Thursday, October 4, 2012

First-Annu​al Austin Oyster Festival to Benefit Two Area Charities Nov. 9th - Austin, Texas

The first-ever Austin Oyster Festival is going overboard, offering an ocean of exquisite dining experiences, food-and-beverage pairings, live music and entertainment — all for a few good causes. Hosted at the stylish and contemporary Shoal Crossing Event Center, 8611 N. MoPac Expressway, on Friday, Nov. 9, from 6 p.m. to midnight, the Austin Oyster Festival will benefit The Nature Conservancy of Texas and breast-cancer charity The Smile Never Fades.

Kicking off the evening’s festivities from 6 to 8 p.m. will be Nikki Jensen, the sultry songstress and guitarist who won over hearts as a quarterfinalist on the seventh season of “America’s Got Talent.” Next up, guests will be treated to the backwoods Texas blues of Mudphonic, who will belt out their soulful homegrown grooves from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

The evening’s mouthwatering menu, composed in part by Chef Patricio Sandoval—the culinary director for the famed Mercadito Mexican restaurants in New York, Chicago and Miami—is designed to honor the pearl of the sea: the oyster. Raw-bar offerings will include a variety of premium East Coast oysters from Maine, Canada, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And guests can indulge in an assortment of dishes that pay homage to the tasty bi-valve, including grilled oysters, fried oysters, oyster po’boys and the classic Oysters Rockefeller, as well as complementary sides dishes like pomme frites with garlic lemon aioli, and delectable desserts such as warm bread pudding.

Beverage sponsors for the inaugural Austin Oyster Festival include the well-loved Topo Chico Mineral Water and Honest Tea, which will provide festival guests with plenty of non-alcoholic drink options. Austin’s own Fox Tavern and Haddingtons, along with other acclaimed local mixologists, will be shaking up some specialty cocktails, and area craft brewers Austin Beerworks, Independence Brewing Co., (512) Brewing Company and Rogness Brewing Company will serve up their best brews for oyster pairing. Additionally, wine lovers can pair their favorite dishes with E. & J. Gallo wines, including Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc and La Marca Prosecco.

General admission to the Austin Oyster Festival ($30) includes entry, live entertainment and food-and-beverage vouchers redeemable at any food station (raw, grilled, fried and dessert) and at the bar. A complimentary tasting of wine, beer or a non-alcoholic beverage will be served with each voucher purchase. For instance, an order of Oysters Rockefeller may be paired with a soft, velvety pinot noir, and a Watch Hill Oyster may be paired with a dry, clean German Schwarzbier.

While enjoying the wealth of food-and-beverage offerings, event attendees may purchase raffle tickets for an opportunity to win a variety of prizes sponsored by local vendors and hospitality providers, including Bunkhouse Group (Hotel San Jose, Hotel Saint Cecilia), TRACE restaurant at the W Austin Hotel, the renowned parkside restaurant in downtown Austin, Hillside Farmacy restaurant and Far West Dentistry. Proceeds from the charity raffle will benefit The Nature Conservancy of Texas and its Gulf Coast oyster-reef restoration projects, as well as The Smile Never Fades breast-cancer charity.

Advanced tickets for the Austin Oyster Festival are available at, and may also be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Guests may RSVP to

The inaugural Austin Oyster Festival is a production of food-centric events producer Seventy7Degrees LLC, in conjunction with Shoal Crossing Event Center. The event will feature a variety of live entertainment, food-and-beverage pairings and charity raffles to benefit The Nature Conservancy of Texas and The Smile Never Fades breast-cancer charity. For more information about the Austin Oyster Festival, visit

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