Alan Martinez of Claudio’s Clam Bar in Greenport took home the top prize at Little Creek Oyster Farm’s oyster shucking contest Sunday at the East End Seaport Museum’s Maritime Festival.
Tony Avila of Claudio’s Clam Bar also participated in the contest, along with Bill Blanchard of Peconic Bay Prime Oysters and Matt Ketcham of Peconic Gold Oysters.
Martinez, ranked third in the nation for oyster shucking according to museum officials, was a shoe in from the start. He beat the other contestants after shucking and plating 12 oysters in one minute and 11 seconds.
“It is hard and it takes a while, but I just practice,” Martinez said when asked by a reporter what he attributed to his victory.
Little Creek Oyster Farm owner Ian Wile and his wife, Rosalie Rung, and their son, Jackson, were pleased with the contest’s turnout as on lookers stood on chairs to get a glimpse of the four professional shuckers battling it out for a set of premium knives from R. Murphy Knives and — of course — bragging rights.
After the event, Rung said she believes the oyster shucking contest is here to stay for years to come.
“In tens years from now we’re going to look back and say: ‘Do you remember the first one’,” she said.
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