Apr 8, 2012
Ward Oyster Co. to be featured in Blue Ridge Oyster Fest

Farmer's markets and seafood restaurants are not the only places Virginia watermen are selling "local." John Vigliotta of Ward Oyster Co. and Mobjack Bay Seafood provides the oysters for the upcoming Blue Ridge Oyster Fest, a new twist on the traditional seafood festival that brings Ward Oyster products to a novel, unique market. Festival founder Nick Attaway explains: The Second Annual Blue Ridge Oyster Fest will be on Saturday, April 21, at Devil's Backbone in Nelson County. Founders, Justin Billcheck and Nick Attaway decided to start the Festival last year based on the enjoyment they had at oyster festivals on the Virginia and South Carolina Coasts, but they both wanted to make their event something unique that made it a perfect fit for the folks in Central Virginia. It all started with the desire to keep everything local and to partner up with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to help spread the word on the importance of saving the Chesapeake Bay. By going down this road, they learned all about aquaculture, and after meeting with John Vigliotta and seeing his operation, they knew that they only wanted to serve aquaculture oysters. Besides growing high quality oysters, John Vigliotta was on the forefront of an industry that has probably done more for the health of the Chesapeake Bay than any other industry, and that is something Justin and Nick want to support. At The Blue Ridge Oyster Festival, the oysters are served raw and steamed, but last year, the big hit was the grilled oysters that were made with fine toppings that included herbs, Asiago Cheese, Arugula and local country ham. These were prepared by The Rock Barn, who also provided locally made, organic hot dogs and bratwursts served with caramelized onions, cider mustard and pickled cabbage. We also make sure that some of the finest local wines and beers are offered. This festival is for all foodies who love great food, have a desire to support local businesses while enjoying live music with friends in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Taking a drive up 151 to Devils Backbone on a sunny spring day is worth the trip alone! For more information, visit VirginiaWaterman.com. This article is from their newsletter.