"Patrick McMurray is an icon among the oyster cult of North America. Not only is he one of the world's elite competitive oyster shuckers...he operates Starfish--a fabulous oyster bar in Toronto, he grow oysters, he writes about oysters with passion and joy, and he, most likely, has just penned the new 'oyster bible.' This 'field guide' is a must own for all kinds of oyster lovers, from the casual enthusiast to the enlightened, life-long devotee."--Jasper White, chef/owner of Summer Shack and author of Lobster at Home and Jasper White's Cooking from New England
From the Inside Flap
OYSTERS ARE SEXY. LET’S AGREE ON THAT RIGHT AWAY.
But there’s much more to the oyster than simply its legendary power as an aphrodisiac. And that’s what you’ll find inside this charming field guide to oysters by oyster purveyor and champion shucker Patrick McMurray.
Rich in history and lore, CONSIDER THE OYSTER weaves together anecdotes from the author’s experiences as a restaurateur and competitive shucker with practical information on everything from opening oysters with finesse (and a minimum of personal injury!) to planning an oyster party, finding the best oyster bars and ordering hard-to-get bivalves on the Internet.
You’ll also meet the people who grow and export oysters — from the coast of Ireland to the shores of Cape Cod and everywhere in between — and you’ll find yourself longing to taste some of the more than fifty varieties that McMurray details with loving enthusiasm. Wellfleets, Malpeques, Irish Flats, Fines de Claires, Royal Courtesans... They’re all here, just waiting to be discovered and savored as never before.
PATRICK McMURRAY, the owner of Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill in Toronto, can still remember the thrill of his first oyster at the age of sixteen — “cold, sweet and salty, like the ocean.” Years later, he’s still hooked on oysters and spends part of each year traveling to oyster competitions and food festivals around the globe. He also enjoys guest-shucking at oyster establishments large and small, and was recently spotted at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City.
In 2002, McMurray shucked his way to the title of world champion at the Galway International Oyster Festival in Ireland. Perhaps the Starfish challenge best explains the place that oysters and oyster competitions have in Patrick McMurray’s heart: “100 Malpeque Oysters. 100 Canadian Dollars. 100 Adelaide Street East [the Starfish address]. I dare you. Patrick.”