You are currently browsing the daily archive for March 13, 2012.

How did it get to be March already?! The book mobile has been rolling nonstop since the holidays so I’ve hardly had a chance to breath let alone put something up on the blog. But things have started to slow down — relatively — which means it’s time to catch you up.

My “world tour” made a quick stop in Chicago where Shaw’s Crab House and the culinary group Chicago Gourmet hosted Skip and I for a luncheon and book signing at the Shaw’s Oyster Bar. Dave and Charlie joined me, as did my father-in-law Dave along with a few other Murray family members giving me plenty of familial support… but even if I had been by myself, I would have been surrounded by friends. The entire team at Shaw’s made us feel like we were part of the family, giving us free reign of the space throughout the day and even inviting us to their staff bowling party later that night (sadly, we were on baby duty…) It was an epic day filled with new friends and plenty of book lovers.

Next stop was New York City where Dave and I went on a much-needed adult-only restaurant crawl hitting up as many oyster bars as we could find. My super quick synopsis is below.

First stop: Birreria inside Eataly NYC for a few beers and tasty meats

Eataly's stunning seafood counter (wherein I became instantly jealous of every person that lives within shopping distance of Midtown).

Next stop: The John Dory Oyster Bar, where the shuckers put out plate after plate of pristine bivalves. We ordered many, wiling away most of the afternoon...

Plate #2 out of 4, I think?

Several stops later...: The Mermaid Oyster Bar Downtown for fish tacos and a couple more oysters.

The trip wasn’t all research, of course. The guys from Island Creek joined me for an oyster and book event at Peels NYC — my first NY signing to date. It was great to get back behind the boat for a few minutes and the guys were, as usual, the most popular folks in the place.

In between all of the traveling I taught a merroir class at Boston University. Before tasting through a dozen different oyster varieties, I walked the students through the flavor profiles of four different species: we had East Coasts, Pacifics, Kumos and Olympias. (Unfortunately, the Belons were being finicky.) We dipped into a little oyster lore as well as a bit about how each oyster was grown. The students were fantastic – really engaged, solid questions, and hopefully took away a little ammunition for their next trip to the oyster bar. Behind the scenes, CJ & Hoban from ICO plus Frank & Francisco from ICOB kept the oyster platters filled before joining me out front to offer a quick shucking demo. Overall, I’d say the class was a raging success… and I’ll be doing another one at Formaggio Kitchen at the end of April.

There’s been a pretty fantastic run of press for the book these past few weeks, too. I’ll work on getting the press on my About page updated — in the meantime, check out the links to my interviews on The Splendid Table and ABC 7 Chicago.

So when does reality kick back in? The past few weeks have brought me back down to earth as we’ve gotten back into the rhythm of work / home life. But we did take a quick break this past weekend to visit Dave’s sister in New Haven — her family just welcomed their second daughter, Becca Jean on Friday! I’m happy to report that she is healthy, happy, and has a stunning head of hair, just like her big sister.

Despite the book tour quieting down, I’m still swimming knee-deep in oyster work — mostly thanks to some side work I’m doing with the farm and upcoming classes and oyster program. To answer a question I get asked almost daily, no, I never do get sick of eating those little suckers. Hopefully you won’t either.

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