It is totally chaotic and confusing. At least is was for me, every time I went into a restaurant and tried to order an oyster. There were Blue Points and oysters from Hood Canal and Kumamotos. Were those all types, or places or species or brands? No one ever really seemed to know. They might know some details, but a full description was never forthcoming. Conversely, when I went to order a bottle of wine, it was all clearly defined. There was a rule set that everyone had agreed to follow…more or less. Sure a restaurant might break the list up by continent or grape type; but for the most part one could follow it fairly easily. Read more...
This July 4th Weekend The Shelburne Inn, of Seaview, Washington will debut a new purpose-grown Pacific Oyster from Ekone Oysters. Called the Quint, after Roberto Quintana, the chief aquaculturist on this project for Nick Jambor, of Ekone Oysters, pictured above. This will be the first time consumers are able to enjoy the Quints.
For more than 120 years the Shelburne Inn, Restaurant and Pub has been a beacon on the Long Beach Peninsula. It was the starting place on the Peninsula of Nancy Main and Jimella Lucas who went on to continue their greatness at their own restaurant, the Ark. A longtime haunt of culinary icon James Beard. And place people have turned for over a century to enjoy local, sustainable food from the Pacific Northwest.
For the last year, Executive Chef Cedar Martin and Chef Randall Hoff have partnered to continue the Inn’s great legacy of culinary innovation. Most recently they partnered with local Cheese Maker Vicki Allenback, of the Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery, who produces what Chef Randall describes as an “amazingly light, clean chevre with a slight citrus and nutty finish.” When they first tried it, they knew it was unique and fit with the kitchen’s focus on local and sustainable products. They also knew it could be used in a truly innovative way. Working with Olympic Mountain Ice Cream Company, of Shelton, Washington, Chefs Cedar and Randall developed a recipe for a Chevre, Honey and Cardamon Ice Cream. Olympic Mountain now produces it for the Shelburne. It has become the most popular item on the dessert menu.
Now, the Shelburne will debut the Quint. Seaview, Washington is less than a mile from the Willapa Bay. Long a hub for the oyster business it has always been seen by purists as one that produces an amazing oyster with a distinct and pleasing brininess with a wonderfully clean melon and cucumber finish. Ironically, almost all of the oyster production on the Willapa is focused on shucked oysters that are shipped to be used in chowders, stews and sauces. It is estimated that almost one fifth of all the oyster production in the US comes from the Willapa.
The only other significant producer of half shell oysters on the bay is Taylor Shellfish, who produce the Shigoku. The shigoku is produced using bags hung from lines that have floats on the bottom of the bags. This enables the oysters to get “flipped” with every tide. As the tide comes in the floats lift the bag until it flips over. Then the reverse happens when the tide goes out. Thus, twice a day the oysters are tossed in the bags. This movement constantly breaks off the front tip of the shell and creates an oyster that is both elegant and a perfect size for eating on the half shell.
Roberto Quintana explains that he didn’t want to copy Taylor but rather produce a different variation of the half shell oyster. A graduate of the Aquaculture program at Louisiana State University, he has worked on Quints for more than three years. The biggest difference is that he developed a proprietary methodology that “flips” the oysters far less often than the Shigokus. The result is that it is a slightly shallower oyster that is amazing to eat. The team at Ekone has done a tremendous job growing an oyster that highlights the wonderful flavor profile of the Willapa Bay.
Come out to the Shelburne this weekend and experience the first new oyster to have been introduced on the Willapa Bay in many years.
For reservations to enjoy them please call the Inn at (360) 642-2442.
Join us Sunday, June 5th, 2016 for the 2nd Annual Royal Nebeker Scholarship Fundraiser. This year the Shelburne Restaurant will provide a Scandinavian Buffet and local artists have contributed artwork to be auctioned off to benefit scholarship recipients. For more information click on this link:
And to see the menu click here:
With this 120th Anniversary event, scheduled for Friday, April 29th, 2016, the Shelburne Inn is living up to its tagline, "established 1896, grounded in tradition, bound by none." Nothing like exotic food and a spell-binding dance performance by Astoria's Jessamyn Grace West to transport you to distant places, if only in your mind. Chef Cedar Martin will prepare a Middle Eastern Dinner, so that our guests will get the full flavor of a middle eastern experience on this evening. You may view the menu here. A portion of the proceeds will be allocated to benefit Syrian refugees.
Inspired by the beauty and strength of her mother who was a Belly Dancer, Jessamyn began taking Egyptian Cabaret and Turkish style Belly Dance from Saqra and Aziza in 1994. After moving back from living in a small town in Central Turkey to her hometown of Portland, Jessamyn moved to Astoria 10 years ago. In 2011 she founded the Astoria Arts and Movement Center, a 501c3 non-profit dance studio, where she currently teaches Belly Dance. For Jessamyn, Belly Dance is a way of putting aside the distractions of daily life and handing yourself over to your soul and passion. Middle Eastern and Northern African music moves her tremendously, and she loves that Belly Dance is improvisational- allowing her to experience everything the music has to offer. She is consistently inspired by her students, and it is her desire that every individual embrace a form of self-expression that fosters creativity, exploration and self-reverence.