Lusby Man Wins National Oyster Cook-off

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Oct. 27, 2008)—Brendan Cahill of Lusby won the grand prize at the 29th annual National Oyster Cook-off in Leonardtown the weekend of Oct. 18. Cahill competed against eight other finalists from six different states who were selected from over 100 entries to come to Leonardtown for the event.

Brendan’s dish, Oyster en Brochette with Remoulade Sauce, consisted of oysters wrapped in applewood smoked bacon on wooden skewers, sautéed and drizzled with the sauce. The dish, which also received first place in the hors d’oeuvres category, was smoky and delicious without overpowering the oysters.

In the soups & stews category, Michael Strejc of Milwaukie, Ore., placed first with an original recipe for Oyster Barley Soup. The soup had a clam broth flavored roux with barley, mushrooms, onion, garlic, laced with sherry and finished with heavy cream.

Michaela Rosenthal of Indio, Calif., took home first place and best presentation for her Oyster Pita Sandwiches with Lemon Tahini sauce in the main dish category. She fried oysters that were dipped in bread crumbs, dried mushrooms and seasonings and placed them in pita bread with cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms and baby lettuce and the sauce.

The People’s Choice award went to Loic Jaffres of Leonardtown for his Southern Maryland Oysters Café. This consisted of oysters on the half shell covered with sautéed spinach, provolone cheese and topped with crab imperial. Jaffres is the chef and owner of Café des Artistes in Leonardtown.

The National Oyster Cook-off is held in conjunction with the National Oyster Shucking Championship at the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival. The National Oyster Cook-off is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Seafood and Aquaculture Program, St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development, and the Rotary Club of St. Mary’s County, Lexington Park.

The 29th Annual cookbook is available for $8.00 and contains 31 delicious oyster recipes. Send a check to “National Oyster Cook-off”, P.O. Box 653, D.E.C.D., Leonardtown, MD 20650.


Brendan Cahill, Lusby, Md.


1 pint Maryland shucked oysters
12 pieces applewood smoked bacon
1 cup Cajun flour (1 cup flour and 3 tbsp Cajun spice)
6 wooden skewers
butter for sauté
lemon wedges for garnish

Lightly drain oysters, then dredge in Cajun flour, set aside. Cut bacon into equal lengths approximately 3” long and wrap one piece around each oyster. Skewer 4-5 oysters on each skewer and sauté in skillet 3 minutes per side. Drizzle rémoulade sauce on plates, top with oysters and garnish with fresh lemon.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pinch Cajun spice (homemade or store bought)
1 tablespoon capers
juice of 1 lemon
1 pinch fresh tarragon

Combine all ingredients and gently mix with a large spoon.

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