Yesterday afternoon, oyster enthusiasts gathered at The Standard Biergarten for the New York City Wine and Food Festival's annual Oyster Bash. The cavernous open air space was cleared of its tables and filled to the brim with acclaimed oyster purveyors from all along the East Coast.
New York restaurants and chefs paired up with different oyster purveyors for the event, giving the crowd a chance to taste each oyster variety in unadulterated, raw form and incorporated into a dish, from The Waverly Inn's creamy smoked oyster chowder to Graffiti's raw oysters topped with Pop Rocks and grapefruit granita.
Yes, that's right, Pop Rocks.
The event, presided over by Louisiana-native John Besh, was packed with hundreds of guests, eagerly slurping their way through thousands of raw (and occasionally cooked) oysters. Click through the slideshow to take a look at the afternoon's creations!
I feel obliged to add that, much to my sorrow, I arrived at Julian Medina's table too late in the game to taste his samples. The Toloache chef's Sweet Neck Ostiones Rasurados, served with Mexican salsa, avocado purée, and serrano chili, were rumored to have an optional garnish of crunchy fried crickets. If anyone else managed to get a bite, be sure to fill us in in the comments!
About the author: Niki Achitoff-Gray is the associate editor of Serious Eats and a recent graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She's pretty big into oysters, offal, and most edible things. You can follow her on Twitter at @eatandcry.