Tag Archives: Oyster

Osoyoos Oyster Festival – Even Oysters Need a Day in the Sun

Osoyoos Oyster Festival Events for 2016 April 20-24

For the fifth year in a row I am heading up to Osoyoos for their annual oyster festival and it’s Michael’s third year! We’re huge fans of bivalves and when they are paired with oyster friendly wines, beers and libations, we love them even more. The oyster festival was created to give oyster farmers a bit of a break, while entertaining locals and visitors in the shoulder season. The weather is always sunny, and just a little bit crisp, and the room rates are reasonable.

Osoyoos Oyster Festival

The youngest oyster shuckers in action above!

Shucker Paddy

This year, World Champion Oyster Shucker Patrick McMurray, AKA “Shucker Paddy,” will be shucking oysters along with other chefs, fishmongers and oyster farmers. Over the course of the festival, guests can sip Canadian wine, craft beer and spirits, paired with delicious oyster creations from local chefs.

walnut beach resort

For out of town guests attending the festival, Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, Walnut Beach Resort, Watermark Beach Resort, and Holiday Inn and Suites Osoyoos, are offering special Oyster Festival room rates. Visit: osoyoosoysterfestival.com/stay-in-osoyoos.

Osoyoos Oyster Festival

For more information and to purchase tickets for festival events, please visit: osoyoosoysterfestival.com.

Oyster Paella


Over the years we’ve attended the Miradoro Long Table Dinner and been served some of the best paella ever, oyster paella from Chef Jeff Van Geest, made over an outdoor fire pit.

Osoyoos Oyster Festival

The pizza party at Terrafina is another worthy event, bubble and oysters along with Hester Creek’s spring releases.

Osoyoos Oyster Festival

Last year they added an event at the local golf course’s Greenside Grill and got to know some local spirits from Dubh Glas Distillery.

Osoyoos Oyster Festival

The final night is always a blast, especially if you dress in costume. Get know the local chefs, restaurants and wineries while sampling oyster-centric dishes.

Osoyoos Oyster Festival

The complete line-up for the Osoyoos Oyster Festival for 2016 includes:

Miradoro Long Table Dinner, April 20
Enjoy a special evening at Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery, starting with freshly shucked oysters followed by a three-course dinner dedicated to the oyster.
Tickets: $39

Under the Tuscan Sea at Terrafina, April 21
Terrafina at Hester Creek Estate Winery invites guests to sample pizza and oysters paired with spring releases from Hester Creek and tastings from the winery’s ‘bubbly’ neighbours.
Tickets: $49

2016 Oyster Open at the Greenside Grill, April 21
Mingle, mix, slurp and sip at the Greenside Grill at the Osoyoos Golf Club. The event will feature oysters, along with appetizers for non-oyster eaters, and a tasting station of assorted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Tickets: $50

whisky and oysters

Whiskey & Oysters at SOL Grillroom & Lounge, April 22
SOL Grillroom & Lounge at the Holiday Inn will host this intimate event (limited ticket release) which includes a variety of fresh oysters, whiskey pairings and various dishes from the kitchen. With special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) in attendance.
Tickets: $50

International Oyster Night at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, April 22
Featuring internationally-inspired oyster dishes from local restaurants and chefs, special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) shucking fresh oysters from several different regions courtesy of Codfathers Seafood Market, and local wineries pouring their best.
Tickets: $55

Deep Sea Garden Party at Walnut Beach Resort, April 23
This al fresco afternoon event will feature special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) shucking fresh oysters courtesy of Codfathers Seafood Market, culinary delights from local restaurants and chefs, and wine and beer from local wineries and craft breweries.
Tickets: $45

Amateur Shuck ‘n Suck Competition at The Sage Pub, April 23
Come to compete or come to cheer at the 5th Amateur Shuck ‘n Suck Competition as teams of two compete to win the coveted title of the Best Shuck n’ Suck Team in the Okanagan.
Tickets: $10

Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, April 23
The signature event of the festival will feature oyster dishes from local restaurants and chefs, served alongside award-winning local wines, with special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) shucking fresh oysters courtesy of Codfathers Seafood Market. Results of the Canadian Oyster Wine Competition and the Canadian Oyster Beer Competition will be announced. Cocktails, wine and canapes will be followed by dancing until midnight.
Tickets: $60

Under the Sea Brunch at Watermark Beach Resort, April 24
Watermark Beach Resort’s Chef Adair Scott will prepare a bountiful brunch featuring a selection of raw and hot oysters.
Tickets: $39


Canadian Craft Beer & Oyster Pairing Competition: Request for Entry

Kushi OystersWhich Canadian Craft Beers pair best with Oysters?

