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Valentine's Oyster Night

“Oysters lead to Discussion, to Contemplation, to Sensual Delight...... and DAMN STRAIGHT........ they lead to ROMANCE”

I look forward to being your Oyster Man. Much ❤️, Brent


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Deconstructing Dinner

On, Saturday, November 4th, 2017, I look forward to again, being your....... "Oyster Man". Plan to attend this evening at the movies, over beers and oysters.

"As hey, no Film Festival, Beer or Oyster event in the world is independent of the tides, the moon, the physical and emotional temperature surrounding it's INHERENT GOODNESS.

Let's make this evening MEMORABLE!"

Cheers and Thanks, Brent

Craft (Canada, 2014, 62min) – From coast to coast independent craft brewers are pushing the boundaries and raising the bar on the most popular alcoholic beverage on the planet. With the industry experiencing sustained double-digit growth, breweries are put to the test to maintain quality, creativity and integrity in the face of this voracious demand. From British Columbia filmmaker Craig Noble 

Monsieur Oyster (France, 2015, 5min) – From Panthalassa – a journal that discusses contemporary culture and our unique relationship with our oceans. Joel Dupuch is not only one of the most famous oyster farmers of our times but also a renowned actor playing alongside talented artists like actress Marion Cotillard. Dupuch divides his life between his restaurant in Bordeaux and his oyster farm in Lège-Cap Ferret.

Live Music
w/ Jesse Lee & Rich Rabnett

Annual Oyster Bar
Nelson’s very own oyster man Brent Petkau will serve up his $2-buck-a-shuck oyster bar.

Location 422 Vernon St.
Venue Spirit Bar (Hume Hotel)
Time 06:30 pm
Price $12 general / $45 festival pass
 
 

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An Oyster without the Rrrrrrrr ?

While attending and participating in the 22nd annual Cortes Island Oyster Feastival" aka "Seafest" something feels wrong, desperately wrong, when the ........"RRrrrrr" is taken out of the words Raw Oysters. Yes, the evolution of the Cortes Island shellfish culture and sub-culture, (which over the past 50 years has sold and sent out millions upon millions of oysters, of all shapes and sizes, and almost as many pounds of clams, scallops and mussels to markets all over the world) .....is one that is constantly changing, evolving for better or for worse and growing greyer with each passing year.

Thank GOD, that an exquisite tasting last minute presentation of spot prawns, filled in for what has traditionally been "The Raw Bar", always presented in the finest form IMAGINABLE, that is, same day fresh oysters pulled out of our waters the morning of the festival and then shucked and proudly presented by the Cortes Island oyster farmers that grew and harvested them, for an appreciative crowd of more than 600 seafood loving aficionados.

How does the Bruce Cockburn song go?????...."THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL IS IT ONLY GETS WORSE"..... when red tape and regulations get in the way of "Lusty Bits of NOURISHMENT"...... on your lips.

I am SADDENED and INSULTED...... though I must admit, I did find some raw oysters, "behind the scenes", that were PERFECTLY SHUCKED. God, did they taste wonderful as they sent me ...... leaping OVER THE MOON!


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John Steinbeck

These profound words of my hero, the late, great, John Steinbeck, are so indelibly etched into my mind's eye, that when I too am working in my tide pools, collecting oysters, digging for clams, or just LOOKING and TOUCHING....... I FEEL ..........."RELATED TO THE WHOLE THING".

When working in such a state of mind, it's very easy to search for and find the........"PERFECT OYSTER"


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Warning

"Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and all of the public narratives being offered to give sense to that life, the EMPTY SPACE, the GAP, is ENORMOUS". 
R.I.P. John Berger (The Shape of a Pocket)

Folks, BC oysters are just fine to eat. Believe me! .... not the main-stream media or health regulation agencies whose marching orders for the past 5 months are all too often to speak about "airplane crashes instead of airplane landings."

But don't for a minute ever think that when eating a raw oyster, that something can't go wrong or is without risk. No lab testing will ever give you 100 percent confidence that everything about the "oyster", is OK.

As in life, or when putting a "Lusty Bit of Nourishment" to your lips, when taking intelligent calculated risks, 
the WORLD OPENS UP TO A WHOLE LOT OF WONDERFUL POSSIBILITIES.

