivalves.  What a delicious Friday evening!   I would highly recommend W&T Seafood if you’re ever in the market for some seafood; in addition to oysters, they specialize in clams, mussels, shrimp and fish wholesale – perfect for parties (or…just a weekend in. What, am I the only one?). AND starting this weekend, they will have a pop-up shop at Gourmet Guild!  So definitely check them out!  The Astor Center is also a fantastic space to learn all about wine – a number of classes are offered every week, so take a look at their calendar as well!

Are you also an oyster fan? Tell me about your favorite oyster experience!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Geek in Heels
    November 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

    How fun! I’ve always wanted to attend one of W&T Seafood’s events and it seems like you’ve given me the final push!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    November 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

    What an awesome event! I’ve never shucked an oyster, so cool that they did something like this.

  • Reply
    Amy T
    November 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Aw, shucks! LOL. I love summer evenings slurping down oysters. They’re so briny and delish! I think my fave are mostly on the east coast. We’re saltier here.

  • Reply
    Nellie
    November 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    omg, how fun! I would totally take a class like this if I were in town.

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