Posts filed under Wine

Walrus and Carpenter All About Oysters on the Beach

Each year Taylor Shellfish Farms in association with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund host an amazing evening event that always has a waiting list.

Gone are the trappings of the standard gala fund raiser. No white tablecloths here or soaring centerpieces. Rather this sought after event features the sea, seasoned shuckers, crisp cold white wines and oysters fresh from the tideline.

After gathering at the Queen Anne Taylor Oyster Bar for appetizers, the lucky guests board a coach bus along with long time oyster enthusiasts Jon Rowley and Betsy Peabody and head towards Shelton, WA.

There Bill Taylor of Taylor Shellfish Farms joins the group. Once aboard, he shares the history of Taylor Shellfish Farms from its early days as a small startup company over a hundred years ago to its status as the primary supplier of quality shellfish today to leading American chefs.

When the coach stops, guests are greeted by an evening beach lit by lanterns and shuckers waiting to share with diners some of the world’s best oysters, fresh from the sea.

As guests walk to the beach, they are greeted by Marco Pinchot, Taylor’s Director of Brand Marketing, who sees each has a complimentary Taylor shucking knife along with a please-return wineglass – all for a reason.

That’s because waiting down on the beach is cold iced wine and shuckers standing behind deep iced trays of fresh-from-the sea oysters. Those attending the event can then enjoy as many fresh in-the-shell oysters as they like OR learn direct from the pros how to open their very own oysters.

Either way one can’t lose. But wait – it gets even better because there are oysters roasting on the grill and more chilled wine. As guests savor their last oysters, Betsy Peabody recites from memory the entire poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" from Lewis Carroll's classic Through the Looking Glass.. Impressive! 

After enjoying a warming cup of chowder, it’s time to board the coach and bring the evening to a close.

All in all, the Walrus and Carpenter event is the perfect way to learn more and enjoy more oysters, all while supporting the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving water conditions, increasing native species and restoring local habitat.

Like wine and oysters, the Puget Sound Restoration Fund and Taylor Shellfish Farms are a perfect match. Why not join them next year and enjoy the best while preserving the best?

Your Culinary World Copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel  2015

A Mardi Gras Secret Told

Since 1819 a little known Mardi Gras tradition has accompanied New Orleans’ chefs as they make their way to work during the wee hours of the morning.

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Along their way to work the chefs often nod and smile as they pass the members of the Skull and Bones Gang. No, these are not the northern members of Yale’s elite secret society come South. Rather they are followers of a tradition as old as Mardi Gras itself.

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Dressed all in black, their costumes are painted with the outline of a fleshless human skeleton. Their faces are covered with large papier-mache skulls, making their true identity a closely held secret.

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So attired, they knock on closed doors and tell those within to get up and start their day no matter the length of their evening before. Truly this is a message any weary chef can understand as he wait for his staff to arrive.

They remind sleepy business people on their way to work to remember that life is short, to make the most of every day, every hour – to be fair and honest in their dealings. 

They tell the children leaving home to hurry along to school, that education is freedom and the creator of choice. They also warn the children to avoid drugs that hurt and harm.

In short, they are the early morning conscience of the City, reminding all that life’s lasting values are in the everyday, the normal flow of life. The exhilaration of celebration is delightful, but the truth of life lays in the reality of a day started and ended with purpose achieved.

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And that is why the chefs of New Orleans and the Skull and Bones Men knowingly nod to each other in the early hours because they share a secret - a secret they hope everyone else will soon know as well, that life is shorter than we think. Why not honor this meaningful tradition by serving some 'bone' cookies to your staff, especially if they're running late.

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2014