I don’t think it needs to be said again, but I’ll say it anyway. I love oysters. Besides the facts that make them so insanely neat, I love them, most of all, for their ability to bring friends closer together, put smiles on faces and fill (some of) us with mixed feelings of dread, wonder and respect. From childhood, oysters have been a favourite of mine and will remain on my love-list forever. They never cease to amaze me!
Last month I turned twenty-eight. Twenty-eight on the twenty-eighth. To be more specific: my ‘champagne birthday’. I decided to plan something fun for this once-in-a-lifetime happening and, almost in the same instant, I decided that oysters had to be involved. If you know me well enough (or have thoroughly explored this blog), you know that it makes perfect sense that I would gather my friends on my birthday for a group Oyster 101 and shuckfest. All my favourite people AND oysters (AND spicy caesars) in the same place? That just can’t be beat. Nothing could make me happier than to share a bit of oyster-love with the ones I love! Also: can I really be friends with you if you don’t know a thing or two about oysters? (Kidding…sort of not, though.)
I held my birthday oyster shucking class at Oyster Boy, (best oyster bar in Toronto!) and invited all my besties. If you missed my previous post about these shucking classes, click here to catch up. I wanted my friends to get the whole scoop on oysters. Everything from how they live and breed, to how they’re farmed, to how to choose, buy and shuck them. Chris Field, a.k.a. ‘Oyster Guy’, head shucker at Oyster Boy and seasoned oyster vet, taught the class. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher. He’s shucked oysters across the country and on different continents, he’s farmed oysters, he’s done it all…he’s the best there is! You’ll also love his sense of humour! We had lots of birthday laughs. Thank you Chris. 🙂
A birthday mistake I made was telling Chris that instead of a cake, I wanted a massive XXL Beach Angel oyster for my birthday. Lo and behold, he found me one about the size of my face and I had the joys of choking it down in five huge bites, smiling with my cheeks full and brine running down my chin (and all over my clothes). This isn’t about looking pretty, guys.
I am so proud of all my girls that came. Most had never tried shucking and a few had never even tried an oyster! Everyone paid attention and shucked like PROS. We shucked, sipped (our spicy caesars) and slurped to our hearts content. It was a wonderful birthday. 🙂
Photos of our class:
If you ask me (which many people do), Oyster Boy is the best place to go for a shucking class. It is one of the main suppliers of fresh oysters in the city. They know their stuff. (You’d be surprised how many restaurants/chefs serve oysters, but don’t know a thing about them or how to properly open one!) The price of the classes is also reasonable compared to other classes offered in Toronto. $60 per person for a 2 hour class including 18 oysters, your own shucking knife and an Oyster Boy t-shirt. I highly recommend it!
Love sharing happy moments like these with others! I’d love to hear your shucking stories, feel free to comment and share them! If you decide to take a shucking class, I’d love to hear about it! Happy shucking, friends! 🙂 XO