The inaugural Canadian Craft Beer & Oyster pairing Competition will be held on April 25th, 2014 during the third annual Osoyoos Oyster Festival. The competition is sponsored by Sprit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa, Flavours World, CAMRA Vancouver, BC Craft Brewers Guild and Codfathers Seafood Market, and will be divided into eleven categories. Canadian Craft Breweries are encouraged to submit their IPA, Stout, Porter, Lager, Ale, Wheat Beer, Pilsner, Bitter, Cider, Mead, and any other brewing style under the category of Wild Card.
A winner will be chosen in each category and a best overall. Beers (Cider/Mead)  must be craft brews made in Canada.

Deadline to enter submissions is April 17th 2014. Entry forms and entry rules can be downloaded at:  www.oooysterfestival.com 

Judgesfor the second annual Canadian Oyster Wine Competition include Adam Chatburn, president of CAMRA Vancouver, Dan Clapson a Calgary based food writer and contributor to Food Network Canada, Avenue and WestJet’s up! magazine, Martin Lewis who is on the board of directors for the Okanagan Wine Society and is currently working towards the Cicerone beer certification, and culinary power couple Chef Jonathan Chovancek and Bartender/Sommelier Lauren Mote owners of Bittered Sling Extracts.

The Osoyoos Oyster Festival was created to showcase the sustainable oysters produced by the farmers and guilds of the nearby West Coast together with the award-winning wines of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association. Even oysters need a day in the sun! For more information on the festival visit online at: www.oooysterfestival.com




Swallow Dive Pop Up Restaurant – Cocktails & Oysters

Sat Jan 21, 7:30-9pm
Sat Jan 28, 7:30-9pm
Sat Feb 4, 7:30-9pm

Lûdzu, is my favorite cocktail making, evil genius.

The guy makes his own bitters. That takes a lot of time…and doesn’t make you any money. So if you do it, you do it because you have an obsession.

I was actually introduced to a bottle of his Pirate Rum before I ever met him.  It was clearly created by someone with a remarkable palate and attention to detail. I knew I had to work with him.

Don’t tell him I said this, but he eats a lot of weird shit.

We went camping once and stumbled upon this Bison farm. Lûdzu insisted we buy all the Bison tongue we could eat, and then fiendishly went to work preparing it back at camp. It was incredible.

So, I’m excited to announce that we’ve finally paired up to create something tasty for Dine Out Vancouver…. voila!

Cocktails & Oysters
Join us in a classy underground bar, hidden in a chinatown warehouse for Cocktails & Oysters.

Cocktails (4) 
Gin & Tonics are all well and good, but it’s easier than you think to impress dinner guests with first class cocktails. Let Lûdzu show you how!

  • 2 Classic Cocktails. These are your Go-To’s for dinner parties
  •  Lûdzu explains when to shake, when to stir, and how to make them with style, while effortlessly rambling off fun facts about their historic significance
  • Local Ingredients Cocktail
  • Made with local herbs and ingredients, hand picked by Lûdzu himself.
  • Molecular Mixology
  • Crazy cocktail creations using foams and mists

Oysters (4) 
Curious Oyster Catering will lead a tasting of 4 distinct varieties of local oysters.

  • Experience the intricacies of varying flavor profiles, in the freshest local oysters from Desolation Sound, BC
    • Black Pearl – White shell with black stripes, light and sweet with hints of melon
    • Marina’s Top Drawer – Gold in color with a frilly shell. Sweet and smooth
    • Beach Angel – Robust and briny flavor, with a long, clean, cucumber finish
    • Outlandish Gems – Delicate meat with hints of green apple candy and a delicate, briny finish
  • How to shuck without stabbing yourself 🙂
  • What to look for when buying oysters
  • How to detect red tide

Sat Jan 21, 7:30-9pm
Sat Jan 28, 7:30-9pm
Sat Feb 4, 7:30-9pm

Ticket price reduced for special Dine Out Vancouver rate –  $89$69
Double Date Rate (Group of 4+) – $79 $59

Email now to book – theswallowdive@gmail.com
Chef Robin

Harvest Tours and the upcoming B.C. Shellfish Festival

With harvest tours and the upcoming B.C. Shellfish Festival, the world is your oyster this summer on Vancouver Island.