And it might be wise if we as an oyster risk-loving culture, were to get back to the way BC oysters were mostly consumed in the "olden days". 
When I started oyster ranching 20 years ago, (and back then you could actually make a fair living), we were eating and producing far more larger "cooking" oysters, which kills off norovirus concerns., RIGHT? The numbers were something like this. 
 25% consumed raw, 75% cooked. Today, the numbers are pretty much the exact opposite. The fancy and very sexy little cocktail sized oysters for raw consumption make up 75% of oyster consumption / production with 25% now being cooked / produced.

This is where things get interesting. If oyster production were to go back to the old ways, and oyster shucking plants were restored and brought back into use and shellfish farmers were actually paid a fair price that kept pace with inflation, oystering would again become $$$$$$ PROFITABLE! in British Columbia.

I can't wait for that day to happen!


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Precious memories, don't just happen

Over the past 20 years, a pronounced and passion-filled goal of mine when shucking and presenting oysters has always been to create......MEMORIES, for myself and for others. "Precious perfectly shucked memories" to be more precise, don't just happen but are the product of when the whole is greater than the sum of all the parts. It's all about giving that certain precious moment..... the "EXTRA SPECIAL CARING TOUCH". Absolutely, categorically, I have no time or respect for a less than perfectly shucked oyster. And I'm not big on "Bad Memories" either!

And so last summer, at my daughter Hannah's birthday party on Cortes Island, I fondly remember we had BBQd spot prawns. Today, being a special Easter weekend, why not continue with creating....... more "precious memories", which I'm certain will beget more and more "precious memories"
In the spirit of "Making the WORLD EVERYBODY's OYSTER".......Happy Easter


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Try to eat LOWER ON THE FOOD CHAIN"

All I know is that when ever I catch a 25 lb. Pacific octopus in my spot prawn traps, and even if they have gluttonously consumed all the prawns I thought I'd caught and should have been mine alone, I just simply need to return them quickly to the sea and try to eat "LOWER ON THE FOOD CHAIN"......by having an oyster or clam instead.
These are highly evolved creatures of the deep. When you "connect" and hold them in your hands and they look back at you with such INTELLIGENCE and WONDERMENT, you have to give your head a shake and think twice about how special all life is on this precious planet and what you are going to have for dinner that day.

 

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Fire in the Belly

It all began going into these early, rainy days of spring, with having a bit of FIRE in my belly, a downright desire to have for lunch, a few of my own charbroiled "Oysters Gilhooley", over an alder wood fire, simply adding a bit of butter, worchestershire sauce, finely chopped garlic, Tabasco and grated aged Parmesan and YOU literally .......BEGIN TO COMMUNICATE with the DIVINE. (This feeling I talk about is almost like having a great orgasm)

Not kidding. These "Lusty Bits of Nourishment" are so easy to prepare, so Sinfully Delicious, and and and .......

.....I should have made more. And I really need to get back to work.

If any of you are interested in this brilliant and very simple recipe, just do a Google search for "Oyster Gilhooley" and learn more about the oysterbar in San Leon, Texas where it originates from. This is a place I must visit before I die. The folks in the Gulf, who truly have a love-affair culture with seafood of all kinds...... have lots to teach us plebeians as cultured love affairs of any kind, always do. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Oysters-Gilhooley


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This Morning

This morning, sipping strong, black Oso Negro coffee at 5 a.m., the plan was to follow through with my usual monthly routine of commuting between Cortes Island and my home in Nelson. I long and love to sell and shuck oysters for the folks in the Koot's

But "Reading the SIGNS" ........tells me to ....... cancel all work commitments, .........a 17 hour drive through the night on snow and ice filled roads, which includes 3 ferry rides and a 40 minute boat ride and to use my COMMON SENSE SMARTS ....... and to put another log on the fire, roast a few oysters, .......and to have an OFFICE / GALLEY / READING Day.


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The Best Ingredients Make The Chowder.

Folks are passionate about their chowder and most will tell you they have the best chowder recipe. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But you just know the best recipes begin with the best ingredients and farmersdotter has access to the best ingredients in the world. Beginning with shellfish from the Oyster Man. He is the authority on shellfish.

Unless you live on Oyster Man’s delivery route between Cortes Island and The Kootenays you are most likely unaware of him. We are fortunate to be able to buy these amazing fresh bivalves as he passes through the Similkameen Valley en route to Nelson .

Mussels, Clams, and Oysters, nurtured in the chilly waters off the coast of British Columbia. These guys are arguably the finest shellfish available anywhere.

We always buy enough seafood to have a feast the first night knowing the leftovers will become chowder. See our preparation for steamed mussels to get you started. This works well for clams or a combination.

