On November 17, 2018, an all-out Canadian Oyster festival took center stage at Docks Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill. The name Docks is accepted by their long-standing patrons who have been enjoying the restaurants twenty-year history of oyster festivals. The restaurant is one of the longest standing oyster bars and seafood eateries in New York City. Believe me, its a well-oiled ship, the staff are a testiment to its success. Both the executive chef, Freda Sugarman and chef de cuisines, Carrina Acevedo, are culinary talents bubbling at the gills!
From time to time, I conduct Lobster 101 pop-ups for their loyal patrons and keep the staff on their toes about all-things Lobsta! Its my neighborhood seafood go-to!
The inaugural event was a first for Canada, a first for Docks to host an All-Canadian oyster festival, and the first time New Yorkers would have the chance to sniff, sip, and slurp, eighteen varieties of Canadian Oysters under one roof in Manhattan!
The idea started as a mere conversation when I asked Docks owner, Steve Myers, if he’d think about a Coastal Canadian Oyster Trail for the fall 2018 oyster festival. That turned into six months of action planning and organizating nine Canadian oyster producers coming to NYC, creating the first All-Canadian Oyster Festival that New Yorker’s would never forget!
Docks sold out to a crowd of two hundred fifty oyster-loving patrons who lined up on a chilly November day, anticipating the taste of Canadian bivalves.
By all accounts, it seems it was a tasting beyond most imaginations: “its like tasting the sea”; “every oyster was amazing”; “Canadian oysters are so clean and fresh!”
The indugence of seafood at Docks included three different seafood chowders, mounds of shrimp and mussels, and a flow of seafood bites passed around during the event
matched with a grand tasting of Canadian wines and craft beers from Esber Beverage Company!
An Oyster shucking competition was lead by non other than Canadian Oyster shucking campion, Daniel Notkin, who's lead judge was World Oyster traveler, and In a Half Shell blogger, Julie Qiu.
Shucker Paddy made an appearance for both our industry VIP tasting and the festival.
The competition was made possible by Maison BeauSoleil which ramped it up a few nauticals!
Grand Prize: win an invitation from Sawmill Bay Shellfish and Bearfoot Bistro, to Bearfoot Bistro’s 2019, Oyster World Invitational in Whistler, Vancouver (airfare included);
Second Prize; win a spot to compete in Fanny Bay Oysters Shucking Championship, held annually at the BC Seafood Festival, at the BC Seafood Festival, including three nights hotel in
the Comox Valley;
Third Prize; win two tickets to Prince Edward Island’s International Shellfish Festival, with two nights stay at Rodd Hotels & Resorts, Charlottetown.
All top three winners received an Oyster Bed!
Winners of the competition: First place was Jose Valdez (Empire Oyster); seond place went to ose Nelson Gervacio ( Docks Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill), and third place went to, Amilcar Garcia (Oceana restaurant).
It would be safe to say that Canadian bivalves have finally found their anchor on the Island of Manhattan, and will moor their ship again come November, 2019!
You can always experience east and west Canadian bivalves at Docks Oyster Bar & Seafood Gril and other locations in New York and New Jersey.
I smell a Canadian Oyster map coming on!