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October 17, 2013

My love of craftsmanship spans far wider than design, especially in the form of food and drink. Artisan coffee, farm-to-table fare, distinctive wines, delicately prepared sushi; I revel in a well-made provisions. But number one on my decadent bite list is definitely oysters. The process of shucking, the complex flavors and the experience of slowing down and enjoying them with family and friends makes me absolutely sublime.

Northern California is completely spoiled by having Tomales Bay, an oyster mecca,  located just fifty miles north of San Francisco. This oyster farm provides an authentic experience where guests  picnic and shuck their way through the afternoon while enjoying a most magnificent view. This weekend some family, friends and I slipped away to Tomales, where 372 oysters keep us busy – and happy – for hours on end.

I experienced my first oyster at Zuni Café in SF, where I promptly fell in love with the ritual. Later down the road I became an aficionado while serving at Zuni. Similar to wine, the regions of origin, how they were raised, and what water they resided in all impact the flavor and quality of the oyster. Mhhm, oysters and a glass of crisp white wine. There’s nothin’ like it.

The ritual of shucking (and consuming) oysters is exquisite, particular endeavor. From the gentle handling and precise knife work; to the drizzling of lemon and mignonette; to exact placement of shells, this process is best experienced among great company in warm, balmy sunshine. I had a relaxing, restorative weekend with my family at Tomales. CMD looks forward to diving into autumn headfirst, stay tuned for upcoming posts!

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