Last night we had our very first Oysters 101 class at the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs. Much to our delight, it ended up selling out and we had a roster of 15 oyster enthusiasts. It was a great opportunity for me to geek out on all the oyster knowledge I’ve collected over the years. I was worried that the participants would find some of the history and science a bit dry, but surprisingly, everyone was very engaged and asked a ton of questions. The space and test kitchen at Brooklyn Kitchen Labs is also very comfortable. We were able to set up a few stations for group work and it was a nice way for people to meet also help each other through the shucking and recipes.
I led the first half of the class and discussed oyster history, aquaculture techniques, triploid oysters, sustainability, oyster appellation and species, oyster shopping tips and most importantly how to shuck and eat an oyster! We had a class full of excellent shuckers! I was expecting this part of the class to take a lot longer, but it was amazing– most people were able to shuck after one try and spent the rest of the time slurping down and tasting oysters! We took a quick break so that the class members could visit the Meat Hook before it closed. If any of you are in the neighborhood, run, don’t walk to the Meat Hook. We used their bacon in one of our recipes and I can’t decide which I preferred more: our oysters or their bacon!
After the break, Mathew took over with the cooking portion. We made Oysters Rockefeller, Spicy Mignonette Sauce, Cocktail Sauce, and Oysters Stew. In the future, we’ll make the sauces at the very beginning of class so that people can dress their oysters when they’re tasting. I like my oysters pure and unadulterated, but I should be considerate of other people’s preferences!
Mathew had prepped all the ingredients in the beginning of class, so there was no prepping required. We asked everyone to shuck a few more oysters for the recipes but aside from that each recipe took a maximum of 15 minutes! By the end of class, we were feasting on baked and stewed oysters.
The two hours flew by and before we knew it, class was over. We definitely have plans for another class at the Brooklyn Kitchen… so if you missed it last night, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you’ll be the first to know when our next class is posted.