California’s most abundant oyster supply, Arcata Bay, hosts its 22nd annual Arcata 2012 Oyster Festival Saturday. Chefs, caterers, local restaurateurs, and hungry crowds converge for the one-day festival.
Chefs from 35 restaurants, including Sushi Spot, Plaza Grill, Folie Douce, and Tomo Japanese Restaurant serve oysters in a medley of ways, from raw to barbecued, roasted to fried, and on a pizza and tucked into secret sauces.
The festival features an oyster eating competition as well as an oyster tasting competition for the chefs, who compete for Best Oyster of the Festival.
Located on the Northern tip of California about 300 miles north of San Francisco, Arcata provides 70 percent of California’s total oyster supply in only 450 acres, according to event organizers. Oysters typically reach their harvest’s peak and best taste in the month of June.
The Arcada 2012 Oyster Festival also includes a wine garden serving wine from local winery Robert Goodman and local microbrews from Lost Coast Brewing Co. and Mad River Brewing Co. A farmers market also rounds out the offerings.
A lineup of musicians including Jah Sun, The Trouble, and The Berel Alexander Ensemble will add to the festivities, which has attracted crowds of up to 18,000 in past years.