Chef and author Ming Tsai of ‘Simply Ming’ cooking show joins other virtual hosts
WELLFLEET — The Wellfleet OysterFest has been reinvented in 2020 as a virtual celebration to mark the event’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (S.P.A.T.), this edition of ‘Fest will feature celebrity chefs and top-notch music talent in a one-of-a-kind virtual jubilee. The party will culminate with the 20th annual Wellfleet OysterFest All Star Shuck Off, a reimagining of the event’s famous oyster shucking contest, showcasing ten legendary shuckers from the past 19 years who will go head to head for the ultimate crown. This year’s mantra: The Shuck Must Go On!
The event will be streamed on the internet at 5 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 17 – the traditional weekend for the Wellfleet OysterFest – from Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (W.H.A.T.)
Joining many other popular events that have had to move online this year, the 2020 Wellfleet OysterFest will feature virtual hosts, including award-winning chef and author Ming Tsai, host of Emmy-nominated cooking show “Simply Ming” and founder of acclaimed Boston restaurants Blue Dragon and Blue Ginger; rising culinary star Elle Simone Scott, test chef and food stylist on America’s Test Kitchen and the founder of SheChef, a mentoring organization for women of color in the culinary field; and James Beard Award-winning chef and international restauranteur Jamie Bissonette, partner of Boston favorites Toro, Coppa and Little Donkey and 2016 Massachusetts Executive Chef of the Year. The chefs will share their favorite recipes for Wellfleet oysters and cooking tips throughout the event. Cape Cod’s own G. Love will headline as the event’s musical guest, with exclusive music videos filmed in famous Wellfleet locations.
The gala event will culminate by crowning the all-time greatest, best of the best, all star oyster shucker; the top shuckers will be joined on stage by S.P.A.T. Board Member and entertainer Jodi Birchall.
Two short films about Wellfleet’s deep history as the heart of American oyster growing and the community’s bonds with its shellfish farmers and wild harvesters will also premiere at the event. The creative team for the new films was composed of local talents. Director and editor Justin Lynch and graphic designer Andrew Jacob, both Wellfleet oyster farmers, were joined by executive producer Liz Shook, who will also produce the virtual OysterFest event, and writer/creative director Edward Boches, both of Brewster. Stellwagen Symphonette of Orleans is scoring the music for both films and assisting with music for the event.
In addition to the event’s virtual entertainment, the 2020 Wellfleet OysterFest will include a series of online “Learn to Shuck” workshops and an online auction, with proceeds going toward S.P.A.T’s mission and support of the local shellfishing industry and community.