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The New Rules of Oyster Eating

The New Rules of Oyster Eating

Twenty things you need to know.

By Rowan Jacobsen Art by Wilson Tanner

A decade ago, I wrote a book called A Geography of Oysters that celebrated the romance of oysters, the primal rush of slurping a raw denizen of the sea, and the mysteries of molluscan terroir. The book struck a chord, and American oyster culture has been in overdrive ever since. Where there used to be a few dozen places in the country from which you could get great oysters, and a few dozen in which you could eat them, now there are hundreds. But with every bored banker throwing a few oyster cages off his dock, and every dive bistro reinventing itself as an oyster bar, oyster know-how hasn’t kept up. I’ve never seen so many scrawny, mangled oysters going down so many clueless gullets in my life.

It’s high time for a primer. Over the past year, I’ve been visiting oyster farms and oyster bars across North America for a new site called Oysterater and a new book called The Essential Oyster. During that time I’ve settled on twenty rules for choosing—and dispatching—oysters. Use them, set your friends straight, and for God’s sake tell your servers. Viva la revolución.

1. Know Your Oceans

The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans taste different, and oysters draw most of their flavor from the waters they live in. The Atlantic is a pure, sharp brine, while the Pacific is sweeter and more kelpy, like miso soup. Keeping that in mind can help steer you toward your oysters of preference, especially if you also:

2. Know Your Species

Most of the oysters consumed in North America are either the Eastern oyster (from the Eastern seaboard to the Gulf of Mexico) or the Pacific oyster (from British Columbia to Baja). The Eastern tastes like brine and broth with a sweet-corn finish. The Pacific tastes like cucumber or watermelon rind. Hugely different. Most people strongly prefer one or the other. A classic example of an Eastern oyster would be an Island Creek, from Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts. A classic Pacific would be a Hama Hama from Washington’s Hood Canal. There are also four other minor species of oysters you might encounter. Kumamotos are like baby Pacifics, and have even more of that green-melon flavor. European Flats, also known as Belons, are the native oyster of Europe and taste like a battery terminal covered in iodine. Olympias, the only oysters native to the West Coast, are tiny and taste like a Bloody Mary. Kiwas, the native oysters of New Zealand, are closely related to the European Flat and are, pound for pound, the most ferocious oyster I’ve ever tasted. They are only now becoming available in the United States. Try one if you dare.

 

3. Salty Places Make Salty Oysters

All day long, oysters pump seawater through their bodies, filtering out the plankton. They become just as salty as their environment—which can vary a lot. The upper section of Chesapeake Bay has only one-third the salinity of the ocean. Estuaries like Puget Sound and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence are in between. If you’re a full-on brine hound, look for oysters grown in pure ocean water, like Fishers Islands and Hog Island Sweetwaters. If you like an oyster with a fresh, mineral bite, look for oysters tucked near river mouths, like Murder Points. If you prefer balance, split the difference. Oysterater maps all the world’s oysters, so you can make a pretty good guess about salinity and water temperature, which will help you to:

4. Follow the Frost Line

Oysters are strongly seasonal. They eat algae, which generally have a big bloom in the spring (as soon as water temperatures begin to warm), proliferate through the summer (when sunlight is abundant), tail off in the fall, and go dormant in winter. Oysters go into hibernation in the winter, when their food supply disappears, just like bears—and to survive the winter dormancy, they stuff themselves in late fall. They get plump and sweet, then live off their reserves. By early spring, they are emaciated. So: Most oysters I know are best from November through January. Far northern oysters, which have to survive the longest dormancy, can be crazy sweet around Thanksgiving or Christmas. They also suck in March and April, when southern and Pacific oysters have already been feeding and fattening for a month or two. Following these trends will lead you directly to Rule No. 5:

5. Don’t Settle for Skinny Oysters

More often than not, the oysters served in raw bars look like this—a shrunken gray ghost in a pool of seawater. That oyster is running on fumes: no fat, no glycogen, no reserves, no sweetness. It’s just going to taste like saltwater. An oyster should be plump and opaque, completely filling the shell, like these Beauregard Islands here. That photo was taken in April, when Gulf Coast oysters had been feeding heavily for months, but Northern oysters are still sleepy and starved. Among other things, this means:

