Pearl Jam 2016 - RILEY SMITH

The Pearl Jam shells out culinary creativity

Ring in Oyster Fest with local chefs, oyster producers and bartenders

Back for its second year as an Oyster Festival kick-off is The Pearl Jam, an intimate, chef-focused event hosted by John Bil (owner of Toronto’s Honest Weight) and oyster shucking champ Eamon Clark (of Rodney’s Oyster House, also in TO) and presented by The Coast.

“It’s a chance to show off what’s really happening right now in the kitchen,” says Dennis Johnston, the event’s executive chef. “It’s a good platform for that. And I think we need to push our bright stars whenever we can.”

For this year’s Pearl Jam (Thursday, September 28 on the Halifax Waterfront) he’s gathered the culinary talents of Joe Martin (Stillwell), Jason Lynch (Le Caveau), Alex Jolin (The Barrington Steakhouse), Stephanie Oglivie(Brooklyn Warehouse), Tyson Watcher (Mother’s Pizza) and Lachlan Culjak(Eliot & Vine), who’ll each put their own spin on the shelled delicacy.

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“Most people eat oysters raw, but in a prepared situation it gives the chance for the chef to work their magic in accenting the flavours of the oyster that one wouldn’t normally recognize,” says Johnston.

The roster of chefs will team up with local oyster producers and create dishes that’ll be served to Pearl Jammers alongside a cocktail pairing from The Clever Barkeep crew.

“What Christine”—Orsekovich, The Coast’s publisher— “has done is she’s created has the best oyster festival in Canada. Any other festival in Canada becomes primarily a showcase for local restaurants because a lot of suppliers cant afford to travel two or three thousand kilometres with two or three thousand oysters in tow,” says Johnston.

“We’re lucky that we live by the ocean and have an enormous oyster culture here.”

Sound like it might be your jam? Get tickets here.