After a highly successful inaugural culinary event held at Acre Restaurant in 2015, the 2nd Annual Alabama Oyster Social is now set for Friday, Jan. 29, from 6 -9 p.m. at Auburn University’s Ag Heritage Park Red Barn.
The event will boast chefs from across the southeast to celebrate the success of the Alabama oyster and to raise a targeted $100,000 in funds to support in-state oyster farmers and their families.
“The 2015 event was a resounding success, but this year we aim to further our beneficiary focus and highlight Alabama oyster farmers on a much larger-scale,” said David Bancroft, owner of Acre Restaurant and founding partner of the Alabama Oyster Social nonprofit.
“This will definitely be an exciting and fun night featuring lauded southern chefs and cuisine,” said Alabama Oyster Social nonprofit partner, Chef Rob McDaniel of Springhouse Restaurant.
The Jan. 29 Alabama Oyster Social event will feature food & beverage Tasting Tents, at which the following partner chefs will prepare both surf and turf cuisine:
- Ryan Prewitt of Peche (New Orleans) and Bryan Rackley of Kimball House (Atlanta) preparing raw oysters
- Adam Evans of Brezza Cucina (Atlanta) and Justin DeVillier of La Petite Grocery (New Orleans) preparing grilled oysters
- LisaMarie White and Kelly Fields of Willa Jean (New Orleans) preparing fried oysters
- Michael Gulotta of MoPho (New Orleans) and Derek Emerson of Walker’s Drive-In (Jackson) preparing beef short rib and oyster tartar
- Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar (Oxford) and Leo Maurelli of Auburn Hotel preparing fried chicken
- Bill Briand of Fisher’s (Gulf Shores) and George McMillan of FoodBar (Birmingham) preparing oyster stew
Additionally, there will be a VIP tent area featuring:
- A meet and greet social with Chef Chris Hastings, James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef: South and owner of Hot & Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird (Birmingham)
- A decadent VIP spread by chefs Ban Stewart of Springhouse (Alexander City) and Caleb Fischer of Acre (Auburn)
- A full champagne bar by Grassroots Wholesale
The evening’s musical entertainment will feature Caleb Caudle, and Back Forty Beer, Sazerac Bourbon, International Wine, Pinnacle Imports and Cathead Vodka will provide libations and specialty cocktails. Signature event sponsors include Evans Meats (providing all shellfish), Auburn University Hotel & Conference Center (providing rooms for all event chef participants), The Event Group (providing all event set up and décor), and the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau (providing travel arrangements for guest chefs).
“Thanks to our main supporting sponsors, the upcoming Alabama Oyster Social is almost a cost-free event for organizers. As a result, all proceeds will go to the men and women of Alabama’s oyster farming industry who are in need of assistance during the coming months,” said Chef Bancroft.
Alabama oyster popularity rose in 2015, however, the land lease where many of the state’s most popular oysters are raised and farmed was recently denied renewal. In addition, the Auburn University training and research area, a key asset in the Alabama oyster movement at which scientists have conducted essential research, raised seed (juvenile oysters) and overseen acreage for six oyster farmers, will also have to relocate.
Tickets are priced at $55 per person for the Oyster Social Tasting Tents and Band Entertainment, and VIP Tent and All Access tickets are priced at $150. Both ticket levels can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com. For more information, please visit AlabamaOysterSocial.com.