Oyster Century Club

Oyster News!

Come slurp with me: Saturday January 31 -- SOLD OUT (where should be bring the show next?)

Boston Wine School is hosting "Oysters Deluxe" a master class including fun oyster facts, a shucking demo, and Capt. Marden's lobster dinner to follow. We'll learn about merroir and pair oysters with various wines. Ticket price also includes membership in the Oyster Century Club, your own tasting sheet and shucking knife. Learn why BostInno said the OCC is one of five social clubs Bostonians must join!

You're over your resolutions, you want a break from shoveling. Come let the bubbles and bivalves carry you away...

Saturday February 14

A special Valentine for my beloved bivalve....can't announce yet but mark your calendars and skip amateur night in the restaurants. Why sit home feeling like you should be out having fun when you can come join us, slurp, savor all for a good cause. EEk, I really can't say more but do mark your calendars!


Row 34

Oysters Deluxe at The Boston Wine School - a great gift for yourself or a friend

Aren't you starting to think about next year already? I know I am. In the last flush of holiday hustle, there are so many decisions to make. I've been intrigued by the notion of decision-fatigue. Even President Obama understands the power of eliminating decision-fatigue. I think I read that he wears only one or two suits, completely eliminating wasted energy on unimportant decisions. Having some constraints actually can be freeing since it turns out, our brains seem to have a finite ability to make decisions. Even unimportant ones seem to detract from our ability to make later decisions. This applies to critical and non-critical things. It applies to will-power and food decisions. If you're starting to think about resolutions, it's an interesting thing to consider. While I love diversity in food, I've found that having the breakfast routine really helps me start the day on a positive note and that leads to better food choices throughout the day. But before we get to resolutions, let's finish up our holiday decisions, shall we?

Should we bake more cookies? What should we put on the menu for Christmas dinner - duck? Seafood? Turkey? Is it too late to do a year-in-review TinyLetter? (TinyLetters are shorter and more personal than a newsletter, sign up here and let me know what you think.) What's the best gift I could give myself or my favorite person?

My goal is always to make your life more delicious, more grounded, more informed, and more fun. So here we go, I'm reducing your decision fatigue right here and now:

1. Cookies: While some of us have been requested to "stop baking cookies" by those watching their figures. I think cookies are such a simple joy. I say yes! Bake one more batch. You can help moderate your sweet tooth in a couple of ways. Most all cookie doughs freeze well. This means you can bake a small batch and roll the rest in parchment and wrap well for future slice-and-bake treats. I have a log of peanut butter cookie dough in the freezer now. Okay, most of a log of peanut butter cookie dough...

Cookie Platter

2. Christmas menu: Unlike Thanksgiving which tends to be traditional, with favorites requested again and again; Christmas dinner around here seems to be the time for a little flexibility. This year I think we'll do a seafood risotto Christmas Eve and a roast duck Christmas day. Or maybe a turkey breast. I've got that killer cranberry-raspberry sauce from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry and those crackly, sparkling cranberries are begging to be made again.duck_sugared_cranberries

3. TinyLetter: We do love to re-connect with loved ones this time of year. Newsy updates, photo cards, and year-end emails and "listicles". If it seems too much to create your newsletter from scratch, check out TinyLetter. I got great feedback on my first one sent just before Thanksgiving. (Included two recipes for apple cake, too. If you missed it let me know, I'll be happy to re-send.) I've got a special one coming out soon. BOLO: TinyLetter.

4. Killer gift ideas: Okay. I know some of you might still be hunting for the perfect gift. Only three days left to Christmas - how did that happen?  I love to give and get experience gifts. Who needs more stuff?