Eating an oyster from the waters around Vancouver Island is a way to taste the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean in a single bite. Oysters owe much of their particular qualities – flavor, size, color, shell shape – to the salinity level and depth of the water in which they are raised. Interestingly, though each of the 12 varieties of oyster from Vancouver Island has its own very distinct qualities, they all originate from the same seed, further underlining the importance of water depth and salinity in their flavor profile.

Consider the Kusshi. Named after the Japanese word for “ultimate” or “precious,” this perfect bivalve is now one of the most sought-after oysters in the world. Raised by only one shellfish grower, Keith Reid of Stellar Bay Shellfish in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley region, this small (just over five cm) oyster is raised in deep trays, and an aggressive tumbling process after harvest smooths any frills off the unusually deep cup of its midnight-purple shell, making it easy to shuck without any breakage. The taste? A perfect balance of ultra-clean brackishness and a fresh, almost floral flavor, with a meaty mouthfeel due to the slight stress tumbling.

Chef Robert Clark of Vancouver’s C Restaurant , a global reference point for shellfish cuisine, calls the Kusshi a “little package of joyous oyster meat.” Clark often includes the Kusshi and its larger version, the Stellar Bay Gold, on his restaurant’s prized tasting menus. But as co-founder of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, Clark loves Kusshi and other Vancouver Island oysters for their sustainability as well as their unbeatable flavor. “What I love about B.C. shellfish is that they’re a very well-monitored food source. Every oyster I serve is tagged, so I know where, when and how it was grown. Each Kusshi came from Keith, I can be sure of that.”

Oysters are fascinating as well as delicious; a visit to an oyster lease is a great way to understand the ocean as a living organism and better appreciate how these tasty bivalves spend their lives before we squirt them with lemon and down them with mignonette. The B.C. Shellfish Growers Association has mapped out a tour of Vancouver Island’s 12 oyster harvests, including five in close proximity to one another in gorgeous Comox Valley: The leases where Mac’s Beach, Fanny Bay, Kusshi, Komo Gway and Chef’s Creek oysters are harvested are within a few minutes’ drive from each other, and many, including Stellar Bay, offer tours for the public.

The B.C. Shellfish Festival in mid-June, which includes a chowder contest, an oyster-shucking contest and an open-air Chef’s Dinner, is also a great occasion to sample B.C. oysters and other shellfish, including clams, geoduck, sea cucumbers, mussels, urchins and other delicacies particular to Vancouver Island’s waters. Chef Clark of C is planning a dish consisting of one perfect, still-living Qualicum Bay scallop on the half-shell passed under the broiler and covered in piping-hot dashi seaweed broth.

“It’s a dish that fits the mood and fits the occasion,” he says. “We have access to the best shellfish in the world, so I want to take the product into account and showcase its delicateness and sweetness – I want to play with it as little as possible.”

Getting here

B.C. Shellfish Festival , June 17–18, 2011, Comox, 250-890-7561, bcshellfishfestival.ca
Stellar Bay Seafood , 7400 West Island Hwy., Bowser, 250-757-9304,
BC Ferries , 1-888-BC-FERRY (1-888-223-3779),
Comox Valley Tourism, 1-888-357-4471,
Tourism British Columbia , 1-800-HELLO-BC (1-800-435-5622),

The Oyster Bar in Victoria

From Tourism Victoria

The Oyster Bar is a new restaurant in Victoria, BC opening its doors to both oyster connoisseurs and even those not so fond of the little sea delicacies. Believed to have aphrodisiacal powers, the history of harvesting and consuming oysters goes back to Roman Times and whether you like your oysters raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, grilled or not at all there, is something for everyone at the Oyster Bar. With 13 different oyster preparations to choose from including the Kumomoto, a very salty and sweet oyster with a cucumber or melon finish, the Phantom Creek, a fresh and sweet variety with a slightly fruity aftertaste or the Shigoku which offers a light clean taste of cucumber and salt, with a finish of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke, staff can assist those familiar to the oyster and especially those charting into unknown waters explore new taste sensations and help visitors decide whether they have been dabbling with the wrong taste combinations or whether oyster eating truly isn’t in the cards. Found adjacent to the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel, The Oyster Bar offers a nightly “Buck a Shuck” dinner feature from 4:30pm – 6:30pm on selected oysters as well as a full menu of main dishes ranging from Lychee Curry Tiger Prawns to Thai Style Chicken and Corn Fritters. For more information visit www.theoysterbar.ca.

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