Chef Jason Casey from First And South at a Shellabration cooking demonstration at McCall Wines in Cutchogue. | Shellabration photo
Greenport’s annual Shellabration, which has raised money for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s shellfish restoration programs for the past nine years, is going virtual this year, beginning on Dec. 5 and continuing all throughout the month of December.
The event usually involves the pairing of small plates of local shellfish and local wines at a series of restaurants in downtown Greenport on a weekend in early December, and is attended by about 1,500 Shellabrants each year.
It raises money for the Southold Project in Aquaculture Training (SPAT) at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s marine education laboratory at Cedar Beach in Southold, along with Cornell’s Back to the Bays initiative to foster community engagement in protection of the Peconic Estuary.
Starting Dec. 5, the exclusive Virtual Shellabration Production at virtualshellabration.org will feature shucking tutorials and cooking demonstrations from Greenport chefs at Noah’s, First and South, Ellen’s on Front, and Little Creek Oysters.
On the Ticketholder page, registrants will find special discounts and perks at local restaurants and shellfish growers.
“Part of the pivot is to help showcase the local oyster growing community, seeing that so much of this event traditionally involves enjoyment of local oysters and this industry is also taking a hit these days,” said Cornell Cooperative Extension Outreach Manager Kimberly Barbour, who is working with the Long Island Oyster Growers Association to help market local oyster farms as part of this event.
“The participating oyster growers have signed on to make sure oysters will be available for purchase leading up to the event, with many offering discounts for our Shellabrants,” she said. “Once you buy a ticket you get access to details on what each grower is offering and there are various options including pick up, shipping and self-serve stands that we will share. We’re offering other perks, discounts and raffles throughout our month long Shellabration.”
Current participating oyster growers include Southold Bay Oysters, Thatch Island Farms, The Sheltered Oyster Company, Shellworks, Founders Oyster Farm, Maris Stella Blue Points and Cornell Oysters.
Ticketholders will have from Dec. 5 through Dec. 31 to utilize their perks and have access to the video presentations.
The festivities also include “Shella-Bingo.” You can play virtually, or in person by visiting restaurants and merchants in Greenport throughout the month of December for a chance to win some great prizes.
If you are looking to play Shella-Bingo, you need to buy a General Access ticket to the Virtual Shellabration and you will receive your playing card and further instruction before the event kicks off on Dec. 5.
Tickets are $25 and are available online at virtualshellabration.org.