Nick Hargrove & Derek Wilson, Wild Divers Oyster Co. (Saint Michaels, MD)

photo: stephanie burt

photo: stephanie burt

The forecast said rain and wind in earlier December when I went out on the Chesapeake with the men of Wild Divers Oyster Co. But the day instead dawned very clear and calm, though still cold, and as Nick Hargrove and Derek Wilson boated us out to an oyster bed close to the dock, shore birds flitted across the sky and the sun sparkled across the water. Then Derek suited up, dove down and soon Nick pulled up a basket filled with big, briny oysters hand selected from below. Those oysters, beyond the few we ate, are distributed to restaurants across Maryland, including the high-end establishments of Blue Point Hospitality Group helmed by their friend Chef Harley Peet, but for these two, it’s more than just a bivalve-- these oysters are a connection to their home and to a tradition they are working hard to carry on. There isn’t a “boater’s kit” for oyster diving, so a lot of their equipment is one-of-a-kind or things they built, and with it, Nick and Derek are forging a unique life for themselves and their families as well.

Episode 123 ›

 

 

Bonus Episode: What's That Ice in Your Glass? (w/Jayce McConnell of Edmund's Oast and Pocket Liquor podcast), Charleston, SC

photo: jayce mcconnell

photo: jayce mcconnell

Seems everyone has made New Year’s resolutions. This year, my little mini suggestion in this mini episode is to pay attention to your ice. Yep, you heard me. Ice. It can mean the difference between a perfect cocktail and one that is too watery (or too strong), and it adds to the allure of a perfectly made drink. Jayce McConnell, beverage maestro of Edmund’s Oast in Charleston and co-host of the Pocket Liquor podcast took some time to break it down for me. Thinking beyond the beverage and beyond the glass can really add class to your cocktail game in 2019. And choosing the right ice for a glass is much easier than some of the other resolutions on your list, so put one on your win column and listen in. I can almost hear that ice clinking in your glass now …

Bonus Episode >

David Guas, Bayou Bakery (Arlington, VA)

photo: scott suchman

photo: scott suchman

There’s a lot of bad news coming out of Washington, DC these days. Hear about the city, and it’s easy to feel negatively. But that’s the opposite reaction I have when I think of this city, full of vibrant restaurants, and one of the best places to start your day, or take a lunch, is just over the line in Arlington, VA. Bayou Bakery is a slice of New Orleans helmed by chef/owner David Guas, someone who’s just as happy pulling an espresso shot and greeting guests by name as he is deftly laminating dough or creating a chocolate ganache with just the right sheen. He started his career at the prestigious Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, he’s penned a James Beard finalist cookbook, and had some TV fun as the host of the Travel Channel’s American Grilled, but through it all he’s remained a loyal participant in Who Dat Nation. And he makes one of the best beignets this side of Cafe Du Monde.

Episode  124 >