Shuck ’n Swallow on Canary Rooftop

Finch & Fork Hosts Oyster Fest

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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If you’ve ever wondered how much shuck could a swallower swallow if a swallower could swallow shucks, you need to get to the rooftop of the Canary Hotel on July 28 for Finch & Fork’s first Shuck ’n Swallow competition. “Basically one person shucks oysters, and the other eats them — and the goal is to shuck and eat as many as you can,” explains the hotel’s general manager Reagan Corbett. “Typical winners in the other competitions [at other Kimpton-owned properties] have eaten upwards of 140-150 oysters in 10 minutes. There is a 10-minute qualifying after eating the oysters — if you get what I mean — gotta keep ’em down to win!”

Teams of shuckers and swallowers from the Arlington Tavern, Blush, The Brewhouse, Enterprise Fish Company, Hungry Cat, and, of course, host Finch & Fork will battle it out to see who is the oyster population’s greatest nightmare. Corbett says the event, sponsored by the Santa Monica Seafood Company, which will be providing the oysters, has been successful at the San Diego Kimpton, “and it’s been a blast seeing the restaurants getting together for a little friendly competition. We wanted to bring an event like that to Santa Barbara.”

The festivities will be a bit more leisurely for those attending, but there will be oysters, a “build your own taco” station, and other tasty treats provided by Finch & Fork’s fine chef James Siao. There will also be tastings of local wine and beer— sparkling from Laetitia Vineyard & Winery and a special, event-specific Shuck and Swallow Pilsner from The Brewhouse. Corbett says, “We knew we wanted a beer and a wine partner for this event, so we thought, what’s better than oysters and beer or sparkling?”

A portion of proceeds will also benefit the Environmental Defense Center, a nonprofit that protects and enhances the environment through education, advocacy, and legal action, mostly in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. So it’s good to know the large consumption of oysters — a largely sustainable food anyway — is being balanced by donations to a group protecting the ocean.

And if you don’t get your fill, the event runs right into Finch & Fork’s rooftop Sangria Sunsets, a 4-7 p.m. regular Sunday happening that features $2 oysters shucked to order. Assuming everyone isn’t plumb shuckered out at that point.

Canary Hotel

31 W. Carrillo St., Santa Barbara, CA
805-879-9100. More Info


Make the munch-the-mollusk scene at Shuck ’n Swallow on the Canary Hotel rooftop (31 W. Carrillo St.), Sunday, July 28, 1-4 p.m. (contest at 2 p.m.). The $30 ticket includes wine and beer tasting and oysters and other snacks. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Environmental Defense Center. Call (805) 879-9100 or visit


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Does this strike anyone else as crass overindulgence ? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a half dozen oysters with someone while on a dinner date as much as anyone else, but this just strikes me as disrespectful to the ocean and her bounty. Maybe Kimpton & Santa Monica Seafood need to re-think this one...

bryancrane (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 12:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's a hot dog eating contest for the desperately gauche.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"A portion of the proceeds benefits the Environmental Defense Center" while the majority of the proceeds line the pockets of the organizers. This is ridiculous.

SBLOKE (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 4:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They should be eating kelp not killing oysters en masse if it's for an environmental cause.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 4:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

All you folks do is complain. You're basically professional complainers, but unfortunately, you don't get paid for all your "hard work."

Lars (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe a follow-up otter-dog eating contest for the seriously gauche interested in creating a facade of ecological awareness.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@ Lars- Actually, I do get paid for my insights on overindulgence. How about eating some CROW instead of oysters?

SBLOKE (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2013 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"It's a hot dog eating contest for the desperately gauche."
Stop being a racist-oops, I was channeling 14 again, sorry.
Actually, you nailed it KV.

Plus, the Canary is just another out of town chain business. But hey, you get to walk out to the transit center or the perpetual homeless parade at Ralph's after eating yourself sick for way too much money.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2013 at 8:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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