Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Optimist Sets Sail for 6th Annual Oyster Cook-Off in Gulf Shores on November 9

Summers at the beach? Amateur hour. We're all about fall excursions with cool breezes and no crowds. For example, while we're here raking up seemingly endless waves of fallen leaves, the folks in Gulf Shores, Alabama, are hauling in bushels of fresh oysters. Thankfully, The Hangout cracked open a way to share all of these good things with the rest of us, creating its first Oyster Cook-Off six years ago. This year's eat-fest, presented by Alabama Gulf Seafood and hosted by The Hangout on Saturday, November 9, shows how far the popularity has spread with celebrity chefs coming in from as far afield as Hawaii. The Optimist joins more than 70 notable chefs and restaurants from the Southeast and beyond participating in the event. Chefs will create their own "Rockefeller," "Cajun" or "raw" oyster dishes as they compete for more than $10,000 in prizes. Beginning at 11 a.m., oyster connoisseurs can ante up tasting tickets ($2 each or $30 for a book of 20) to sample the fixins. An Absolut bloody mary buffet, live music, cooking demos, football viewing, oyster-shucking contests, games and prizes keep the party flowing. Friday, November 8 pre-party runs from 7:30-11 p.m. for early comers.

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