Drayton Harbor Oyster Company – Blaine, WA ~
Developing a few grilled oyster recipes is a must have requirement for my cookbook project…
Cookbook? If you didn’t know, the outdoor grillin’ cookbook project started as a joke with a friend in Maui this summer. The plan was hatched as a funding mechanism for an endless condominium hopping retirement. Although it started as a joke, later in the summer when I was building my bucket list I couldn’t resist adding the cookbook idea. I really dig the bbq.
As a result, writing a Pacific Northwest barbecue techniques and recipe book is a thing. It’s officially on the list, so there is no turning back now.
And yesterday I discovered the best thing about claiming “World Renowned Cookbook Author” as a must do lifelong goal. You get to play the “research” card on family outings as an excuse to buy local craft beer and various things cooked on barbecues. This very scenario played out at the Drayton Harbor Oyster Company.
Before jumping into the grilled oyster details, a quick overview of the business model and partnerships this little restaurant is using are worthy of discussion…
Drayton Harbor Oyster Company – Farm to Plate at its Best
The Drayton Harbor Oyster Co. restaurant is located in an old brick building on Peace Portal Drive in Blaine. It’s actually a retail outlet for the Drayton Harbor Oyster farm.
The Oyster Farm is located in Drayton Harbor, a few hundred feet away. This makes for a fascinating supply chain process:
- The Oyster Farming Operation grows and harvest the oysters a few hundred feet from the restaurant,
- Delivery to the restaurant is immediate, and tracked on a blackboard in the store. Harvest and delivery times were in the order of hours and minutes.
- The restaurant serves the oysters to the patrons (raw, grilled, stewed). It doesn’t get more fresh than that.
In addition to a local oyster supply, the restaurant also has a partnership with Blaine’s only commercial brewing company, Atwood Ales. And by the way, I highly recommend the Grange Farmhouse Ale. It pairs well with either of the two grilled oyster recipes being served.
If you like to visit and support small, farm to plate operations this is a legit example of small businesses working together to create an experience that is truly unique. Now, on to the grilling…
You can watch the entire process from their sidewalk grill. They were serving two recipes:
Recipe #1: The Savory Grilled Oyster Recipe
The Savory Recipe starts with a shucked oyster filled with garlic butter, Parmesan cheese, and parsley. White wine is added during the grilling process and the oysters are pulled off when the cheese is melted. This is a fantastic blend.
Recipe #2: The Sweet and Smoky Grilled Oyster Recipe
Of the two grilled oyster recipes that they were serving up, the sweet and smoky grilled oyster recipe was my favorite. This recipe includes garlic butter, bourbon, chipotle pepper and brown sugar. Although I don’t know the ratios of ingredients, the Hog Island Oyster Company (SF bay area and Marin) has a similar recipe on their website if you wanted to try to re-create the flavor.
Grillin’ Oysters at Home
So if you are in Blaine, WA a visit to the Drayton Harbor Oyster Co. is a MUST DO. By the way, Blaine is where the Ragnar Northwest Passage starts and that thing is on the bucket list too, so I’ll be back.
Anyhow, I digress…
This adventure was cookbook recipe development time well spent. My goal is to develop original recipes and since this is a PNW cookbook the seafood section is a must-have. Finding the Drayton Harbor Oyster Company definitely provided some inspiration on flavors that work well together.
It’s worth noting that this little business will set you up with everything you need to shuck and prepare your oysters at home, including the oysters. If you have a barbecue and just need the raw materials they can set you up from their store or the Bellingham Farmers Market.
In the meantime my research will continue. If you have a suggestion, a cool grilled oyster recipe or can give me a tip on where to find businesses in Western WA that are grilling local ingredients please feel free to leave a tip in the comment field below!