Six restaurants will compete for best oyster stewbragging rights when festival-goers sip, sample and cast their votes at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s October 31 OysterFest. This year’s participating restaurants include 2014 first place winner Bistro St. Michaels; 2013 first place winner Theo’s Steaks & Sides of St. Michaels; 2013 second place winner Roy’s Kwik Korner Seafood Carry Out of Glen Burnie; Suicide Bridge of Hurlock; Bartlett Pear Inn of Easton, Md.; and the High Spot Gastropub of Cambridge, Md.
A limited number of event-goers can cast their votes by purchasing a commemorative $10 sampling mug at the oyster stew competition tent along the museum’s Fogg’s Cove side of campus. Limited samplings of oyster stew will then be served by volunteers in a blind taste test, with participants voting by ballot for their favorite stew.
Samplings are set to begin at 11 a.m. and continue while supplies last to around 12:30 p.m., when the votes will be tallied. The oyster stew competition winners will be announced from the lower deck of the Steamboat Building at 1 p.m., and later during the festival from the Tolchester Beach Bandstand.
After the oyster stew competition and beginning around 12:30 p.m., Bistro St. Michaels will be ladling up its 2014 winning stew for festival-goers to purchase and enjoy. Oysters served in a variety of ways and other foods will also be available throughout the one-day festival.
Oyster cooking demonstrations will also highlight this year’s OysterFest and are included with festival admission. Chef Jason Hul-Miller and Chef/Owner Jon Mason of Town Dock Food & Spirits of St. Michaels will host oyster cooking demonstrations at 11:00 a.m., followed by Chef Mallory Parker of Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar & Grill of Cambridge at 12 noon, Owner/Chef Jordan Lloyd of the Bartlett Pear Inn of Easton at 1:00 p.m., Owner Mike Whittington of Mike & Eric’s Front Street Restaurant of St. Michaels at 2:00 p.m., and Owner/Chef Mark Salter of the Robert Morris Inn & Salter’s Tavern of Oxford at 3:00 p.m.
With this year’s OysterFest on Halloween, trick-or-treating throughout the festival’s vendor tables has been added as well as a costume contest judged by St. Michaels Middle/High School Choral Director Amy Martin, Avalon Foundation and Tred Avon Player Director and Costume Designer Talley Wilford, and Crashbox Theatre’s actress Sammy Bonnette, who is currently cast as Tiger Lily in Easton Middle School’s Production of Peter Pan. Awards will be given for best children’s, adult and maritime-themed costumes at 3p.m. at the Tolchester Beach Bandstand.
OysterFest takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, and includes live music on two stages, oysters and other food, children’s activities, Halloween costume contest for all ages, plus boat rides, oyster demonstrations and harvesting displays, Chesapeake Bay Retriever demonstrations, and more. For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during museum festivals, as leashed dogs are only permitted on campus during regular operating hours.
Tickets will be sold at the door, the day of the event at $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $6 for children between the ages of six and 17. Children ages five and under as well as CBMM members are admitted free. Food and boat rides are an additional cost. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org/oysterfest or call 410-745-2916.