6. Don’t Diss the South

I’m so bored with northern chefs telling me they don’t serve southern oysters because southern oysters aren’t salty, firm, or safe. These chefs haven’t kept up with the times. It used to be that the last great wild-oyster harvests came from Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, so these were the only southern oysters most people had ever tasted. Wild oysters are dredged by the ton and sold by the sack; they get none of the pampering of farmed oysters. They tend to be gnarled, muddy, and less salty, because wild oysters thrive in brackish waters—like Chesapeake Bay and the Louisiana coast—where their many saltwater-loving predators can’t go. That’s how the South got a reputation for bland, skanky oysters. But in the past few years, growers in the Southeast and Gulf Coast have been using state-of-the-art gear to farm oysters in super-salty waters, and they are cranking out some of the briniest—and best—oysters in the country, such as Virginia’s Sewansecotts and Alabama’s Point aux Pins.

 

7. Don’t Diss the Farm

Almost all oysters are farmed these days, and that’s a good thing. The debacles that are salmon and shrimp farming have conditioned everybody to think aquaculture is inherently bad, but shellfish aquaculture is actually the greenest form of protein production on the planet. Shellfish get all their food by filtering algae out of the water. You just put baby oysters in the water and take out market-size oysters two years later, leaving the water cleaner than you found it. Win-win. Also, oysters don’t move, so there’s no such thing as a free-range oyster. A farmed oyster gets much better (i.e., roomier) living conditions than its wild kin. Choose the farmed ones. Support the farmer. And forget the R rule (which suggests eating oysters only during months that have an R in them, i.e., September–April); that applied only to wild oysters.

8. Don’t Settle for Scrambled Oysters

Most of the oysters served in restaurants have been butchered in ways that serious oyster people find completely unacceptable—and most of the people eating these oysters have no clue. The web is littered with horror shots of oysters that were apparently opened by Hannibal Lecter. Here’s a beaut from Chow.com. What the hell happened to those things? If you get served oysters that look like this, don’t go back. The muscles have been hacked and the bellies have been shredded, causing the juices to spill out into the shell. A few of these have been flopped over to try to cover up the crime scene. A proper oyster is one with its liquor still safely running through its veins, waiting to burst when you bite. Here’s a lovely Saint Simon from New Brunswick. Note the smoothly severed muscle and the unmolested belly (and the rust-tinged shell edge, classic sign of a Maritime oyster, due to the preponderance of red sandstone in the region). The mantle looks perfect. Want more oysters like this? Then:

9. Get as Close to the Shucker as Possible

What do you do when you walk into a sushi bar? Huddle in a distant corner with your nose buried in a copy of The Tale of Genji? No, you belly up to the bar and try to mind-meld with the chef. You want his knowledge, his approval, and his best shit. Same goes for oyster bars. Sit at the counter where you can see the oysters and the shucker. Ask him questions. Suck up. He knows what’s good better than anyone else in the building. Pretty soon, he’ll be sliding you treats.

 

10. Avoid Dilettante Restaurants

The corollary to Rule No. 9 is that the oysters served at places that don’t have a designated shucker are often laughably bad. That goes for very famous, high-end ones, too. These may be great chefs, but they aren’t on the front lines, chatting with the oyster growers every day, and they haven’t put in thousands of hours at the shucking station. If the restaurant doesn’t have a full-time shucker, don’t go there for the oysters.

11. Get as Close to the Grower as Possible

It used to be hard to find great, knowledgeable shuckers, but the bar was raised a few years ago when some of the best oyster growers began opening their own eateries, with Hog Island, Rappahannock River, and Island Creek leading the charge. These growers care deeply about the things that give oysters character, and they trained their staffs accordingly. Suddenly, we’re seeing oysters that are more perfect than anything we’ve seen before, presented by shuckers and servers who are incredibly knowledgeable. We’re even seeing things like species, provenance, and cultivation technique listed right on menus. Now, there’s a new wave of growers opening places like Matunuck Oyster Bar and Hama Hama Oyster Saloon, and more are on the way. This kind of vertical integration significantly shortens the supply chain, which is key, because:

12. Freshness is All

An oyster carries the still-living sea within it. And even though an oyster is alive until the moment it’s shucked, that marine spark diminishes with every moment it’s separated from la mer. Unfortunately, oysters can survive weeks out of the water, and many you find in restaurants (especially ones that don’t specialize in oysters) are that old. Find places that get oysters straight out of the water and serve them within a day or two. (Or, see Rule No. 19.) When you get these sparkly ones, you’ll instantly understand why it only makes sense to:

13. Eat Them Naked

A great oyster is truly ruined by accouterments of any kind, even snazzy ones. Lemon, mignonette, et al. are fine—they just completely cover the flavor of the oyster. All a great oyster needs is a good chaser (Rule No. 15). On the other hand:

14. Know When to Ignore Rule No. 13

Not all oysters are great. Plenty could use a little help. Honestly, sometimes it’s more fun to destroy oysters you don’t have to feel guilty for dishonoring. Standing at a bar in New Orleans, eating big, sloppy, dredged oysters right off the counter, is not the time for nude gustation. More horseradish, please!

