Oyster Cloyster 2012: Good Food, Beautiful Location and Great Cause

Save the Date, November 3, 2012. If you are local or nearly local plan to attend the 12th Annual Oyster Cloyster at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. This is the Annual Fundraiser for the Aquarium Science Program at the Oregon Coast Community College. Over the past 12 years we have been able to raise over $300,000 to support AQS students and the program.


Here’s a bit more information about the upcoming event:

The 12th Annual Oyster Cloyster Festival on the Oregon Coast will be held on Saturday, November 3.  Once again, the event will appropriately be hosted at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.This is a not to be missed culinary extravaganza“, said Wayne Tapp, event chairman.  “ We have many loyal fans who come back year after year to see what new and exciting taste temptations the chefs have created from one of Oregon’s freshest products: oysters!”

The Oyster Cloyster chefs will be prepared to serve over 7,000 oysters to oyster lovers. Thirteen chefs are confirmed to participate in the unique event aimed to please the most discriminating palate. Last year’s Top Chef winner from Rogue Ales, Second Place winner from the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Third Place winner from the Shilo Inn and People’s Choice winer from Local Ocean will all be returning to keep or beat their titles.  Also hoping to be in the competition this year are chefs from Angell Job Corp, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Drift Inn, Gracie’s Sea Hag, La Maison, Luna Sea, Mist at Surftides, Ocean Bleu @ Gino’s, Pelican Pub & Brewery, Spirit Mountain Casino and Starfish Grill at Agate Beach Best Western.

Pati D’Elisio, chef coordinator for the event said, “It’s wonderful to have so many chefs wanting to be a part of our event. It shows how popular the Oyster Cloyster has become when the chefs are eager to participate and really want to win one of the elegant one-of a kind glass blown trophies created by Ryan Bledsoe owner of the Edge Art Gallery.”

The chefs are encouraged to use oysters from the Oregon Oyster Farm on the Yaquina Bay and most do.  The only rule, however, for the completion is that the entry must feature the oyster in all its glory. Oysters can be served raw or they can be cooked in a variety of tempting ways.  Chef Erik Machuca, last year’s Top Chef won with his raw entry called Oyster on the Half Shell with Bacon Champagne Mignonette and Blood Orange Gelatin. Chef Charlie Branford, the People’s Choice winner, won with his entry Oysters Lambardinis, a fried oyster served on a bed of Bacon and Wilted Spinach, topped with Champagne and Dungness Crab Sabayon and Paddlefish Caviar.

For individuals whose palate does not appreciate oysters, there will be pulled pork sandwiches from Roadhouse 101, ribs and chicken from Pig Feathers, Clam Chowder from the Depoe Bay Chowder Bowl, assorted meat and cheese trays, and shrimp cocktails from Pacific Shrimp.  Plus, Captain Dan and his mate Kathy from Captain Dan’s Pirate Pastry Den make sure there are lots of decadent desserts from their bakery as well as from Nye Beach Sweets, My Petite Sweet, Side Door Café, Tables of Content and J.C. Thriftway.

The event offers complimentary coffee from Starbucks, punch and a no host bar featuring wines from Kristin Hills Winery, Noble Estates Vineyards and Silver Falls Vineyards, plus, Rogue Ales will be pouring several popular microbrews.

Live entertainment throughout the galleries of the Oregon Coast Aquarium awakens the event and creates a festive atmosphere.  This year attendees will be pleasurably surprised by the talented Liz Cable, guitarist and vocalist; Chayg’s haunting Ecuadorian music; and the recorder and string musical group, Lost in Time.  OCCC music students will also provide guitar and piano music in the lobby.  But the musical lineup would not be complete without Donna Futrell-Baker and her bagpipes who will greet attendees at the Aquarium entrance.

The event concludes with the chef’s award ceremony followed by the picking of the winning tickets for the 12 baskets brimming with treasures.  Each basket is valued at over $1,500 and includes a Sun Stone and Pearl necklace and earring set donated by Dust Devil Mining Co. Tickets sell for $10 each or 11 for $100.  The proceeds are a benefit scholarships for OCCC Aquarium Science students.

In addition to being an elegant evening of fine food, live music and sophisticated fun, the Oyster Cloyster is also the major benefit for the OCCC Foundation and the OCCC Aquarium Science program, now in its sixth year.  “Because of our generous sponsors and loyal patrons we have raised over $300,000 for the program“, said A.T. Ronan, Executive Director of the Foundation.

Tickets to the benefit event can be purchased through the college website at oregoncoastcc.org/oyster-cloyster using PayPal, or at TLC Federal Credit Union, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Chuck’s Video in Waldport, J.C. Market in Newport, the Newport Performing Arts Center, Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau, and Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce. Ticket price is $65 each or two for $125 with the price increasing to $75 per ticket on the evening of the event.  Call the Oyster Cloyster hotline at 541 867-7141 for more information.


As an added benefit, three local hotels are offering discounts for Oyster Cloister attendees:

La Quinta, 25% off, 541-867-7727
Elizabeth Street Inn, 15% off, 541-265-9400
Shilo, $84 rate, 541-265-7701
I will also provide a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Animal husbandry and teaching facilities on Sunday morning, November 4th. If you are staying over and interested in this tour please RSVP to me at  tim.miller-morgan@oregonstate.edu by  10/31/2012.
I hope to see  you there. It should be a great event.
Dr. Tim