  • For Cooks: How about private cooking lesson in your own kitchen with a skilled and patient cook at your side? Learn to make food you love with Kitchen Confidence. Email me to set a time for a free consult call. What have you been dying to learn?
  • For the Bivalve Curious: A night out with a special meal, delicious wines, charming company sounds heavenly, doesn't it? Even better, how about a lobster dinner with the "snob-free" Boston Wine School preceded by an everything you always wanted to know about oysters but were afraid to ask class with me? Come join me for this fun tasting adventure, see what wines you prefer with your oysters, discover a few surprises, impress your friends with your new-found oyster lore. What better way to kick off the new year: well-fed, well-lubricated and full of new tastes and ideas. Also, did I mention? OYSTERS. Guests get Oyster Century Club membership and a special gift in addition to dinner and the oyster class. Jonathon's classes sell out and seating is limited so click today!


Crafty Bastards and Oyster Lore at Harpoon Brewery

Many people do not know just how intertwined the history of oysters and beer are with this country's early days. It's fascinating how our beloved beer and bivalves played such prominent roles in Colonial taverns, diets, commerce. 70 lucky guests got the inside scoop on Tuesday - or should I say inside shuck? Those who scored a ticket to this event before it sold out in under an hour, were honoray Crafty Bastards. A big Welcome to all our new Oyster Century Club members, too. I know you'll enjoy the reading and I hope you'll start shucking at home.





It was a fun crowd full of smart questions - curious about the pairings - and loving the beer. Many thanks to Union Park Press for bringing Lauren's terrific book, thanks to all our Harpoon staff who cheerfully welcomed, served and cleaned and special thanks to our solo shucker Mike Lindley of The Boston Raw Bar Co. and Pangea Shellfish for our fine oysters.

CraftyBastards_Harpoon Collage

If you missed out and want a book click on the Union Park link above. If you want a shucking knife of your own Email Me!

An Evening of Beer, History, and a Boatload of Oysters

  Well I'm on my way shortly here to a terrific event at Harpoon Brewery.

Imagine a giant Venn Diagram with Oysters, Beer, History, Culinary Geekdom all intersecting. THAT is where we'll be tonight!



An Evening of Beer, History, and a Boatload of Oysters... Tickets, Boston - Eventbrite.

Anything is Possible - Oysters and Out of the Shell Pairings at Urban Grape

Kicking off the news season of pop-ups at The Urban Grape, The Oyster Century Club co-hosted an evening of inventive pairings with five oystsers expertly shucked by The Boston Raw Bar Company.

Shucking and Slurping

TJ Douglas knocked it out of the park with the pairings:

  • Wellfleets (Crassostrea Virginicas) welcomed our guests paired with a sparkling Gruner Veltliner.
  • Urban Hops' Ben Bouton chose a Leipziger Gose to pair with Sunken Meadows (Crassostrea Virginicas) from Eastham.
  • Kiapara (Crassostrea Gigas) from New Zealand were paired with Bride of the Fox Saké.
  • Kumamotos (Crassostrea Sikamea) from Totten Inlet Washington paired with light Sicilian red: Cos Frappato.
  • and we ended with Pangea's own Standish Shore (Crassostrea Virginicas)from Duxbury. This was paired with an intense new gin from the Schwarzwald, Germany's Black Forest.

I shared some thoughts on the oysters, sustainability, merrroir, demonstrated how to shuck with our Oyster Century Club shucking knife, and chatted with new members. Good time had by all!

Follow the hashtag #oyster100 to see news of upcoming tastings and tweetups.

Thanks to Boston Raw Bar, Pangea Shellfish and the Whole Urban Grape team for a delicious and eye-opening evening!



and you know me, if some is good, more is better...


my night cap:



Sweet dreams indeed. See you at our next event!

An Urban Affair: Out of the Shell. The Oyster Century Club @ The Urban Grape

I wish I could say "come join us" but this event sold out before I could even post about it! Will post photos soon. For now, you can follow along using the #oyster100 hashtag on Twitter or FB or IG. Stop by The Urban Grape and ask what to pair with your next dozen oysters at home.

An Urban Affair: Out of the Shell Tickets, Boston - Eventbrite.




Isn't she a beauty? We're including Oyster Century Club membership for all attendess and the first 20 get a free Oyster Century Club shucking knife!


Save the Date! September 9!

