The last vestiges of summer, blue skies, fair-weather clouds and the warmth of the sun served as the backdrop for the fifth annual Blue Island Oyster Festival this past Saturday in West Sayville. The event benefited the Blue Island Oyster Foundation and the Save the Great South Bay organizations, dedicated to raising awareness of how to protect the beloved Great South Bay.
After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the much-anticipated festival drew 600 visitors, including staff, farmers, volunteers and guests who were treated to 11,000 freshly shucked oysters from Long Island’s local oyster beds to as far away as Prince Edward Island, Canada, each with the distinct flavor of the waters they were harvested from. Two of my favorites were from our own Blue Island Oyster Company and Mermaid Cove in PEI, with just the right balance of flavor in the brine.
Not only were there unlimited fresh oysters, but savory hot foods from top-quality local restaurants and chefs were served with a selection of seafood, chicken, cheese and beef dishes. Whereas all the tapas were memorable, the New England clam chowder by personal chef Marc Grossman, who represented Blue Island Oyster Company and Manhattan’s Burger and Lobster’s original Lobster Roll, had lines around the tent for a tasting.
As if the delectable culinary delights weren’t enough, there were auctioned gift baskets, free-flowing wine, beer, iced tea and lemonade, and Lisa Polizzi rocked the crowd and got everyone up and dancing.
On the way out, giant sunflowers and homemade cookies served as a parting thank you to all who attended. Quite a day in the neighborhood where volunteers and supporters came together to help save our Great South Bay.
For a full list of sponsors visit www.suffolkcountynews.net.
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