Oyster Fest 2020 Winners

by

comment
You wouldn't know it from looking at the plaza but on Saturday the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival held its 30th annual event. This time, due to the ban on mass gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19, Arcata Main Street held the food festival virtually with host Shoshanna introducing live streaming musical guests, pre-recorded video talks and, of course, the annual Best Oyster competition.

Mad River Brewing Co.'s grilled Pacific topped with brown butter fondue, candied garlic and Meyer lemon confit. - COURTESY OF MEREDITH DAY KLEIN
  • Courtesy of Meredith Day Klein
  • Mad River Brewing Co.'s grilled Pacific topped with brown butter fondue, candied garlic and Meyer lemon confit.

This year, only seven restaurants were in the hunt: Tomo, Sushi Spot, the Jam, the Sunset Restaurant, Mad River Brewing Co., Salt Fish House and Campground. There were fewer judges, too. Instead of a long table of elbow-to-elbow tasters, a panel of five included Journal contributor Wendy Chan, Humboldt Foodies admin (and Journal contributor) Jessica Ashley Silva, event organizer Meredith Klein, Mad River Union columnist Bob Doran and Humboldt County Supervisor Mike Wilson. And instead of plucking entries from platters in a tent, the judges caravanned to the restaurants for socially distant dining in.

Mad River Brewing Co. won Best Overall Experience for its restaurant presentation and Best Cooked with its grilled Pacific topped with brown butter fondue, candied garlic and Meyer lemon confit.
Sunset Restaurant's “Shellfish out of Water,” with its juniper and sorrel forest flavors. - COURTESY OF MEREDITH DAY KLEIN
  • Courtesy of Meredith Day Klein
  • Sunset Restaurant's “Shellfish out of Water,” with its juniper and sorrel forest flavors.
Most Creative went to Sunset Restaurant's “Shellfish out of Water,” dressed with fig balsamic vinegar and juniper cabernet sauvignon mignonette, and dusted with kale, rose and black onion powders, and garnished with fennel, tobiko and sorrel flower.
Yuzu vinagrette, cherry tomato, lime and jalapeño topped Sushi Spot's raw winner. - COURTESY OF MEREDITH DAY KLEIN
  • Courtesy of Meredith Day Klein
  • Yuzu vinagrette, cherry tomato, lime and jalapeño topped Sushi Spot's raw winner.
Perennial favorite Sushi Spot captured Best Raw oyster with yuzu vinaigrette, cherry tomato, lime, jalapeño and green onion on the half shell.

Add a comment