I got 99 reasons why you should save this date....9/9 get it? Can't wait to get my hands on this. Wonder what would go well with oysters? We'll have some excellent news in this regard very shortly. Stay tuned, bookmark this site and save September 9. In the meantime, allow me to whet your whistle..



Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to Modern Day from Audissey Media on Vimeo.

Welcome to the Oyster Century Club©!

Find out why BostInno said we're one of 5 social clubs in Boston that you must join! The Oyster Century Club

Tasting our way through 100 varieties of oysters with prizes for milestones along the way. (Congratulations Larry Yu for winning the first one!)

To get the ball rolling, the first 10 members to join will receive autographed copies of the definitive Oyster lover's book: A Geography of Oysters. Rowan Jacobsen's guide includes tasting notes on over 100 types of oysters, clever descriptions of oyster lovers by type (The Shrinking Violet, The Brine Hound, The Connoisseur...), recipes and regional guides.

For OCC© members who reach 100 varieties, there will be a certificate of the accomplishment suitable for framing.

We'll use the hashtag #oyster100 on Twitter. We'll snap our photos and share our slurps on Facebook. We'll give each other a heads up when favorite oyster bars feature special oysters not to be missed. Belons in town? Tweet it and let us know!

  • Bookmark this page for updates.
  • Buy your Oyster Century Club© Tasting Sheet (see sidebar)
  • Make a date for an oyster bar near you, buy some oysters to shuck at home, or plan an oyster tasting party!


Why oysters? Why now?

I love them - you love them. I began to wonder how many I've tried. I wanted to share the love and to create a fun event to christen the new website. 

Do I have to get the oyster bar to sign my form? Must I have it with me when I dine out?

Please be considerate of your servers and shuckers. If you can get someone's initials without disrupting their work, by all means, do. It will be fun to see later how many you had here or there and to remember the evening. If everyone's too busy or you forgot your form: simply snap a pic and Tweet it with the #Oyster100 hashtag, then make a note that you've done so.

As we mount a midden of spent shells, we might get distracted. To keep our focus, we will have special prizes/incentives for benchmarks along the way as well as special guest posts and recipes.

In order to be eligible for the prizes you must document tasting via your form.

Do I have to live in Boston to play along?

No! You can join and track your tasting adventures from where ever you live!

Can I include varieties I taste at home?

Of course! We have discovered that the seafood counter at Whole Foods - Charles River Park is a great place to find fresh oysters to enjoy at home. See what's available at your local Whole Foods Seafood counter.

How will you know if I've really tasted all 100?

Well obviously, this is an honor system, but I'm sure I can count on my fellow fans of bivalves to be honest, right? Your form will be filled out for prizes and I'll be seeing who's tweeting with the #Oyster110 hashtag.

Is there really such a thing as merroir?

Of course! Consider the vast majority of East Coast oysters are Crassotrea virginica but how different a Wellfleet tastes as compared to a Chincoteague. Just as the Chardonnay grape has a different expression when grown in the soil of Burgundy versus California, so does the environment of the oyster contribute to its flavor. Salinity of the water, the tides, the water temperature, the microorganisms the oysters feed on and filter from the water -- all these factors contribute its profile.

Do grilled or broiled oysters count?

I suppose I'd have to say yes. It would be interesting to see if the flavor of one oyster variety versus another would be apparent through the grilling/broiling flavors.

Great! I'm in - what do I do now?

Get your tasting form (Paypal button sidebar). I'll send your very own Oyster Century Club© tasting form once payment's been received. Tweet your membership with the #Oyster100 hashtag.

Come back to this site where I'll also be sharing recipes, oyster lore, fun facts along the way. Share your oyster experience and if you post, let me know and I'll link back to you and tweet your post, too.

I'm also lining up a few very special guest posts and of course, I'm tasting, tasting. (Umamis and Cotuits most recently.)

August update Oyster Century Club posts and updates.


