We have been having this BBQ Oyster Championship with the Hester’s for a while. This year, we invited them to have the competition in Hoods Canal, Washington where the best oysters in the world reside. They have never been there before, so they accepted the challenge and looked forward to joining us for shrimping season. Last year Mike barely squeezed off a victory, while I came in second.
This year, I was going to knock Big Hess on his hiney. First we had to get the oysters at low tide right in front of the house.
We get the BBQ rolling and everyone goes to their work station. But first we are a little hungry from spending 5 minutes getting oysters.
Jan and Mike go out on the deck to begin shucking oysters for everyone.
Something happens here soon after this picture is taken. It happened earlier in the day shrimping as well. Notice when the rain comes, Mike disappears? Watch this video and see if you can find Mike.
Everyone to their battle stations. We draw numbers so the judges (Erin, Stephanie, and Becca) do not know who each oyster entry belongs too.
At this point no one is really talking, just focused on their one bbq oyster entry.
At this point, I notice the champ putting corn on the bbq and I think to myself “Corn on an oyster??? I got him”.
I have to admit at this point I am very tired. I was on the water all day, cleaned a ton of shrimp, then processed them for travel. I know that I have to dig deep and that the best answer for me is to throw Ben’s lemons deep into the ocean from the deck.
Meanwhile I find Jan digging to China looking for Steamer clams. I am telling you, she is Hardcore Marine Corps.
Back in the kitchen the battle still rages.
Ben places his oysters on the bbq lemon, and adds his secret ingredients.
Meanwhile, the others are getting ready to put their oysters in front of the judges…at a slow rate. I have no idea at this point what Trevor is doing. He is in the pantry looking at ding-dongs, and potato chips talking to himself.
Mike goes second, then Jan to the judging panel. Jan made a jalapeno smoked bbq sauce. I have no idea what Mike did on his, although it looked like the kitchen sink recipe. He had everything on it….but the kitchen sink.
Trevor is up, his looks like he put skittles on his. I didn’t take a picture because I was so embarrassed. I plate mine, I made a little mistake I forgot the Whiskey marinade on the bottom of the oyster.
The votes came in, Ben Hester wins the 2014 BBQ Oyster Championship-Hood Canal. I came in second, the reigning champ falls to third. Trevor limps in ahead of Jan. Let the record show that this is the second year in a row that I came in second, and Jan came in last. However, in her defense. She did work the back of the boat on two tours in horrible weather, she shucked 566 oysters, and put 40 steamer dig holes in the rock beach, and changed her clothes 4 times in 6 hours.
Ben put his heart and soul into this dish, along with some serious culinary creativity. He deserved to win, and I was proud to lose to him. Next year, I am coming to the table with something big and robust. It is one of my favorite times of the year, and I cannot tell you how many we ate after the competition. These are the days worth living for. Good Job Champ.
The Hunting Chef