15. The Thrill of the Chase

The drink that chases your oyster is almost as important as the oyster itself. Most oysters are quite salty and have a sea finish that goes on forever. It’s the job of the booze to stop that finish in its tracks. My general rule is that wine, sake, and martinis go better with Pacific oysters and that beer and Bloody Marys with Eastern oysters—but exceptions abound. Lots of things work well—just make sure you have something at the ready.

 

16. Ice is Nice, and Will Suffice

Americans consume lots of things too cold—hard cider, cheese, potato salad—but oysters are not one of them. Cold firms up an oyster and makes it crisp and refreshing. A good oyster bar knows this, and serves its oysters nestled deep into a frosty bed of shaved ice. (Cubed ice melts too fast.) If your oysters arrive lukewarm, or sinking into a pool of meltwater, that’s a red flag.

17. Nothing Beats a Firm Bottom

It used to be that all oysters were “farmed” on a bay bottom or an intertidal beach, as they would grow in the wild. But as growing techniques have evolved, more and more oysters are grown in off-bottom trays and cages, where life is easier and predators nonexistent. In these submerged cages, oysters can grow very quickly and easily; they get long, brittle shells and softer meats. Thrown down in sand or gravel, they’re forced to toughen up. They grow more slowly and develop rounder, deeper, stronger shells, and they get bigger bellies, firmer muscles, and richer flavor. It’s become clear that there’s no substitute for planting an oyster on the bottom and allowing it to grow naturally for its last year or two before harvest. Some of my favorite bottom-planted oysters are Colville Bays, Moonstones, Mystics, Cotuits, Pemaquids, Glidden Points, Totten Inlet Virginicas, and Kumamotos from Chapman Cove.

18. If Nature Didn’t Give You a Firm Bottom, Try Tumbling

Of course, bottom-planting works only when you have a firm and easily accessible bottom. In most places, the bottom is too muddy or too deep. Years ago, an innovative Vancouver Islander named Keith Reid discovered that if he periodically tumbled his tray-farmed oysters in a mechanical tumbler (kind of like a portable cement mixer), it would chip off their soft-growing edge and force them to “cup up.” They had to clamp shut every time they got tumbled, which gave their muscles a workout. They wound up the molluscan equivalent of elfin Olympic gymnasts with six-pack abs. As a bonus, they had beautifully polished shells. Those oysters were Kusshis, and everybody fell for the little cuties. Now many growers tumble. Some use mechanical tumblers, others let the tides do it for them. Look for Chelsea Gem, Shigoku, Blue Pool, and Chunu.

19. Shuck Yourself

The surest way to ensure ultra-fresh oysters is to skip all the middlemen and have them shipped directly to you from the grower. You will save a ton of money, and you will have epic parties. On Oysterguide, I keep a list of recommended suppliers who (A) grow great oysters, and (B) have the shipping part under control. Obviously, this only works if you can shuck them when you get them. But this is something every fully functional bon vivant should be able to do. You can learn in about ten minutes. After a hundred oysters, you’ll be good. Here is an excellent video guide by Canadian shucking champ Patrick McMurray.

 

20. Get Religion

You are slurping down dozens of quivering animals who have given their all for this moment. You lucky bastard. No need to fall to your knees, but a silent nod to the fates might be in order. Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.

James Beard Award winner Rowan Jacobsen is the author of A Geography of Oysters, American Terroir, and other books, and the founder of the websites Oysterguide (for his opinions) and Oysterater (for everyone else’s). His new book, The Essential Oyster, a full-color guide to the world’s best bivalves, will be published in 2016.


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Let me be your...... Oyster Man....... on Saturday, November 12th.

"NO OYSTER EVENT IN THE WORLD IS INDEPENDENT OF THE TIDES, THE MOON, THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL TEMPERATURE SURROUNDING IT'S PERFORMANCE."

