'Chopper' wins Oyster Shucking Contest
William "Chopper" Young Jr. won the second annual Oyster Shucking Contest at the International Boston Seafood Show yesterday for the second consecutive year. The Wellfleet, Mass., oysterman took home $500 for shucking 36 oysters in 7 minutes, 30 seconds.
Young won his first National Oyster Shucking Championship in Leonardtown, Md., last October and will be the U.S. representative at the World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway, Ireland, in September. He won a total of about $8,000 at oyster shucking competitions last year and $4,000 so far this year.
"The year's young," said Young. "I'm very excited to win."
George Hastings of the Maryland Department of Agriculture won $300 for placing second with a time of 7:47.
"What I like the most about [oyster shucking competitions] is the camaraderie," said Hastings, a two-time winner of the National Oyster Shucking Championship.
Luis Iglesias of Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant in New York won $100 for finishing third with a time of 7:52.
The 10 shuckers who competed yesterday were judged according to time, product quality and presentation. Three rounds of shucking were held, featuring oysters from all three U.S. coasts.
The judges were Aiden Coburn, director of seafood education and quality control at Farallon Fisheries and The Fish Market Restaurant; Dan Enos, executive chef and operating partner of the Oceanaire Seafood Room in Boston; and Rowan Jacobsen, author of "A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America." Matt Stein, chief seafood officer of King's Seafood Co., emceed the event.
K&B Seafood (booth 1313) donated the Atlantic oysters; Ameripure Oyster Co. (booth 609) donated the Gulf oysters; and Penn Cove Shellfish (booth 950) donated the Pacific oysters. Morty the Knife Man (booth 1869) donated the shucking knives, and G&K Services (booth 1980) donated the aprons.