GUIDES: Tobias Hogan & Ethan Powell

Oyster Obsession

The fanatics behind the Parish and Eat: An Oyster Bar shell out inside tips for finding Oregon’s best bi-valves. 


 1. Chelsea Gems

These hail from Chelsea Shellfish Farms in Washington, and grow rapidly into petite but creamy morsels at the bottom of Puget Sound. Hogan and Powell rave about a flavor that’s super-sweet and a touch briny. Scout for them on menus at Bar Avignon, Paley’s Place, and, of course, Eat and the Parish.

2. Blue Pool Oysters

What Hogan and Powell love: “smooth-lipped, deep-cupped oysters with sweet melon notes, a cool oceanic finish, and a healthy crunch,” courtesy of the adductor muscle. These little beauties are farmed at the Hama Hama Shellfish Farm in Hood Canal, but you can
devour them at Andina and Trébol.

3. Kumamotos

Affectionately referred to as “Kumos,” these morsels from Hayes Oyster Company in Tillamook Bay boast what Hogan and Powell describe as “a mildly fruity finish and a rich buttercream texture.” Manageable in size and subtle in flavor, kumos are the model choice for half-shell first-timers. 


The Northwest’s only truly native oysters, Olympias thrive in coastal estuaries from Northern California to British Columbia. Warm water has delayed their arrival this summer, and connoisseurs anxiously await the fall. “Think of the rain falling on the steep hills along the fjords of the Hood Canal,” waxes Hogan. “It’s true terroir.” 




HOW TO: Shuck It

With four simple steps, you’ll be cracking the bivalve code in no time. 


Image: Anne Reeser

Step 1 
Place the oyster bottom-side down on a folded towel and insert an oyster knife through the hinge (the narrow end of the oyster).


Image: Anne Reeser

Step 2
Use light but firm pressure while twisting the oyster knife from side to side until it catches, separating the shell halves with an audible “pop.”


Image: Anne Reeser

Step 3
Slide the knife along the inside top of the shell until you slice through the adductor muscle (the little band that clamps the two sides of the shell together).


Image: Anne Reeser

Step 4 
After discarding the top shell, sever the bottom part of the muscle using the same method. Check for any shell or grit, and serve immediately.





Fish Missionary 

Former fish-on-wheels driver Lyf Gildersleeve spreads the word on Oregon’s best catches. 

WHEN LYF GILDERSLEEVE first opened Flying Fish in Portland in 2010, hawking slabs of fresh chinook salmon from the back of his truck on SE Division Street, he was carrying on a family tradition. Indeed, Gildersleeve hails from a clan of “fish missionaries”: sustainable seafood advocates who set up shop and bring the local catch to market. With new digs next to Kruger’s Farm Market on SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Flying Fish has become one of Portland’s most reliable spots for super-fresh seafood, with loyal patrons and top local chefs clamoring for a taste. Gildersleeve has spent the past two years combing coastal fisheries and hobnobbing at seafood-industry hot spots to cultivate a deep network of local suppliers. His web of troll-caught albacore specialists from the coast, salmon co-ops out of Alaska, and trout-slingers from the Columbia River make for a pescatarian’s paradise. 

Fragile bites like Alaskan halibut cheek, sushi-grade Hawaiian yellowtail, and East Coast scallops undergo a dry-pack just moments after they are caught. Also lining the freezer: an impressive stockpile of land animals, from locally raised beef and pork to game meats such as elk and venison. In the name of a fresh catch, Gildersleeve regularly takes a truckload of his wares up to St. Johns and Sauvie Island to spread the seafood gospel far and wide.