The 2018 festival season is already underway and the first big food event of the year kicks off with the Austin Oyster Festival. The Oyster Festival is one of Austin’s most a celebrated and exciting honoring the sea’s most delicious offering, is shelling out a bash for the books this year, serving up a bounty of delectable dishes, drinks and entertainment with a side of philanthropy. This year’s festival is a production of 787 Productions LLC, with a feastu of highlights inluding Austin Seafood’s Gulf and East Coast oysters prepared in nearly every way imaginable by noted Eddie V’s Executive Chef Chris Bauer.
The VIP Lounge is Legit
This year’s VIP Lounge will feature two special oyster tastings at 1:30 pm and two at 3:30 pm, including bites by Chef Shane Stark of Mongers Market + Kitchen, Chef Casey Wilcox of Central Standard, Chef Russell Dougherty of The Little Darlin, Chef Drew Dunston of Nightcap, Chef Chris Ten Eyck of Salt Traders Coastal Cooking, Chef Thomas Calhoun of Aviary, Chef Chris Bauer of Eddie V’s Edgewater Grill and OneLongTable Dining Society. The lauded local chefs will present VIPs with private oyster tastings sure to delight and surprise guests, and Deep Eddy Vodka will provide a specialty cocktail.
Freshly Shucked Oysters
The Austin Oyster Festival Raw Bar includes Austin Seafood Oysters and Premium East Coast Oysters served on the half shell with a choice of preserved lemon mignonette, caramelized shallot mignonette, roasted serrano or lime crème fraîche, as well as East Coast oyster shooters and grilled and chilled Gulf shrimp served with a Cajun remoulade.
Grilled, Fried and Smoked
The Grill Bar features to-die-for smoked bacon Oysters Rockefeller, fresh grilled oysters with roasted garlic and anchovy butter, Creole barbecue butter shrimp on grilled garlic bread, and oyster and rock shrimp gumbo with Andouille sausage. This year, the Fry Bar includes a crispy oyster banh mi sandwich, New Orleans-style oyster and shrimp po’boys, and our new smoked oyster and roasted corn savory bread pudding.
Beer, Cocktails and Bloody Marys
In addition to Blue Point Brewing beers, the beverage menu for the event includes local favorite Deep Eddy 10-times-distilled vodka, as well as Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka and Deep Eddy Orange Vodka. And it wouldn’t be the Austin Oyster Festival without the lavish Bloody Mary Bar, which includes all the extra fixin’s to make the perfect personalized cocktail.
The Premiere Events Stage presents top-notch entertainment this year, and includes a variety of live Americana, Cajun, bluegrass and “newgrass” music from local bands featuring Robert Kelly And The Blue Mist, Chansons Et Soulards, and The Lost Pines. There will also be a silent raffle presented by the Central Texas Food Bank offering the chance to win great prizes while supporting a charity that feeds the less fortunate.
Sink Your Shucks Recycling
This year, as part of a partnership with Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s shell-recycling program, Sink Your Shucks, program volunteers will be on hand at the Austin Oyster Festival to pick up more than 2,000 pounds of oyster shells and share information with attendees about this remarkable program. Founded in 2009 by Harte Research Institute and TAMUCC, Sink Your Shucks was the first program established in Texas that reclaims oyster shells from area restaurants and returns them to local waters, providing materials to form new reefs and habitats for fish, crabs and other ocean organisms.
How to Get In
General admission ($60 per person) to the Austin Oyster Festival includes entry, live entertainment and six food-and-beverage vouchers redeemable at any food station or beverage bar. Additional vouchers may be purchased inside the festival.
VIP admission ($115 per person) to the Austin Oyster Festival includes entry, live entertainment, seven food-and-beverage vouchers redeemable at any food station or beverage bar, access to the VIP Lounge area with private entrance, featuring two VIP oystertasting receptions, dedicated private bar in the VIP area, dedicated bathrooms in VIP area, and an incredible sponsor swag bag from Eddie V’s for each guest.
Advanced tickets for the Austin Oyster Festival are available at www.AustinOysterFestival.com, and tickets, if still available, may also be purchased at the door on the day of the event.
The 2018 Austin Oyster Festival takes place at The Lawn at Seaholm, 800 W. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701.