Landlocked Oyster Fest & Benefit Aims To Help Georgia's Local Industry
by Julia Bainbridge, Atlanta Magazine
Posted: 2017-10-27 16:06:32 EST

At the Landlocked Oyster Fest and Benefit this Sunday, you can try oysters from 19 different farmers, 15 of whom produce in the Southeast. Georgia oyster farmers take up just two slots on that list—most come from the Carolinas, Alabama, and Florida—but that may change very soon.

“In the next five to seven years, we want to help increase in-state growers to about 50,” says Tom Bliss, director of the University of Georgia’s Shellfish Research Laboratory in Savannah.

Sunday’s event is the first of its kind put on by Oyster South, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging oyster farming throughout the southern U.S., and it will benefit the Shellfish Research Lab. Chefs, including including Staplehouse’s Ryan Smith and Southern Soufflé blogger Erika Council, will partner with farmers to present oysters on the half shell dressed up with various accoutrements at Color Wheel Studios in Decatur. Buxton Hall BBQ’s Elliott Moss will come in from Asheville to cook a whole hog and some ribs with Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin’, one of Atlanta’s best new restaurants. “We love oysters, but sometimes when you leave these events, you’re still starving!” says Kimball House’s Bryan Rackley, one of the founders of Oyster South. “So I asked those guys to do some barbecue.”

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