The Love List

est. 2006 // BY JESS GRAVES

1/29/15: The Alabama Oyster Social [AUBURN]


Who + What: For the second year, we are gathering to celebrate the Alabama oyster, the hard work of the oystermen, and Dr. Bill Walton's crew at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory.

Since last year's Oyster Social much has happened. The popularity of the Alabama oyster has soared and production has increased; however, the other news isn't as good. The lease where many of our favorite oysters are raised and harvested has been denied for renewal. Despite all efforts from Auburn University, the family that owns the land will not be renewing the lease ...PERIOD! Many of our favorite Alabama oysters (Mon Louis, Murder Point, Turtlebacks, Captain Zeke's, Pass Huitre and Southern Pearls) are going to have to find new farm sites. Also, the Auburn University training and research area, one of the key assets in the Alabama oyster movement, will have to relocate. The scientists have conducted essential, practical research, raised seed (juvenile oysters) for this new industry, and overseen the 'business park' in cooperation with Organized Seafood Association of Alabama.

This business park has been a catalyst for new oyster farms, providing acreage to six new commercial oyster farms. This move, while challenging, also presents a tremendous opportunity! Auburn University hopes to establish new oyster farming parks, providing opportunities for the current and new oyster farmers, while also establishing an oyster farming experiment station. Here, university researchers will conduct cutting edge research and provide practical, hands-on training that can be used by Alabama's oyster farmers and throughout the Southern US.

The 2016 Alabama Oyster Social has partnered with an All-Star roster of some of the South's most influential chefs as well as our friends from Evans Meats.

Participating chefs:

  • Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club & Ovenbird

  • Ryan Prewitt of Peche

  • Bryan Rackley of Kimball House

  • Lisa Marie White and Kelly Fields of Willa Jean

  • Adam Evans of Brezza Cucina

  • Justin DeVillier of La Petite Grocery

  • Michael Gulotta of MoPho

  • Derek Emerson of Walker's Drive-In

  • Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar

  • Alabama chefs Leo Maurelli, Bill Briand, George McMillan, Ban Stewart, Caleb Fischer, Rob McDaniel, and David Bancroft

+ live music by Caleb Caudle.

The tasting tables will feature southern fisherman, farmers, foragers, butchers, brewers, distillers, vintners, and shellfish enthusiasts all to highlight the progressive, sustainable efforts of Alabama oyster farms. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory to first help with the relocation of the research efforts and commercial farms to new farm sites, and ultimately to expand the capacity of Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory's capacity to serve this flourishing, 'blue-green' industry.

When + Where: January 29th 2016 will be the 2nd annual Alabama Oyster Social in Auburn, Alabama with a goal of raising $100,000 to help offset the financial crisis that these farming families now face.