Oysters galore for bivalve benefit

Oysters galore for bivalve benefit

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Guests ate 3,000 oysters at Wednesday night's Romancing the Oyster event. — Photo by Kaylea Moore

The Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown was packed with oyster lovers last night for Romancing the Oyster, a benefit for the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group and the Edgartown Growers Association.

Rick Karney and Amandine Surier, of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group.
Rick Karney and Amandine Surier, of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group.

“It’s really fantastic to see this turnout,” said Rick Karney, director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group. “People that are leaving are saying they are coming back next year.”

More than 200 people attended the sold out event. They slurped, gulped and ate over 3,000 oysters donated by the Edgartown Growers Association. Chef Nathan Gould of the Harbor View Hotel prepared a spread of hot buffet items that highlighted this local treasure, including oyster stew, beignets, po’ boys and grilled oysters.

Raw bars flanked the room with ice boats constantly being replenished with fresh oysters. Ten growers spent the night shucking their prized bivalves, while guests loaded up their plates, comparing and sharing with their friends which oysters they enjoyed the most.

Scott Castro of Blue Moon Oysters and Ryan Smith of Signature Oysters.
Scott Castro of Blue Moon Oysters and Ryan Smith of Signature Oysters.

“Part of the culture on the Island is the world class shellfish that we have here, and it should be celebrated,” said Mr. Karney.

Romancing the Oyster kicks off a new campaign of the Shellfish Group called “Bivalvify the Vineyard.” The 3rd annual Shellfish Extravaganza will take place on April 15 at the Chilmark Community Center and will feature a chowder contest, silent auction and music by Johnny Hoy. In July, be on the lookout for a shellfish art show at the Spring Building in Tashmoo.

The article originally published online incorrectly identified Ryan Smith of Katama Bay Oysters. Mr. Smith is associated with Signature Oysters.


  1. Crazy me, I believe they have a fishing tournament with oddles of OFF ISLAND people in OB perhaps dare I say we close off Circuit Ave in conjunction and just have … an Oyster festival with balloons and face painters, live music, arts and crafts, How did this not enter the conversation of bids providing diversions of family oriented things we could do on a weekend that does not or perhaps it does conflict with the PA event. There is a lot of free time waiting for the boats to come in with their respective catches. Personally I am a steamer and clam person but I believe in and respect diversity. Give those people a chance to do more than annoy each other and US please. The lobbyists who have funded hotels bore me. The last protest at Five Corners I thought might be to protest the sale of Girl Scout cookies.

        1. At this time there is no season of discretionary cash flow shell fish event. We had experts examine how we can revive or generate new sources of revenue on Circuit Avenue. Just not impressed with their revelations folks. All over the east coast towns have an Oyster Fest during the summer and just bury their town with people spending money and having a family oriented weekend, Why not here ? This particular event in the DEAD of winter will have little or no effect on ferry traffic but during the summer, hello. I was the nut who suggested raising docking fees last year for the Shark weekend. It is okay to be open minded and listen to ideas that work.