2016 Competition Winners:
3rd Place ($500) – Wayne Wallace
2nd Place ($750) – Martin O’Brien
1st Place ($1,500) – Jason Simpson
People’s Choice – Tommy Jo MacDonald Sr.
The 6th annual Oyster Grower of the Year competition gives the opportunity for professional Island oyster growers (aquaculturists) to showcase their amazing farm raised oysters here in PEI. The competition requires the growers to provide 300 oysters from their leases and these are judged by a panel of oyster experts and chefs on both the taste and physical attributes of the oysters. For each competitor, the judges examine and taste 12 of these oysters looking at such things as shell shape, consistency, the amount of meat in the shell and the salty taste. Besides a host of prizes, the winning oyster grower getting great bragging rights for a whole year.
Only the first 10 registrations will be accepted. The Committee reserves the right to grant special entry.
Click to obtain the 2016 Oyster Grower of the Year Rules and Registration Form.
Who can participate?
- Competitors must be a PEI Oyster Leaseholder (BOT or OB lease.)
- All oysters must be processed via a provincially or federally licensed shellfish processing plant, be restaurant / food service ready and come from a lease classified as open under the CSSP.
- Competitors should be able to demonstrate a minimum annual production of 5,000 pieces, upon request.
- Each competitor must submit 300 oysters for the contest. Competitors can choose to receive two tickets to the Feast & Frolic on Thursday, September 18 ($270.00 value) or $200.00 payment.
- Each box of oysters will be labelled with the grower’s name, lease number where they were harvested and must have the processor tag attached. Three boxes are to be labelled as follows: 1 Contest and 3 serving. Failure to correctly label the boxes will be grounds for immediate disqualification.
- Oyster must be between 3-3 1⁄2 inches ONLY. Any grower submitting oysters outside of this (all are measured by the judges) will be immediately disqualified.
Date/Time: Thursday, September 15, 2016 (TIME TBA)
The 12 selected oysters will be judged by an independent panel in two categories:
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼1. Physical Attributes
Consistency of the 12 oysters 10 Points
Cup shape 10 Points
Overall presentation (shell, colour and shape) 10 Points
2. Taste Attributes
Taste of the oyster 20 Points
Meat count and liquid 10 Points
Maximum score of 60 points
There will be demerit points if the oyster has boring sponge or mud blisters, etc. or if they are not cleaned properly (e.g. mud or grit present) or have marine worms or second set of spat.
Competitors must have their oysters at the Shellfish Festival by 12 noon on Thursday September 17th. The competition will be held as part of the Shellfish Festival Feast and Frolic. The panel judging will take place from 2:30 -4:30 pm in the Festival tent.
Each entrant will then be assigned a shucking table and (if requested) a shucker. Guests at the Shellfish Feast & Frolic Dinner will select the People Choice winner during the pre-dinner reception (5-6 pm). All entrants will be expected to remain at their oyster table during this reception. Signage with the entrants name and growing area will be provided. Any remaining product will be sold by the PEI Aquaculture Alliance during the festival.
Award presentations will be held on the main stage at approximately 6-7 pm that evening. Each contestant will be expected to remain onsite until the prize giving ceremony is completed.
Oyster Grower of the Year Prizes
1st prize: $1500
2nd prize: $750
3rd prize: $500
2015 Title Champions
1st – Wayne Wallace – $1500
2nd – Randy Bernard – $750
3rd – Jason Simpson – $500
People’s Choice – Tommy Joe MacDonald
2014 Title Champions
2nd ($750)- Wayne Wallace
3rd ($500)- Randy Bernard, Perfect Oyster Company
People’s Choice- Leo Flynn, Colville Bay
Photographed by Sandpiper Studios.