Oyster Adam (second from Left) with Guster's Luke, Ryan & Adam Oyster Farmers: For a couple of months Adam and oyster fan have been plotting ways to share the Hama Hama experience with our customers. It's tricky this time of year because the tides are low at night and the weather is generally miserable, but we knew all we needed was the right angle: We had to make sure whoever showed up was prepared and willing to get wet and muddy, stand in the wind, and stay up to all hours of the night in search of fresh oysters. We decided to target our wholesale restaurant clients, thereby converting the people actually in charge of selling oysters to eaters. The idea was to bring people from the restaurant to the farm, put them up in our guest cabin, cook them dinner, take them on tours around the farm, and generally subject them to lots of oystery goodness. It's not exactly guerilla marketing, and it might not be brilliant, but as the idea involved hard work, a generous time commitment, a genuine and unpredictable outdoor experience, and lots of fun, we thought it fit in nicely with our personal style. Urban Farmers: This past week that idea finally came to fruition with the arrival on Monday afternoon of an adventurous crew from Portland's Urban Farmer. We knew it was going to be a good time when we saw them pull a bottle of Jack Daniels out of a backpack as they unloaded the car, and we weren't disappointed. We got them outfitted in rubber boots and spent the afternoon tromping around the uplands, exploring the woods and river valley and talking about all the chanterelles we would be picking were it October, and then we headed down to the beach for supper. The tide was low at about 9 pm, so we whiled away the time steaming clams, eating Hama Hama crab cakes, sampling pickled and smoked oysters, and taste-testing wild Hama Hama's and Blue Pools. Enter Rock Stars: Somewhere in the middle of all that, three world-class musicians showed up. No kidding. Guster was playing a show in Seattle on Tuesday night, and our good friend (and former employee) Luke Reynolds has recently joined the band. Luke and two of Guster's founders, Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner, arrived at the oyster farm after we started drinking beer but before the crab cakes were finished and promptly got put to work chopping onions and shucking oysters. These guys are fantastic people who totally loved being out on the flats and didn't mind that we'd run out of pillows. Ryan made waves in the seafood store the next morning by demonstrating that you can turn a jar of pickled oysters into oyster stew simply by pouring the contents into a bowl, adding crackers, and eating it all for breakfast. All in all the evening went off perfectly. The weather was beautiful: sunny and calm during the day with a hint of mist in the air for our nighttime tromp across the beach. The calm weather even held for our barge ride on the battle axe the next morning. Most importantly: we made some fantastic new friends and laughed our butts off the entire time. To cap it all off, yesterday evening a big group of Hama Hama locals headed in to see Guster rock out at the Moore Theater in Seattle. As one of its encores, the band came up with a new and very memorable version of the Hama Hama song, which we hope to share with you soon. Today Guster is playing in Portland, so if you're in Oregon we highly recommend you head to the big city, eat some Hama Hama oysters at Urban Farmer, and then catch the show at the Crystal Ballroom. Chef Ryan on the Battleaxe:
Jan 19, 2011: Oyster Farmers, Urban Farmers, and Rock Stars
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This whiskey sounds intriguing! thanks for turning us on to it.
Well, I was disappointed those folks pulled out Jack Daniels and not McCarthy’s Whiskey, a VERY fine Portland product no doubt influenced by all the summers spent by the distiller hanging out on or near the Hama Hama tennis courts. But I was reassured when I visited their website to see evidence of the oysters and found some tasty-sounding cocktails in which Clear Creek Distillery (home of McCarthy’s Whiskey) products feature prominently. I’ll be heading to Urban Farmer for some oysters and Feast of Love. Now isn’t that just a perfect drink to accompany oysters?!
I love the images you evoke. I just began reading your blogs. What in the world took me so long! Great stuff.
[…] makes Hama Hamas special. This year we had a blast hosting several restaurants, most notably the Urban Farmer from Portland and the Meritage from St Paul. If you’re in the restaurant world and would like to visit the […]