Oyster Shucking Contest
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Oyster Shucking Contest

33rd Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival

- Oyster Shucking Contest -

Join us to celebrate the WORLD’S BEST OYSTERS on Saturday, October 5th at the 33rd Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival! This year we have expanded our seafood celebration to include an Oyster Shucking Contest. We invite all amateur and professional oyster shucking contestants to join us for this special event. We especially encourage contestants from the seafood industry, shucking houses, restaurants, and oyster farms to come out and show your talents. We will host several contests throughout the day for men and women. The competition will be spectacular to witness and there will never be a dull moment! The best oyster shuckers will go head-to-head in a final competition!

The Oyster Showcase and Shucking Contest are brought to you by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and North Carolina Shellfish Growers Association.

Competition format:The Oyster Shucking Contest will consist of timed trials where contestants will shuck 6 locally grown oysters. Each oyster will be from a different North Carolina shellfish farm. A wild harvest oyster will also be included in the selection. All oysters will be randomly selected by the judging committee. The contestant will remove the oysters from the container provided and arrange for shucking. At the signal of the Chief Judge, the timekeepers will start their stopwatches and the shuckers will commence shucking. Contestants must place each oyster on an unbroken half-shell and arrange neatly on a tray provided. When a contestant has finished shucking and is satisfied with the arrangement of shucked oysters, he/she will raise their hands and the time keepers will stop their stopwatches. When the shuckers raise their hands, the judges will take over the tray of oysters and begin judging each oyster. The shucker may not touch the tray of oysters after they have signaled completion.


All rulings by judges are final. Presentation is of utmost importance. An appetizing arrangement of oysters will be rewarded. Judges will add penalties to shucking time accordingly:

  • An oyster not completely severed from shell ……….………….add 3 seconds
  • An oyster presented on a broken shell……………….…………….add 1 second
  • An oyster presented with grit, blood or other foreign substance…add 3 seconds
  • A cut oyster………………………………………………………..….add 3 seconds
  • An oyster not placed properly in the shell………………………add 2 seconds
  • A missing Oyster……………………………………………………..add 20 seconds

The Chief Judge will declare the winner by the shucker with the fastest time, including all penalties and bonuses.

The NC Seafood Festival assumes no liability for injury.Shuckers may wear gloves and use their own knives. A sample of gloves and knives will be provided so that everyone can compete!

Chief Judges

Ryan Bathea, Owner of Oysters Carolina; Representative of North Carolina Shellfish Growers Association

Tres Hundertmark, Celebrity Chef and Owner of NCOyster365

Questions?

Ken Riley, Shucking Contest Coordinator

North Carolina Seafood Festival Board Member

ecuaqua@gmail.com

(252) 864-6193

If you are interested signing up to compete in the Oyster Shucking Contest, clink on the link below, fill out the required information and submit to the form to the Festival Office.
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