When:

  • Saturday, November 12th, 2016 (6:30pm)

Where:

  • 422 Vernon St., Nelson, BC Venue: Spirit Bar (@ The Hume Hotel)

AN EVENING PACKED WITH OYSTERS, FILM, GOOD FOOD & DRINK AND GREAT MUSIC!

Shuckers (Canada, 2015, 60min) – When Montreal restaurateur, Tim Rozon asks the question: What’s the big deal with oysters? He is given more than he bargained for from champion oyster shucker Daniel Notkin.
Together the pair set out on the road to Oyster restaurants, festivals and farms to meet the craziest, most eccentric oyster shuckers.

The Oyster Men (USA, 2015, 5min) – A small group of Baymen are committed to the rare practice of diving to hand pick wild oysters in the Long Island Sound. At once deeply rewarding and highly challenging, the practice is virtually unknown, yet produces some of Americas tastiest and most unique oysters. Winner Best Cinematography at the 2015 Real Food Media Contest.

Schedule

6:30pm – Doors Open, $2 Oyster Bar by Brent the Oyster Man, Local Dinner Selections incl. Kaslo Sourdough Pasta and the return of Pizza slices using locally-sourced ingredients, Live Music with Rodman & Spring of Red Eyed Soul
7:30pm – Films
8:45pm – Live Music with Rodman & Spring of Red Eyed Soul
9:30pmRed Eyed Soul concert (admission included w/fest ticket)


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A true Canadian National Film Board (NFB) classic

A true Canadian National Film Board (NFB) classic from 1951...... "The Oyster Man". I never get tired of watching this film documentary.

I love the line, "Why Mr. Gorman..... It's DELICIOUS." followed by the woman's big appreciative sexy smile after she eats an oyster served to her by "the boss."

Oyster Man, Julian Biggs & Jean Palardy, National Film Board of Canada


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Next time

Next time you are looking for an alternative to eating "mystery meat" hot-dogs in the summer, why not head down to your favourite clam beach, and discover for yourself, the JOY of eating and DIGGING your own clams.

I have a lot of Varnish clams a.k.a "Savoury clams" (Nuttallia obscurata) on my Cortes Island beach these days and when purged for 4 or 5 days to remove fine sand particles, one can find an incredibly edible raw piece of seafood, that is just waiting to be SUCKED BACK. The meat is firm, sweet with a lovely salty crunch when tasted.

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not view the Varnish, aka Savoury or Mahogany clam as an "alien" or that it is "invasive". Yes, this clam might have originated from Asia 25 years ago (probably with ballast water from a container ship filled with I-Pods) but we really need to be eating in much greater amounts, this affordable and very sustainable natural resource that has been "gifted" to the Pacific Northwest coast.

During the month of August, I actually prefer eating this clam over my own, ever sexy "Royal Courtesan" oyster.


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Savoury

"Savoury" aka Purple Mahogany (Nuttallia obscurata) clam ceviche with Cawston peaches. STELLAR...... and sssssoooo simple and affordable to prepare. Though this is the first time that I've used this particular "gifted to the Pacific Northwest" clam to make ceviche, it definitely won't be the last. Where has this clam and ceviche recipe been all my life?

This is a wonderful example of when the WHOLE, can become greater than the SUM of all the INDIVIDUAL PARTS. This is the kind of world I personally want to live in.

"JOIN THE MAHOGANY CLAM CEVICHE REVOLUTION!"


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Sunday June 22 - Solstice Celebration

Download the flyer!


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Seastoke.com

Brent Petkau believes humanity can learn a lot from the oyster, viewing this bivalve beauty as a vehicle for social change. By fulfilling the manifesto of his oyster revolution, Brent leads us towards a brighter future, one oyster at a time.

It’s not everyday where the local oyster supplier has created such a name for himself that he has an almost rock star status. But over the last 16 years, the charismatic Brent Petkau, aka ‘The Oyster Man’ has created an oyster-eating culture in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, where he has locals quite literally eating freshly shucked oysters from his hands. However, it’s not only overall experience he provides to his customers that is noteworthy, but it’s his mission to ignite a culinary revolution that makes him a standout oyster man.

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Honouring the world of "working the night tides"

It was with great joy that in April, 2012,  I worked the last of the winter night tides, together with John Lehmann,  staff photographer for the Toronto Globe and Mail.   Appreciate folks, that working the night tides on Marina Island,  is a world unto it's own.  But a guy has to do what an oysterman has to do to grow and harvest a premium quality beach oyster.  And over the late fall, winter and early spring, the oysters and clams are exposed and can only be worked during the night hours.  
 