Are You a Member? 5 Boston Social Clubs You Need to Know About | BostInno

We are delighted to be one of five Boston Social Clubs, BostInno singled out for "must join" status! We welcome all new members and have some exciting events on the horizon. Come slurp and sip and laugh and learn with us! We'll tell you why the old "R" month rule is passé and share favorite stories over a platter or two of our beloved bivalves.

Are You a Member? 5 Boston Social Clubs You Need to Know About | BostInno.



Aw Shucks Slurps & Sips Class: Hashtag Schwag Winner

Our sold-out Oyster Century Club© Slurps & Sips class was a hit! Sixteen oyster lovers became Oyster Century Club members and shared their favorite spots to enjoy oysters, as well as questions. image I demonstrated how to buy, store and shuck at home, shared oyster facts and trivia, and we paired our oysters with three different beverages: a Muscadet, a Saké, and a Stout. Two of the highlights for me were the knowledge that 13 out of 16 attendees said they were likely to try shucking at home as a result of taking this class. I was particularly pleased that the majority of the attendees were delighted at the pairing of saké with oysters.

During and after the class, attendees were invited to Instagram, Tweet, post to Facebook and Pin pics of the class and of their next shuck-at-home adventure. We capped the contest period on June 8 World Ociean Day. Robin Lowe is our winner. She's the one holding our youngest member, William below. I can see delicious days ahead for this young man. WFM_Collage

Oysters and Sustainability and Winning

Greenpeace's 2014 Carting Away the Oceans (CATO) report evaluates and ranks supermarkets on their sustainable seafood policies. Whole foods and Safeway topped the ranking guide. One of the things we talked about was the role of the oyster in sustaining ocean habitat and maintaining protective reef structures that might mitigate super storms like Sandy or Katrina. Congratulations to Whole Foods for their commitment to sustainable seafood.

  • Did you know a single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day?

Goodie bags for the class included:

  • branded Oyster Century Club shucking knives
  • a postcard with info on the Mass Oyster Project
  • mignonette ingredients and cocktail sauce

In addition to Oyster Lover placemats for quiz winners, Robin wins a Williams-Sonoma Cooking Class for 2 (a $90 value!) Congratulations Robin!

Social Creatures Ostreaphiles

Oysters are delicious fun. Oyster lovers or Ostreaphiles, are fun and social! Beginning with the class and ending on World Oceans Day, our slurping, sipping attendees generated over 82,000 impressions! Remember to follow the hashtag #oyster100 or bookmark this site, find my Pinterest Boards on Oyster Happenings and The Oyster Century Club© - join us for our next event.

...there will be bubbles...



Thanks to Whole Foods Market Lynnfield, Williams-Sonoma for hosting and sponsoring!

Find out how we can bring oyster lovers to your venue, email me.

The Oyster Century Club Presents: iPhonography with Brian Samuels - Shoot + Slurp = Success

Don't you love pulling off the impossible? Pull an event together in no time? Drop it right between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Shows you what a few dedicated oyster lovers can do - Thanks to Ashton and Brian and many thanks to Maré for opening early so we could benefit from the great light in the restaurant. Nature cooperated with a good sunny day in the middle of weeks of gray. Hundreds and hundreds of views on EventBrite, social media full court press and we filled our seats and had a blast.

Eight new members, some oyster trivia, half-price oysters and nearly two hours of hands on iphone photography from the fabulous Brian Samuels of A Thought for Food.

And one lucky new member won a gift certificate to Maré! Congrats Gloria!



Social Media Contest

During the class we announced that a prize for most photos posted during and following the class would be tallied at noon Monday and the results are in:

Congratulations Jessica (AKA Little Miss Runshine) in addition to her blog post, Learning How to Shoot Better iPhone Photos with Brian Samuels and the Oyster Century Club at Mare Oyster Bar, she properly tagged and posted the most photos on social media. Go Little Miss Runshine! A set of William Sonoma "Grand Tour" dipping bowls are yours - just in time for holiday entertaining. Reach out and let me know when and where I can drop them off, maybe over a platter of oysters?


