The Billion Oyster Party, a four hour event which took place at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Thursday, May 18th, was a delightfully entertaining and lively way to kick off the summer. NY Waterway provided a complementary and convenient ferry ride from Pier 11 to Red Hook for guests to arrive at the party in style.
Upon arrival, guests found a plethora of foods, including over fifty oyster farmers from all over the country, and from twenty of New York City’s premier restaurants. The food extended far beyond oysters alone, and included fish, clams, crab cakes, biscuits, key lime pies, and much more. All of the cooks, chefs, and farmers at their food stations were passionate about their craft and offered an abundance of knowledge on oysters, seafood, and marine health. Additionally, guests were able to listen to a live bluegrass performance while savoring the good company, delectable food, and refreshing bar drinks. Outside of the large open venue, the Billion Oyster Party All-Star Shucking Championship took place, offering a lighthearted and fun element of competition to the event.
The Billion Oyster Party’s mission was to promote the restoration of NY Harbor and the general oceanic environment as a whole. Students from the NY Harbor School attended the party and were able to offer guests information on the Billion Oyster Project, which is a New York Harbor Foundation ecosystem restoration and education initiative. A central goal of the BOP is to restore one billion live oysters in the local New York harbor. Proceeds from both the tickets and the silent auction went towards the cornerstones of the BOP, which are Shell Collection, Reef Construction and Monitoring, Oyster Production, and Public Engagement, and BOP Schools. Also, the BOP honored Arthur Imperatore with the Harbor Stewardship Award for his work in establishing New York Waterway. The BOP granted another honor, The Sea Change Award, to those involved in the production of the documentary film Saving Jamaica Bay.
All in all, this year’s party, which was the largest one to date, was both an unforgettable experience and a highly educational event. After experiencing all that the Billion Oyster Party had to offer, guests absolutely left feeling upbeat, pleasantly full from incredible food, and informed on an incredible mission.
Photos courtesy of Taylor Lear