The fifth annual Osoyoos Oyster Festival (April 20-24) recently wrapped up in the South Okanagan, which showcased a series of mouth-watering oyster and wine events.
The Straight was invited to the oyster extravaganza as a media guest, and got a firsthand experience of the foodie festival.
Sunny skies and warm weather made for an enjoyable weekend, with many guests coming out to slurp on fresh oysters and sip on Canadian wines, craft beers, and ciders.
This afternoon garden event was located on a grassy area of the lakeside resort, directly facing Osoyoos Lake. It may have been a little breezy, but that didn’t stop guests from wearing shorts, summer dresses, and sandals.
A white pavilion with a transparent roof was set up, which housed tables that offered wines (red, white, and sparkling), beers, ciders, sodas, and of course—fresh oysters.
We tried everything from Effingham to Black Pearl oysters, Beach Angel to Bluff oysters—with the latter coming all the way from New Zealand waters.
World Champion oyster shucker Patrick McMurray or “Shucker Paddy” was the special guest in attendance. He shucked fresh oysters for guests at this afternoon event, working alongside two young oyster shuckers from Codfather’s Seafood Market that hailed from Kelowna.
Another signature event at the festival was the Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala at Spirit Ridge at Nk’mip Resort (1200 Rancher Creek Road, Osoyoos). It was a formal evening where we sampled wine from local wineries, watched oyster shuckers work their magic, and ate delicious oyster creations.
The Sonora Room Restaurant created Effingham oysters topped with crème fraîche pearls, squid ink coral, and lemonade foam. Raudz Regional Table served Effingham oysters with curried duck yolk and cherry mignonette.
Local B.C. wineries—NK’MIP Cellars, Oliver Twist Estate Winery, Silver Sage Winery, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Moon Curser Vineyards, and more—offered wine samples to guests.
The winners of the Canadian Oyster Wine Competition and the Canadian Oyster Craft Beer Competition were also announced. Five judges selected the wines that pair best with fresh oysters, while four judges chose the winning beers that go best with fresh oysters.
The night culminated with lots of mingling, root beer soda from The People’s Crafthouse, and dancing until midnight.
Until next year, Osoyoos Oyster Festival.
Take a look at the photos below for a glimpse of the food and drink events.