Following the success of last year's inaugural shuck-a-thon at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, The Oyster Gourmet will again convene oyster farmers from around the country for the second annual DTLA Oyster Festival.
The two-day event on October 1st and 2nd is all about the bivalve. Come meet the farmers, taste their half-shells, and learn about the distinctive "merroir," or taste of place, that distinguishes oysters grown in different waters. This year's six participating farms include:
* Hama Hama from Washington State: the oldest oyster farm on the West Coast, active since 1922.
* Sol Azul Seafarms, based in Baja California within the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
* Grassy Bar Oysters from Morro Bay, Central California.
* Morro Bay Oyster Company, also from Morro Bay, offering its acclaimed "Pacific Gold" oysters.
* Rock Harbor Oysters, a small family farm from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
* Glacier Point Oysters from Alaska Shellfish Farms, at GCM for the first time.
The farmers will be shucking both days from 11:00 a.m to 8 p.m. Oyster Gourmet will offer a selection of French wines by the glass and by the bottle.
Oyster Gourmet owner Christophe Happillon, a certified Maitre Écailler or "oyster master," will once again offer two sessions of his wildly popular Oyster Shucking 101 workshop, a sellout at last year's festival. The hands-on instruction on how to shuck and serve oysters is free but requires reservations at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oyster-shucking-101-tickets-27758973838
New this year are two additional ticketed classes. "A Guided Oyster Tasting" Saturday at 6:00 p.m. will lead students through the flavor profiles and tasting notes of six oyster varieties. "Terroir Meets Merroir," Sunday at 6:00 p.m., will focus on wine-and-oyster pairings, as Happillon discusses how oceanic "merroir" interacts with the terroir of various wine regions. Each tasting costs $20 and space is limited. Tickets are available at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/grand-central-market-11334792000
For kids, there will also be a free "shell-art" booth from Little June Bugs, where they can make their own oyster-shell pendants or customize a favorite picture frame with jewel-like mini seashells and other decorations.