John's photos are worth ten thousand words and they truly honour the world of shellfish farmers who work the night tides.   It's not an easy job to work when the lights are out, the wolves are howling and watching you through the darkness,  and the oysters are sleeping, just waiting to be harvested and marketed exclusively in the Nelson, British Columbia.   
 
Enjoy these beautiful photos that appeared in the April 11th, 2012 Wed. edition of the Globe and Mail.  
 
Or better yet, come and work the night tides with me some time in the future and experience for yourself, what it takes to grow and harvest  "The Perfect Oyster".
 

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November 15th, Clayoquot Oyster Festival

This November 15th, the Oysterman returns to the Wickaninnish Inn as part of Tofino's 17th annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival. B.C. legend Brent Petkau will be your host, accompanied by copious quantities of his succulent bivalves, harvested off Vancouver Island's coast for your tasting pleasure.

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Grape Stomp - October 19th

Plan to attend the Salt Spring Vineyards annual "Grape Stomp...... with OYSTERS". Saturday, October 19th.

This event celebrates the finest and freshest Cortes Island oysters, paired with Salt Spring Vineyards wines. Along with a whole lot more food, fun, dancing and music.

I look forward to being your OYSTER MAN. Warmest fall greetings and CHEERS, Brent


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2013 OOOyster Festival

Walnut Beach Resort is proud to be the official sponsor of the 2013 OOOyster Festival.

I'll be shucking oysters with chef Jonas Stadtlander of the Waterfront Resort. The event that I am doing with Jonas is at the Walnut Beach Resort.  SATURDAY APRIL 20th - Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Tickets available by calling Walnut Beach Resort at 1-877-936-5400, going to the BC VQA Wine Information Centre in Penticton.

Please read more at http://oooysterfestival.ambergoodwin.com/


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Oyster & Perogy Launch Party

Thursday, April 4, The Royal on Baker, 6:30pm doors, 19+, $10 admission.

What’s a food film festival without some food!

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Oysters & Stout

Folks, the "OYSTER REVOLUTION" happened on January 22, 2013 at the Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver, B.C. 
The event featured same-day fresh "Royal Courtesan" oysters, direct from Cortes Island, shucked by Brent "The Oyster Man" Petkau, and featured a proper flight of Stout selected by Craig Noble, filmmaker and Cicerone in training, and the Vancouver premiere of The Perfect Oyster.  
 
"Oysters and Stout", was a multi-sensory celebration of the finest and freshest oysters, contrasted with a classic pairing of 6 craft-brewed stouts from around the globe, and the first time The Perfect Oyster was screened in Vancouver, a film that has delighted and aroused audiences in Manhattan, Berlin, Toronto,  Chicago and beyond.

But hey, every good REVOLUTION needs legs, longevity and an ability to see "the bigger picture".  And so the next time you drink a beer, or a stout in particular, ask yourself, wouldn't it be nice if each stout also contained "Lusty Bits of Oysterly Nourishment" in each sip.  
 
 
 

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"Citius, Altius, Forius"....... aka "Swifter, Higher and Stronger"

I've always known that "The Oyster Man's Gourmet Smoked Oysters" are in a category of their own.  After all, this is what the word "gourmet" means, does it not?   My smoked oysters travel well...... da, to the remote corners of Nepal,  they offer huge nutritional qualities as climbers are always looking for additional zinc and dopemine for their pencils,  and are a Lusty Bit of Nourishment, whether you are at a picnic on a beach, or climbing Mount Everest.  Happy to hear that Tim and Becky, of www.peakfreaks.com  take my incredible edibles from the sea, to the world of the swift, the higher and the stronger.  
 
Tim and Becky, Peak Freaks and Everest climbers, I GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT of my oyster business,

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Oyster Night

What’s a food film festival without some food! On Wednesday, April 18, @ 7pm, come to The Royal on Baker to learn of the importance of the humble oyster to our marine ecosystems and to celebrate the oyster with celebrity oyster man Brent Petkau. Following the screening of Shellshocked and a short film featuring Brent, a slideshow and talk by Brent will help open the floor to a 2buck-a-shuck oyster bar. Supporting the event is the Nelson Brewing Company who has paired their Blackheart Oatmeal Stout with Brent’s Cortes Island oysters. This is 19+ event.

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It seems apparent that species are only commas in a sentence

Working the tidal pools, harvesting my shellfish each month, I have large moments of time for solitude and thought.

