Bluff oyster season kicks off on March 1 and the hospitality group behind Euro, The Culpeper, Coley & Punch is gearing up to celebrate with its annual Oyster Festival. The Princes Wharf festival will take place throughout March with oyster-themed events, masterclasses and special offers at all participating restaurants.
Nourish Group executive chef Gareth Stewart will trek to ground zero to welcome the first commercial catch of Bluff oysters before shucking furiously back in Auckland to keep up with demand for the briny bivalves.
Kicking off the festival on Friday 2 March is First Haul, Euro's three-hour all-you-can-eat extravaganza with Bluff oysters served natural, Kilpatrick and tempura. The Great Bluff Lunch will follow at the waterfront venue on Thursday 15 March with free-flowing Champagne and five oyster-filled courses.
On Thursday 14 March the team from Panhead Custom Ales will host a celebration of beer and oysters at The Culpeper. Bluff Meat Beer will feature three courses of meat and oysters matched with some of Panhead's finest brews. The Oyster & Music Festival will see the first 200 dozen oysters given away for free at The Culpeper on Saturday 24 March. There will also be an oyster shucking competition and DJs Phoebe Falconer and Kate Elliot on the decks.
The Whisky and Oyster Masterclass (Tuesday 20 March) will let oyster lovers learn while they imbibe. Coley & Punch mixologist Katie Cramphorn will guide punters through the venue's extensive whisky list, while Chef Gareth Stewart and a Te Matuku oyster farmer teach the fine art of oyster shucking.
There will also be a range of oyster promotions available during the Oyster Festival across all venues. Visit the Oyster Festival program for all events and booking information.