In just a couple months, the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend will officially enter its second decade.
The 11th annual event goes down November 2 & 3 at The Hangout in Gulf Shores, and it’s one of the finest seafood feasts on the Gulf Coast. We’d highly recommend attending and eating all the oysters you possibly can—unless, of course, you’d rather compete.
That’s right, folks, the Oyster Cook-Off is now accepting submissions from restaurants and food organizations from all over. Participation is free, aside from a $300 deposit that will be refunded after the event.
The rules are pretty simple, too. To be part of the competition, your team will be required to cook at least two of the three featured oyster styles: Cajun, Rockefeller, and Create Your Own Raw Oyster. And if you’ve got a signature dish you want to showcase as well, by all means, cook it up! (You can find a full list of rules here.)
For the category competitions, teams will be judged based on three different factors: Presentation (25%), Creativity (25%), and Flavor (50%). The top five finalists (as voted by the public) will be evaluated from there by a panel of chefs, writers, and oyster experts to determine a champion. There will also be a Favorite Restaurant award based on public voting and a Chef’s Choice award based on a judging panel’s scores. The prize money for all of these categories (plus Best Booth and the Shucking Contest champion) adds up to $4500, so you’d better start practicing now.
Wondering whom you and your team will be competing against? Check out the list of chefs who have already signed up to size up your opponents.
If you’d rather eat oysters than cook ‘em, there’s a weekend full of events at the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off that’ll have you in oyster heaven. Surrounding the main event on Saturday, there’s the Craft Beer Festival on Friday, chef demos and workshops throughout the weekend, and a full slate of live music that culminates with rising country music star Michael Ray. And don’t forget to stop by the North American Oyster Showcase to sample fresh oysters from all over the continent.
Before you ask, yes, there will be college football on pretty much every TV on the premises, so you won’t have to miss a minute of Alabama vs. LSU or Auburn vs. Texas A&M.
If you’re interested in competing, submit an application today. If you’re interested in just having fun all weekend, get your tickets now!