Ahh Shucks, Rodney’s Hosts Annual Ontario Oyster Festival

Ontario Oyster Festival at Rodney's Oyster House, Toronto
Ontario Oyster Festival at Rodney's Oyster House, Toronto
Rodney's Oyster House Ontario Oyster Festival
Rodney’s Ontario Oyster Festival, photo © Brad Conrad

It’s time for the annual Ontario Oyster Festival hosted by Rodney’s Oyster House in Toronto on Sunday, July 21, 2013. This popular summer foodie event, now marking its 25th year, starts at 2 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m., drawing oyster lovers from all  over Toronto. For $35, you’ll receive two drink tickets and half a dozen oysters or Coq au Vin if you are not fond of the briny, chewy delicacies. Wine and draft beer will be available for $3 per glass. While you’re getting your fill of shellfish, you can listen to live bands The Waxbills who will reunite for one show only and God Made Me Funky who will close the festival.

Demonstrate your shucking skills by participating in the 2013 Ontario Oyster Opening Championships. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival, everyone will be given a door prize.

Purchase tickets for Ontario Oyster Festival by calling Rodney’s at 416-363-8105 x 0. Tickets can also be purchased at the festival door, but I wouldn’t leave it until then as this is a popular event. Net proceeds will be donated to Environmental Defence, a non profit organization that challenges and inspires change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all. To date, Rodney’s Oyster House has donated approximately $100,000 to Environmental Defence.

Ontario Oyster Festival at Rodney's Oyster House, Toronto
Ontario Oyster Festival at Rodney’s Oyster House, Toronto, photo © Brad Conrad

The Ontario Oyster Festival takes place on the lot between 461 and 469 King Street West (west of Spadina Avenue)

How to Shuck an Oyster

1. Put on a pair of heavy gloves or wrap the hand which will be holding the oyster in a heavy towel.

2. Hold the oyster curved side down with one hand, perpendicular to the oyster knife.

3. Insert the blade of a knife through the hinge between the two valves, angling the knife down. Be careful not to use too much force.

4. Rotate the blade until you hear the hinge pop.

5. Slide the blade upwards to cut the adductor muscle, which holds the two shell sides together.

6. Slide your knife under the oyster and cut through the muscles holding it to the shell.

7. Serve on ice and enjoy!