WBEZ | Benny's Chop House http://www.wbez.org/tags/bennys-chop-house Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The world’s mine oyster, but it's not vegan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-10/world%E2%80%99s-mine-oyster-its-not-vegan-102856 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagogourmetshucker_1.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Supreme Shucker Luis Pedroza, Benny's Chop House (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Why, then the world&rsquo;s mine oyster,<br />Which I with sword will open.&rdquo;<br />― William Shakespeare, <em>The Merry Wives of Windsor</em></p></blockquote><p>As the sun set over the kingdom of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-09/chicago-gourmet-2012-102787">Chicago Gourmet</a> this past weekend, off to the fields of the east, a bloody battle was fought and won, with daggers and chainmail armor, one victor emerged with riches in hand.</p><p>The winner of the Chicago Gourmet Supreme Shucker 2012 oyster shucking contest is Luis Pedroza of Benny&#39;s Chop House, who not only won the glory of masterfully shucking 18 oysters in 1 minute 56 seconds, but took home a $2,000 cash prize.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckernakedcowboy.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Naked Cowboy oyster shucked by Supreme Shucker 2012 winner Luis Pedroza of Benny's Chop House (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>The oysters shucked were <a href="http://www.blueislandoyster.com/NakedCowboySpecial.htm">Naked Cowboys</a>, named in ode to New York City&#39;s scantily clad, but behatted street musician for his passion and boldness. The oysters are wild, from Long Island Sound, with rich, firm flesh.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckererikmise.jpg" title="Erik Vollano of BOKA preps oyster mise en place at Supreme Shucker 2012 finals (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>The oyster shucking contest was sponsored by <a href="http://www.supremelobster.com/">Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company</a>, headquartered in Villa Park. Founded in 1973 by&nbsp;Dominic Stramaglia, who held his first shipment of live lobsters in a kiddie pool unsuccessfully, the company is now a multi-million dollar national seafood business.</p><p>Supreme fishmonger and friend <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoFishDude">Carl Galvan</a> has made it his mission to promote sustainable seafood to the best chefs in the city, often engaging them in friendly and informative competitions.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckerluismise.jpg" style="width: 620px; " title="Luis Pedroza of Benny's Chop House preps oyster mise en place at Supreme Shucker 2012 finals (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>For the past several years now, Carl has subversively messaged neck-tattooed, adrenaline-junkie chefs with vital issues involving climate change and overfishing, guiding them responsible choices. At least where seafood is concerned.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckerjudgesplatter.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Supreme Shucker 2012 judges: CS dining editor Lisa Shames, mixologist Adam Seger, 312 Dining Diva Audarshia Townsend (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>And no, oysters are not vegan, despite what <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2010/04/consider_the_oyster.html">one oyster-loving would-be vegan might say</a>. If you saw how oysters fight to the death, inflicting wounds on the bravest knights, you&#39;d understand that to ask if oysters feel pain is not even the question.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckercarlluis.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Supreme Lobster fishmonger Carl Galvan awards winner Luis Pedroza of Benny's Chop House $2,000 cash prize at Supreme Shucker 2012 (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></p> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-10/world%E2%80%99s-mine-oyster-its-not-vegan-102856