Words: Jess Graves | Photos: Caroline Fontenot
If you follow our "Agenda" section, you're aware that we do our best to let y'all know about the coolest events going down in the South. While everything we spotlight is hand-picked with heart, sometimes an event is so special, we just have to share some pictures after the fact. Case in point: The Alabama Oyster Social.
The good news: Alabama oysters are soaring in popularity.
The bad news: the family who owns the land where lots of the most beloved oyster breeds (Mon Louis, Murder Point, Turtlebacks, Captain Zeke's, Pass Huitre and Southern Pearls) are raised and harvested won't renew the lab's lease.
What does that mean? All those oysters need a new home, as does Auburn's training and research area. So, they're moving - to a bigger, more optimistic location with a litany of opportunity for growth. But it takes time, effort, research and money to make that transition happen for the hardworking farming families who will continue raising oysters on the new land.
That's where Chefs David Bancroft (you can read more about him here) and Rob McDaniel come in.
Sure, the Alabama Oyster Social was thrown to celebrate the Alabama oyster and the folks who raise them, including Dr. Bill Walton's Crew at the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory. But more pressing was the financial burden on the program. As we all can attest, moving is expensive. So Chef Bancroft pulled together a stellar crew of selfless Southern culinary talent, a lot of booze and one very fine aged ham to throw the social and raise money for their cause.
The social itself raised $25,000, which is impressive enough. But Auburn University Shellfish Lab is still in need of donations to lock in their future.
If you'd like to make a donation (and you ought to), you can do that here: