SoBeWFF 2015 Oyster Bash: The Hunt for Aphrodisiacs

Lure Fishbar's lineup of Wianno oysters with pineapple salsa and kushis with a jalape�o ponzu.
Lure Fishbar's lineup of Wianno oysters with pineapple salsa and kushis with a jalape�o ponzu.

Now in its third year, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Oyster Bash arrives during the height of Miami's own oyster boom. It moved indoors to Lure Fishbar, where it didn't take long for the masses to squeeze in shoulder-to-shoulder for slurping.

See also: All the coverage from South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2015

The bite of the night: Mignonette's oyster francese. Lemony, buttery and fried.
The bite of the night: Mignonette's oyster francese. Lemony, buttery and fried.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson

The main attraction was celeb chef Ming Tsai, who as in years past, served as the boozer-in-chief, dishing out aggressive oyster shooters to the masses. This year it was Island Creek's bivalves floating in Doublecross black pepper vodka with pickled shallot. Things got a little rough and tumble as onlookers flooded his station an hour into the party.

"Stop grabbing, people," he shouted, "what are we, 12?"

Island Creek Oyster's Skip Bennett shucked the night away.
Island Creek Oyster's Skip Bennett shucked the night away.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson

The real highlight of the event, however, is always the appearance of Island Creek Oyster owners Skip Bennett and Jeremy Sewall. The pair, who own their own farm in Duxbury, Mass. where they produce a fine briny, creamy oyster are also distributors for mom and pop operations up and down the east coast. They're the source for most of the oyster you've been enjoying as of late.

"Oysters are a huge part of American history and culture," said Bennett, who spent the night speedily shucking oyster and resting them in an ice-filled canoe. "Through farming we've brought the oyster back, and I don't think you've even seen the beginning of it."

Jamie DeRosa, of the soon-to-open Izzy's, dished out oysters topped with pickled onions and a sweet coconut foam.
Jamie DeRosa, of the soon-to-open Izzy's, dished out oysters topped with pickled onions and a sweet coconut foam.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson

What we also couldn't find was the beginning of the snaking line to grab one of Sewall's oyster sliders on a brioche bun with chili aioli. At least it passed Lure Fishbar chef's Josh Capon's station, where east and west coast oyster were lined up with already dressed with mignonette. No lines, and no shame in loading a half dozen onto your plate.

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Lure Fishbar

1601 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-695-4550

lurefishbar.com


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