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Slurp-ups and shuck-offs: Three reasons to see the Grand Central Oyster Frenzy

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo
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Get one last taste of summer this Saturday 27 at the 12th annual Grand Central Oyster Frenzy, where bivalve lovers unite and master shuckers get fired up. But newbies to the half shell need not shy away: There’ll also be free samples from chef demonstrations and a beer-opening contest. Here are three reasons not to miss out on the fun:  

1. Demonstrations (and free food!) from chefs at Oceana and Barbounia
From about noon to 2:30pm, watch as chefs Peter Fu (Grand Central Oyster Bar), Amitzur Mor (Barbounia), Marc Grossman (Blue Island Oyster Farms) and Ben Pollinger (Oceana) take the stage to prepare chilled Watch Hill oysters, shiso-yuzu granita, zucchini-and-corn summer salads and pan-roasted mushrooms with baby spinach.

2. Professional shucking smackdowns
At 1pm, oyster-shucking masters like Luis ‘The Mexican Menace’ Iglesius—who’s aiming for his eighth win this year—will go head-to-head in rounds for the championship title and a $3,000 grand prize. Cheer them on as they duke it out and pile half shell after half shell onto silver platters. Fun fact: the event motto is “shuck or be shucked,” so it must be pretty damn cool.

3. Slurping and beer-opening contests
Brave souls can enter the slurping competition at 3:30pm, where contestants will try to glug down a dozen oysters in mere minutes. If those slippery suckers aren’t your thing, try the beer bottle contest: whoever can open a case of 24 cold ones the fastest wins. 

Written by Ashley Cox

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