Stout Granita Oysters - Come Shoot and Slurp with the Oyster Century Club this Saturday at Mare Oyster Bar!

Pairing stout with oysters isn't a bad idea, here's a granita made with Guinness. What works in this photo? What doesn't? Come learn how to shoot dead sexy food photos from a pro: Brian Samuels.

Join the Oyster Century Club© and award-winning photographer Brian Samuels this Saturday, December 7th from 12:00 - 2:00 for a very special slurp and learn. Did you see Brian on CBS Sunday Morning?!

  • Get tips on creating and shooting great food with our smart phones culled from Brian's sold out classes.
  • OCC members enjoy half price oysters at this event and special appetizers on the house.
  • Be ready to shoot and share your sexy food pics on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. #oyster100 @MyFoodThoughts @LDGourmet @MareChef.
Oyster Century Club© members claim your early bird tickets today - Join the OCC - seats are limited at this event.  Register now! 
UPDATE: BONUS - Oyster Century Club members get free admission to the Eat Boutique Holiday Market! When you sign up for our class, we'll email you a special code for free admission. After our tasting, we'll head over to the market together.

Oyster Lovers - Join us for a Special "Slurp and Learn" Oyster Century Club Event!

Mare Collage

The Oyster Century Club© invites you for a special midday oyster tasting event.

oyster oyster oyster


...register today, we'll all head over after....

oyster oyster oyster

They Shoot Oysters, Don't They?

This Saturday, December 7 from 12 - 2 ,

we'll be enjoying oysters and special appetizers while

professional photographer and oyster-loving friend, Brian Samuels shares the secrets to capturing great oyster iPhone shots.

We'll be tweeting, instagramming and sharing photos as we shoot and eat.

Brian's classes have been selling out across the country, we're thrilled to grab some time with him Saturday!

Bring a friend!

Sign up today.






New Friends, New Oysters - Join the Oyster Century Club - Today!

Top five reasons why you should join the Oyster Century Club - TODAY. 1. It's fun! 

We get together and meet new friends, taste new oysters. Here's our last get together at Maré Oyster Bar:

Mare Oyster Century Club


2. It's a totally unique thing that will make you the envy of your friends.

Do you long for the type of camraderie wine drinkers have? Discussing grapes, vineyards, holding tastings? Ever met anyone in a wine century club? Tasting 100 grapes is worthy undertaking. We are tasting our way through 100 varieties of oysters. What's more fun than that?

When you join you will receive your own tasting sheet, where you can track your progress toward the goal of 100, note your favorites, record tasting notes.


3. Discover hot new venues.

One of the things I love about Maré is that you can feel transported to someplace carefree and sunny, think South Beach with less attitude.

Mare Oyster Bar


4. Win cool prizes.

Along the way we've got some fun raffle items, from saké service, to cookbooks, t-shirts, to gift certificates.


Right now - new members will be entered to win a gift certificate for Maré! Drawing extended to 5 PM Wednesday October 16.

Another lucky winner will receive a Little Island Oyster tee shirt.

5. Enjoy sustainable seafood - at its peak right now!

At our recent screening of the documentary Shellshocked, we learned how and why oysters are good for the environment. When was the last time you could enjoy something so luxurious, so affordable, so sexy and so environmentally sound?



Oysters are storing up glycogen for their winter "hibernation" this means we get to enjoy extra sweet, plump and delicious oysters now and through the winter. These Nonesuch Oysters were fantastic last month, and the Little Island Oysters, too! Can't wait to try them both now! Thanks again to:

  •  Nonesuch oysters - Abigail Carroll, the accidental oyster farmer. See her TEDxYouth alk here: life lessons and getting your hands dirty, finding joy.
  • Frank & Tonyia Peasley – Little Island Oysters - on the Bagaduce River in Maine.


I asked Andrew Jay of the Mass Oyster Project for his tips:

  1. Ask your oyster bar if they recycle their shells.
  2. Email the governor that Massachusetts should do more restoration.
  3. Get in touch with restoration movement- Like Mass Oyster on Facebook.



Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves - Tonight at Les Zygomates

LIttle Island Oysters  


From the pristine waters of Little Island in the Bagaduce River of Maine and the Scarborough River also in Maine, come two fine oysters you'll be invited to sample tonight.


Les Zygomates is hosting our Oyster Century Club© event which will feature a screening of Shellshocked: Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves - this 40 minute award-winning documentary covers the history of oysters rise and fall and the restoration work being done today.

We're also honored to have two local experts joining us to talk about the science of biomimicry and how it's being used to restore oyster beds and coastal areas. Our second guest will share what local Boston area oyster recovery projects are underway.


Powerful film, great guests, terrific oysters.


Please join us!



A Grand Giveaway to Celebrate Oysters

Grand Central Oyster  

This is a gorgeous book y'all.

Part history, part cookbook, part coffee table eye-candy.

This book covers the century of fresh-as-can-be seafood served in the landmark restaurant in the lower level of Grand Central Station. 100 years of oysters and more. Oh my.

The first time I opened it, I landed on Maryland Crabcakes. Next I landed on Oysters. This book is DESTINED to become a regular, dappled, and smudged kitchen companion.


But here's the good part. I got one for YOU!

Register for Shellshocked Event

So you may have heard I'm having a little event on Monday. Shellshocked: Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves.


This powerful 40min documentary covers the oyster's heyday, through decline and ends with the coastal restoration work that is happening today. We've got terrific guest speakers, delicious oysters and a few surprises.

Please join us!

Register here.

Everyone who registers is automatically entered to win. We will hold a drawing on Monday night at the event.

Other ways to Win:

Now I know some of you are saying - hey, I don't live in Boston, I can't be there, but I really want that book.

      • Here's another way to enter to win. Join the Oyster Century Club© and tell two friends about Monday's event. (see sidebar for Paypal button)
      • Have a friend who loves oysters? Someone you know big on environmental issues? Maybe you know a documentary film buff? I can email you a press release you can send to them personally.

Here's a Tweet for you to share now:

"When enviro issues X dinner plate. Restore, recover, eat oysters! Powerful 40 min film, spec guests +You? http://bit.ly/1dbqJPR"

Now drop a comment and tell me about what you want to prepare from the book, raw bar? Appetizers? (Clams Casino?) Fried Seafood? (Fried Ipswich Clams? Guinness-battered Fish and Chips?) there's sides and desserts and specials they serve daily. It's gorgeous. You should have it. Really.

Act fast, drawing is Monday!

NB: Contest closed: Commenters below Susan, Rich, Janis, Vivian will be included in tonight's drawing. Good luck everyone!

CONTEST WINNER: Our youngest attendee, Isabelle helped me draw names from the attendees and commenters. Congratulations Janson Wu! Thanks Isabelle and thanks to all who entered, tweeted and shared the OCC love.


Shellshocked: Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves

Shellshocked Screening, Tweetup & Tasting

Monday, Sept 16 from 6:00p to 8:00p - Les Zygomates, Boston, MA

Love oysters? Of course you do!


Come see the award-winning documentary:

Shellshocked - Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves

Oyster tasting to follow film.

From oysters' glory days through a sad decline, to restoration projects; learn what's happening today, and right here in Boston.

  • Dr. Anamarija Frankic - Associate Director of the School for the Environment at UMass, Boston, Dir. of the Green Harbors Project - Professor Frankic is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography in Croatia and has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to establish a biomimicry course and the LivingLabs program in Croatia.
  • Andrew Jay of the Massachusetts Oyster Projectrestoring oysters to the Commonwealth’s estuaries. Mass Oyster has four primary activities- oyster shell recycling, education, direct oyster restoration, supporting other restoration programs.

Warm thanks to Les Zygomates and Nonesuch Oysters for joining the Oyster Century Club© in hosting this special event.

$20, Seats are limited - Register now.

Please arrive any time after 5:30; Screening begins promptly at 6.