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Oyster Soirée: A Deep Dive into the Flavors, Climate Issues, and Societal History of Half Shells

Food for Thought | Presented by The Greene Space x MoFAD

Tuesday October 27 2020 • 8:00pm - 9:30pm ET
In-person event



Learn how to shuck oysters like a pro and prepare three different types of oyster toppings in a demo led by Ben “Moody” Harney, owner of Mother Shuckers, a nomadic oyster cart based in Brooklyn that harkens back to the days when New York City was a bustling port town with oyster carts lining the streets.

Hear from Scott Maurer, oyster farmer and owner of the Louisiana Oyster Co., a sustainable oyster company working to save Gulf Coast Oysters from the devastating effects of climate change.

In a talk led by international oyster expert Julie Qiu of In a Half Shell , Washington State University professor Kathleen Whalen, Ben Harney and historian Skip Finley, author of Whaling Captains of Color: American’s First Meritocracy, will discuss the African American history of oysters, including the legacy of Thomas Downing, a Black oysterman and an abolitionist who was known in the late 1800’s as the Oyster King of New York.

As part of your ticket, you have the option of ordering 24 oysters (and a shucking knife) from The Louisiana Oyster Co. that will be shipped to your door anywhere in the United States in time for the program. Note: Tickets that include the oyster box must be ordered by October 18th. Please provide the correct shipping address at check-out.

We look forward to an evening of shucking, slurping, and good conversation with you!

RSVP to receive a link to the live event.


Tickets are available at three levels:


1.) General Admission: RSVP to receive a unique viewing link


2.) General Admission + Cooking Demo Kit: Participate in a virtual cooking lesson and receive a special ingredient box shipped directly to you from Louisiana Oyster Co. NOTE: If you are purchasing a box, please be sure the enter the correct shipping address for the box and the correct email address for your link. Premium ticket buyers can opt to add a special shucking knife to their order, which will be shipped with their oysters.


Photo courtesy of guest.

Ben “Moody” Harney is the founder of Mother Shuckers, the only oyster cart in Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by the legacy of Thomas Downing, the son of freed slaves who went on to earn the moniker, “the Oyster King of New York” in the late 1800s, Harney envisioned operating his own oyster cart, which he now does. He believes the oyster should regain its place as an everyman’s food and dedicates his life to educating people about the importance of New York City oyster history and making eating oysters more of a pastime in the Black community. Mother Shuckers, along with more than 75 purveyors in New York City, donate all their used shells to Billion Oyster Project, an initiative to restore a billion oysters to the New York Harbor by 2035. The shells rebuild the reefs so that new oyster populations can grow, improve the water quality, and stimulate a return of sea life.

Credit: Photo by Elizabeth Cecil

Skip Finley began his career in media in 1971 as a radio broadcasting executive. Having attempted to retire five times, he keeps returning to communications, currently as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Vineyard Gazette on Martha’s Vineyard, where has lived since 1999. He is also a regular contributor to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum Quarterly, Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, Martha’s Vineyard Island Weddings and Cape Cod and the Islands Magazine. He has penned articles for Sea History Magazine and the Maritime Executive and is the author of two books, Historic Tales of Oak Bluffs, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2019 and Whaling Captains of Color-America’s First Meritocracy published by the Naval Institute Press on June 15, 2020.


Photo courtesy of guest.

Julie Qiu is an international oyster expert and founder of In A Half Shell, a guide to oyster appreciation. She hosts the Around the World in 80 Oysters webcast and is the co-author of the 33 Oysters on the Half Shell tasting journal. Julie’s work as an oyster sommelier and educator has been featured by Vogue, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, Food & Wine, and Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix.

Event Details

  • $80 Premium
  • $20 General Admission

Premium Includes Reserved Ticket + Ingredient Box for At-Home Preparation

1 hour and 30 minutes
The Greene Space
44 Charlton St
New York , NY 10014 United States

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