By Outer Banks Voice on October 28, 2016
The Outer Banks’ first-ever OystoberFest, a part of Outer Banks Restaurant Week, will be held from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Southern Shores Crossing Shopping Center.
Local and regional oyster farmers will be on hand shucking oysters, and eight Outer Banks restaurants will offer samples of their individual oyster dishes. There will also be eight different North Carolina craft beers available.
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door, and include all-you-care-to-eat raw and steamed oysters, prepared oyster dishes, and craft beers. Space is limited so purchasing advance tickets is encouraged. Designated drivers and discount tickets for children will also be available.
Proceeds of the event will benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation. Oyster shells from the event will contribute to the federation’s restoration work.
“In addition to the pleasure they bring on the culinary side, oysters are simply one of the most sustainable and beneficial protein sources on the planet,” said Daniel Lewis, president of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association and chef and owner of Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Bar Café in Southern Shores. “I support not only oyster farmers in their efforts, but also the federation in its wild oyster reef restoration projects, as both efforts result in a cleaner, healthier coastal ecosystem.”
Oysters are important for coastal ecosystems and economies, as they filter pollutants out of the water and provide habitat for many species of fish, crabs and other shellfish. Recycled shells are used to construct oyster reefs, which are designated as essential fish habitat for at least 26 species of fish, including red drum, brown shrimp, white shrimp and spotted shrimp — all of which are important to North Carolina’s commercial fisheries.
Outer Banks Restaurant Week is from Oct. 29 through Nov. 5 and includes features and offers from more than 20 restaurants.