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Oysterfest Promotes Alaskan Oyster Industry
Published: 07/18/2013 12:00:00
Last weekend saw a very unique event in Juneau, the 2nd annual Oysterfest at Sealaska Plaza, hosted by Haa Aani, their economic development subsidiary, it was designed to promote and celebrate the Alaskan Oyster industry. Shawn Blumenshine, the Event Coordinator, told us more about it all.

"It's an industry that we have invested in personally, Haa Aani, we've invested in some oyster farms around Southeast Alaska, so we're trying to grow and promote the industry, the oyster industry is a huge industry and the supply cannot even begin to keep up with the demand. Last year's Oyster Festival ended up being so successful we decided we were going to make it an annual thing. Alaska Seafood Marketing (ASMI) is one of our big sponsors too, they sponsored us last year and again this year and they flew up Chef Sandy Ingber from New York's Grand Central Station Oyster Bar."

The Chef himself told us about one of his Oyster preparations that he was featuring.
"Well today we have an oyster on the half shell, which is the Alaskan oyster, and it's going to have an APA, (American pale ale) Alaskan Brewery APA, we made a mignonette out of it with the shallots, a little touch of vinegar, and some black pepper. That's going to go on top of the oyster and then I made a cucumber, tomato, citrusy relish to go on top."

According to an anonymous Oysterfest Participant "They are phenomenal."

Also on hand was Stuart Campbell of Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, who told us about his special preparation method.
"Specialty today is we've got some grilled oysters with a mineure sauce which is a brown butter sauce it's got Worcestershire, and lemon, garlic and a little tobacco so it's awesome."

Shawn Blumenshine commented on the quality of the Oyster's that are being grown in Southeast.
"Oh, the oysters are extremely good; I'm not even a huge oyster fan I'll admit but the Alaskan waters with the rich in nutrients produce a very sweet, very high quality oyster. We've got farms in Yakutat, we've got farms in Hoonah, we've got a farm in Angoon that's about to come on line harvesting oysters and we're working on a project on Prince of Wales Island as well."

I asked him "How many oysters do you expect to go through today?"

"Eight hundred dozen, last year we did three thousand dozen over the three days."


http://www.sealaska.com/page/haa-aani-llc.html

By: Rik Pruett - rik@kath.tv