Concoct a Prize-Winning Oyster Recipe

Can you create an oyster recipe worth $1,300?     
    Suit the taste of this year’s judges at the 38th Annual National Oyster Cook-off, and that grand prize will be yours.
    Last year, Tammy Davis of Chesapeake Beach earned all that money and enduring culinary fame for her Coconut Curry Oyster Soup.
    Davis, 48, formerly in the Foreign Service at the State Department, incorporated spicy tastes she relished in her postings in South Asia. She used locally produced mushrooms, hot peppers, garlic and ginger.
    “This is oysters swimming in another milieu,” said 2016 judge Rob Kasper, former Baltimore Sun syndicated food columnist, author and blogger.
    “I am just so happy,” said Davis.
    2015’s grand champion was Lynne Liano of Downington, Penn., for Oyster Tacos with Chipotle Crema, a main dish.
    2014’s champ was Robert Bonner of Prince Frederick for Oysters in a Blanket, an appetizer.
    Those are the three categories, soup, appetizer and main course, and you can submit recipes for any or all through July 31.
    You — working in partnership with Maryland oysters — could be one of this year’s winners. Even the grand champion.
    If one of your recipes is named a finalist by the National Oyster Cook-off committee, you’ll prepare your recipe to present to the judges and share with spectators on October 21 during the St. Mary’s ­County Oyster Festival in Leonardtown.
    First, second, and third place in each category earn $300, $200 or $150. The grand prize adds an additional $1,000. Awards also recognize Best Presentation and People’s Choice. All contestants and a guest will be invited to a welcome reception and lodging in a local hotel.
    Judging of the recipes is based on predominance of oysters, oyster flavor, overall taste of the dish, originality and presentation. Judges look for dishes that highlight the taste of the oyster. “After all, it is an oyster contest,” says long-time organizer Noreen Eberly.
    Submit recipes to [email protected]. Find official rules and more information at
    The contest is sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Mary’s County, St. Mary’s County Department of Economic & Community Development and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.