By: Jen Azzolini


For our Resident Event alongside Tourneau and Baume & Mercier, Empire Oyster™ presented a grand selection of the finest oysters from 5 different states/provinces in the US & Canada. A Concourse des Huîtres, if you will. Huîtres is the French word for Oysters, by the way. Our guests were treated to Empire (NY), Mayflower (MA), Fleur de Sea (NB), Kusshi (BC) and Capital (WA) oysters. Such a selection was an extraordinary pairing with our wine sponsors, Zonin Prosecco, Woodbridge Wines, and A-List Wines, Shelby Cobra & Baume & Mercier, our partners in the fête. “Oysters are luxury seafood and Empire Oyster offers a bespoke oyster service that is at the high end of the culinary spectrum.” says Kevin Joseph, founder & CEO of Empire Oyster™ “We were honored and thrilled to present in company of such fine automobiles and timepieces.”



Each oyster was as well dressed as our guests crowd. But all the oysters wore pearls. Spirited Pearls™, that is. Empire dressed the West Coast Oysters with a Mezcal & Jalipeno Pearl. East Coast Oysters got a Gin & Mint Pearl. These pearls are the creation of Joseph & Chef Rob McCue who has developed a proprietary process of molecular gastronomy whereby spirits are “spherified” for presentation on oysters. McCue explains: “The ‘pearl’ is like a fish egg or grape. It pops in your mouth like caviar releasing its contents in just the right time and amount to create a perfect pairing.” They are incredible! Also, fresh grated horseradish root was offered on East Coast oysters and fresh grated wasabi root was offered for West Coast Oysters. Again, like nothing we’d ever seen before. But where was the cocktail sauce? “Not on my watch!”, Kevin says. “Friends don’t let friends use cocktail sauce on ultra-premium oysters!”






As pleasing to our eyes as the oysters were to our palates was the presentation of the Empire Oyster Bar itself! In keeping with the automotive theme of the event they brought their “SHUCK TRUCK”. Its a 1967 Chevy Sportsvan 108 Deluxe that is in the process of a complete restoration as “the world’s fastest raw bar”. “We love to bring The Shuck Truck”, say’s Kevin. “But it’s not a food truck. We use it for private events upon request of the client. Its one of many tools we use to deliver a singular experience.”


Kevin is a Master Mermmelier™ which is to say that he is to oysters what a Master Sommelier is to wine. The word comes from the term Merroir, which is used to describe the influences on an oyster that result in its size, shape, color and taste, like Terroir, in grapes and wine. “I coined the phrase Mermmelier and tradmarked it.”, states Joseph. “I needed a way to describe what it is I do and how I bring value to all of the constituents to oysters from growers to chefs to consumers. I’m much more than a guro, aficionado or a shucker. I curate, produce and guide people through exceptional oyster experiences. Like a Sommelier does with wine. I grew up in hospitality so my favorite part of what I do is shucking, dressing and serving oysters to guests.”


That’s the Empire Oyster slogan. And they really do own it. Their product, presentation, process and people are simply exceptional. They’reempire oyster logo standard offering and presentation is as good, no, much better than any we’ve experienced in the finest restaurants and raw bars in the world. Empire Oyster is based in NYC. They provide bespoke raw bar services for a discriminating clientele their homes, on their yachts, at their weddings and at their philanthropic events nationwide. They also offer service, operations and marketing consulting for chefs & restaurants as well as oyster growers & distributors locally and internationally.
Reach Empire Oyster & Master Mermmelier Kevin Joseph by email at [email protected]. Phone: @ 917 656 4697 and on Instagram and Twitter @kevinjoseph

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