Fifth-Annual Alabama Oyster Social Raises $45,000 for Shellfish Research

By / Photography By Eric Savage | February 12, 2018
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Grilled Oysters
Dressed and grilled oysters at the Alabama Oyster Social.

Hundreds of local bivalve lovers and chefs bonded over heaping piles of shellfish at the Alabama Oyster Social, held in January at the Alabama Farmers Pavilion in Auburn.

Auburn Pavilion
Grilling Oysters Alabama Oyster Social
Alabama Oyster Social
Alabama Oyster Social Table
Photo 1: The Alabama Farmers Pavilion in Auburn.
Photo 2: Chefs grilled oysters at the event.
Photo 3: Chefs offered a wide variety of bites.
Photo 4: Hundreds of oyster lovers attended the Alabama Oyster Social.

The charity event raised $45,000 for Auburn University’s Shellfish Laboratory, a marine research facility on Dauphin Island. The social featured a 32-foot, communal raw bar, which was stocked with more than a dozen unique oysters, along with tasting tables filled with other eats and drinks from Southern farmers, foragers, butchers and brewers.

Chefs at Alabama Oyster Social
Raw Oysters
Alabama Oyster Social Chefs
Dressed oysters
Photo 1: Chefs present dishes at the Alabama Oyster Social.
Photo 2: The event featured a 32-foot raw bar.
Photo 3: Chefs came in from all over the region.
Photo 4: Dressed oysters at the Alabama Oyster Social.

Chefs in attendance included Alabama’s finest—such as David Bancroft (Acre, Auburn), Rob McDaniel (SpringHouse, Alexander City) and Scott Simpson (The Depot, Auburn)—and regional friends such as Justin DeVillier (La Petite Grocery, New Orleans) and Bryan Rackley (Kimball House, Atlanta). 

Oyster grill
Oyster Knives
Kudu Grill
Photo 1: Grilling oysters at the Alabama Oyster Social.
Photo 2: The raw bar was stocked with more than a dozen unique oysters.
Photo 3: Working the grill at the Alabama Oyster Social.

Alabama chefs in attendance: Leo Maurelli, Brandon Burleson, Bill Briand, George McMillan, Robbie Nicolaisen, Miguel Figueroa, William Walker, Scott Simpson, Adam Evans, Caleb Fischer, Rob McDaniel and David Bancroft.

David Bancroft and Justin DeVillier
Eating Oysters
Roasting Oysters
Alabama desserts
Photo 1: Chefs in attendance included David Bancroft (left), Bill Briand (center) and Justin DeVillier (right).
Photo 2: Oyster lovers picked over the raw bar.
Photo 3: Chefs grilled oysters outside.
Photo 4: Tasting tables were filled with other eats and drinks from Southern bakers, farmers, foragers, butchers and brewers.

Regional chefs in attendance: Ryan Smith of Staplehouse, Ryan Prewitt of Peche, Bryan Rackley of Kimball House, Kelly Fields of Willa Jean, Justin DeVillier of La Petite Grocery, Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar, Lisa Donovan of Husk Nashville, Cory Bahr of Heritage Catering, Rebecca Wilcomb of Herbsaint, Alex Harrell of Angeline, Erik Neil of Easy Bistro & Bar, Mike Davis of Terra and Mike Lata of FIG.

Check for Auburn Shellfish Lab
Chefs at the Alabama Oyster Social
Photo 1: The charity event raised $45,000 for Auburn University’s Shellfish Laboratory.
Photo 2: The Alabama Oyster Social will return in 2019.

The event, which is open to the public, will return in 2019 with support from the Auburn and Opelika Tourism Bureau.

Article from Edible Lower Alabama at http://edibleloweralabama.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/alabama-oyster-social-shellfish-research
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