I muse:

"It seems apparent that species are only commas in a sentence, that each species in the tidal pool is at once the point and the base of a pyramid.

One species merges into another, 

groups melt into ecological groups until,

the time when what we know as life,

meets and enters what we think of as non-life.

BARNACLE to ROCK,  OYSTER SPAT to BLEACHED WHITE SHELL, ROCK to EARTH,  EARTH to TREE, TREE and RAIN and AIR......

Ahhhh, may the taste of an oyster on my lips, lead to an understanding that man is RELATED TO EVERYTHING."


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Oyster "feastivals"

Folks, in my opinion, these are all "FEASTIVALS", not just your ho hum everyday festivals. These celebrations of incredible edibles from the sea are so world class, so inspiring, so festive. They all clearly demonstrate that the WORLD CAN BE EVERYBODY'S OYSTER.

Canada

 

     
May   Cortes Island Oyster Feastival, Cortes Island, BC Read this article: Shuck It Up by Andrew Findlay Photo Gallery
May   Oyster, Authors & Ale, Cortes Island, BC
June   Comox Valley Shellfish Festival, Comox, BC
July   Ontario Oyster Festival, Toronto, Ontario
Aug   Tyne Valley Oyster Festival, Charlottetown, PE, Canada
Sept   Prince Edward Island International Shellfish Festival, Charlottetown Waterfront, PEI, Canada
Nov   Clayoquot Oyster Festival, Vancouver Island, BC
     

Washington & West Coast

     
March   Taste Washington, Seattle, WA
May  
3rd Annual Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Community Oyster Roast, Seattle, WA
May   PCSGA Shellfish SLURP, Olympia, WA
May   San Francisco OysterFest, San Francisco, CA
June   Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, Arcata, CA
July   8th Annual Samish Bay Bivalve Bash and Low Tide Mud Run,Bow, WA
Sept   29th Annual Oyster Run, Anacortes, WA
Oct   29th Annual West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship and WA State Seafood Festival,Shelton, WA
Oct   Flying Fish Oyster Frenzy,Seattle, WA
Nov   Elliott's Oyster New Year, Seattle WA
     

East Coast

     
Aug   Berks Co. Celtic Oyster Festival, Mohnton, PA
Aug   Milford Oyster Festival, Milford, CT
Sept   Fells Point Oyster Festival, Baltimore, MD
Sept   New England Oyster Festival, Newport, RI
Sept   Norwalk Seaport Association, South Norwalk, CT
Oct   Chincoteague Island Virginia Oyster Festival, Chincoteqgue, VA
Oct   Long Island Oyster Festival, Oyster Bay, NY
Oct   Oyster Bay Harbor Oyster Festival, Oyster Bay, NY
Oct   St. Mary's Oyster Festival, Leonardtown, MD
Oct   Wellfleet Oyster Festival, Welllfleet, MA
Nov   Urbanna Oyster Festival, Urbanna, VA
     

Gulf Coast

     
Jan   The Annual Low County Oyster Festival, Charleston, SC
March   Amite Oyster Festival, Amite, LA
Oct   Florida Cracker Oyster Festival, Isle of Pines South Beach, Orlando, FL
     

Other US

     
Oct   Royster with the Oyster, Shaw's Crab House, Chicago, IL
     

International

     
Feb   European Oyster Opening Competition, Gothenburg, Sweden
Feb   Miyajima Oyster Festival, Miyajima, Japan
    Otake Oyster Festival, Japan
May   Bluff Oyster & Southland Seafood Festival, Bluff, New Zealand
May   Nordic Oyster Opening Championships, Grebbestad, Sweden
June   Colchester Oyster Fayre, Colchester, Essex, UK
July   Aqui ha Ostra, Taira Is, Portugal
July   Knysna Oyster Festival, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa
July   Whitstable Oyster Festival, Whitstable, Canterbury, UK
Sept   Carlingford Oyster Festival,Carlingford, Louth, Ireland
Sept   Clarenbridge Oyster Festival, Galway, Ireland
Sept   Galway International Oyster Festival, Galway City, Ireland
Sept   Hillsborough Oyster Festival, Hillsborough, N. Ireland
Sept   Woburn Oyster Festival, Woburn, Bedfordshire, UK
Oct   Anglesey Oyster & Welsh Produce Festival, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, UK
Oct   Falmouth Oyster Festival, Falmouth, UK
Oct   Oysterfest, Ceduna, South Australia

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