Six restaurants to compete in oyster stew competition at CBMM’s OysterFest

Six restaurants will compete for best oyster stew bragging rights when festival-goers sip, sample and cast their votes at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s (CBMM) November 3 OysterFest. This year’s participating restaurants all hail from St. Michaels and include Harbour Lights at the St. Michaels Harbour Inn, Sherwood’s Landing at the Inn at Perry Cabin, Gourmet by the Bay, The Crab Claw, 208 Talbot, and Marcoritaville.

Executive Chef David Hayes of Harbour Lights Restaurant at the St. Michaels Harbour Inn won first place in the 2011 OysterFest oyster stew competition

Samplings begin at 11am and continue while supplies last to around 12:30pm, when the votes will be tallied. The winners will be announced from the decks of the Oystering on the Chesapeake exhibit at 1pm. Event-goers can cast their votes by purchasing a commemorative $5 sampling mug—available in limited quantities, on the museum’s Fogg’s Cove side of campus, where the oyster stew competition takes place. The oyster stew will then be served by volunteers in a blind taste test, with participants voting by ballot for their favorite stew.

Last year’s first place was awarded to Executive Chef David Hayes and Harbour Lights Restaurant at the St. Michaels Harbour Inn. Second place went to Town Dock Restaurant, with third place awarded to Foxy’s Harbor Grille. All three restaurants are in St. Michaels.

After the oyster stew competition and beginning around 12:30pm, Harbour Lights Restaurant will be ladling up last year’s winning stew for festival-goers to purchase and enjoy. Oysters served in a variety of ways and other foods will also be available throughout the one-day festival.

Oyster cooking demonstrations will also highlight this year’s OysterFest and are included with festival admission. Chef Patrick Fanning of the High Spot in Cambridge will demonstrate at 11:30am, followed by Chef David McCallum of the Tilghman Island Inn at 12:30pm, Chef Sean Foley of Mitchum’s Steak House at 1:30pm, and Chef Giancarlo Tondin of Scossa Restaurant at 2:30pm.

OysterFest takes place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, November 3, and includes live music on two stages, oysters and other food, children’s activities, boat rides, oyster demonstrations and harvesting displays, retriever demonstrations, and more.

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for children between the ages of six and 17. Children five years and under and CBMM members are admitted free. Food and boat rides are an additional cost. For more information, visit or call 410-745-2916.

OysterFest also concludes the Fall into St. Michaels celebration hosted by the St. Michaels Business Association. For more information, visit or call 410-745-0411.