The latest and greatest in oysters

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Nov 22, 2011 - 06:17 PM

Photo: King Oyster presents Loic Jaffres a silver tray recognizing his three big honors in the 2011 National Oyster Cook-Off. Photos by Betty Wrenn Day.

King Oyster presents Loic Jaffres a silver tray recognizing his three big honors in the 2011 National Oyster Cook-Off. Photos by Betty Wrenn Day.

Photo: Spinach-Wrapped Oysters Casino

Spinach-Wrapped Oysters Casino

Another year, another National Oyster Cook-Off in Leonardtown, Maryland. It was the 32nd event where award-winning recipes were prepared and served to a panel of three judges. Contestants came from as far away as California, Oregon, Louisiana, and New Jersey and, of course, several locations in Maryland were represented.

The judges’ job was to select a first-, second- and third-place winner in three categories: Hors d’oeuvres, Soups and Stews, and Main Dishes; and to choose the best in the show from the first-place winners. They also decided which entry was presented in the most fashionable manner to win the presentation award. What a gourmet treat the two ladies and one gentleman had, and festival visitors also had the pleasure of tasting the identical dishes. They voted for the people’s choice award, the entry they thought was the best in the cook-off.

It’s a serious business in judging. You taste, you discuss and perhaps re-taste. When the final choice was agreed upon, it was a local contestant, Loic Jaffres, who won three honors with his Spinach Wrapped Oyster Casino first in the Hors d’oeuvres division, Grand prize for best in the show, and the presentation award. The festival-goers also honored Loic for the people’s choice award, an unusual happening, for very seldom do the people select the same entry as the judges.