Decor: Oysters + Art

In addition to their culinary value, oysters are often incorporated into or are the subject of artwork. We support the "nose to tail" movement, which has swept through the American culinary scene. From the meat to the hide (or in this case, the shell), we believe the whole animal should be celebrated. Check out a few of our favorite local artists paying homage to the iridescent bivalve in a variety of ways.

HELEN BOLIN

1. What inspired you to incorporate oysters into your work? 

Probably what inspired me the most to start using oysters is the simplistic beauty of the oyster itself. Then the selection of each oyster became an art in itself from hand selecting them from the coast in Cocodrie, LA.

2. What's your favorite way to eat an oyster?

Believe it or not, I do not eat oysters and yes, I'm from here.

3. What is the best thing about Autumn?

My favorite thing about Autumn is the changing of seasons and cooler weather!

www.helenbolindesigns.com

Oyster Ornaments 

Oyster Ornaments 

Oyster Cross

Oyster Cross

Halfshell on Canvas

Halfshell on Canvas

JENNIFER RODRIGUE

1. What inspired you to incorporate oysters into your work? 

Oysters have and will always be a part of New Orleans culture. The oyster is an important culinary element as well as an inspirational one. When opened, I find that the oyster presents a palette that is brilliant, timeless, and chic. My art reflects just this, and is to be comprehended with the spectrum of light -- how sunlight can change one's perspective instantly by bringing positive vibes to the onlooker, and creating a sense of serenity and stability.

2. What's your favorite way to eat an oyster?

I like any dish with oysters incorporated, but I'd have to say my favorite way to eat them is raw.

3. What is the best thing about Autumn?

The weather in New Orleans gets so nice around that time after the hot and humid summer. Everyone is in a good mood; when you're surrounded by happy people, you're inspired to make great art!

www.jenniferrodrigueart.com

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SALLIE BYNUM ANZELMO

1. What inspired you to incorporate oysters into your work? 

I've always been inspired by nature and coastal living. Oyster shells possess such a natural beauty that is often unrecognized. Through my paintings and décor, I focus on the organic shape and colors allowing them to be the main focus of each piece I create. Over the years, I have been blessed to share a little of Louisiana on a national and international level.

2. What's your favorite way to eat an oyster?

Chargrilled, from Drago's or Mansur's on the Boulevard with a glass of champagne.

3. What is the best thing about Autumn?

Leather, the weather, and Halloween!

www.sbynumart.com

Oyster Key Chains

Oyster Key Chains

Beaded Lariat Necklace

Beaded Lariat Necklace

Oysters Still Life

Oysters Still Life

Cheers, 
Five Seasons

Travel: New York

Café Gitane (Mott Street). Our go-to spot every time we're in the City. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu, but we love the Moroccan couscous and the organic chicken satay.

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Roberta's. It was our first time here, and definitely will not be the last. The pizza is seriously out of this world (we tried the Paparizza and the Famous Original), and the ice cream sandwich we had for dessert was so good that we ordered seconds. Side note: we scooped up their cookbook while there and don't regret it (www.robertaspizza.com/book).

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Marlow & Sons. While the menu changes daily, one thing is constant: a quality raw oyster selection. As if we needed another reason to deem this our favorite oyster bar north of the Mason-Dixon line, they are also committed to the whole-animal movement (check out www.marlowgoods.com for more information).

Lobster rolls, oysters, and an amazing biscuit with apricot jam at Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn, NY.

Lobster rolls, oysters, and an amazing biscuit with apricot jam at Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn, NY.

Cheers,
Five Seasons

Pairings: Oysters + Drinks

T. G. I. F. In anticipation of the weekend, we asked Dori Murvin, manager and sommelier at Beausoleil in Baton Rouge, to round up her favorite drinks to pair with oysters. This list has us counting down until Happy Hour!

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Careglio ArneisRoero Piedmont, Italy, 2010

An excellent crisp white wine of the Arneis varietal.  This wine has beautiful floral notes in the aroma and on the palate, with fresh peach and apricot hints to round out the acidity.  Arneis is the perfect Italian white for raw oysters because it brings out the sea flavors so you can almost taste the Gulf breeze.

“French 75”

A crowd favorite on the Beausoleil Specialty Cocktail Menu.  This cocktail is made with Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain (an Elderflower liqueur), fresh squeezed lemon juice, Louis Perdrier Brut Sparkling, France, NV, and garnished with a lemon twist. The crisp lemon, gin, and sparkling wine flavors combine to make a perfect pairing with charbroiled oysters as smoky flavors and bubbles always work well with the texture of oysters.

Stella Artois, Belgium

Of course, a very popular beer that I prefer with raw oysters….but that is my personal taste.  It would be best paired with charbroiled oysters with heavy cream or butter sauces and excellent with baked oysters (ex. Oysters Bienville) as the hop flavors and crisp texture are perfect for spiced heavy creams.

Tin Roof Turnrow Ale, Baton Rouge

The latest…and I have to say my favorite…release from Tin Roof is brewed with a touch of coriander which gives it a little, but not too heavy, depth. This ale will be perfect with raw oysters because of the light to medium body style, and also great with charbroiled due to that hint of coriander, which complements the butter and garlic flavors.

Saint-Hilaire, Blanquette de Limoux, France 2012 

A fabulous French sparkling comprised of Mauzac, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc varietals.  It is actually the first French sparkling, and was produced on accident by Benedictine monks beginning in 1531.  Notes of pear, peach, and green apple with creamy layers and a vibrant crispness will complement oysters, raw or grilled.

 

Cheers,
Five Seasons

Ingredient of the Month (#IOTM): OYSTERS

At Five Seasons, we love any excuse to celebrate, and September’s featured ingredient is enough to make us want to break open a bottle (or two) of crisp white wine to pair with some fresh Gulf Coast oysters! Since oyster season in Louisiana kicked off on September 3rd, we figured it was fitting to feature this briny mollusk as our very first Ingredient of the Month (#IOTM).

While raw Gulf oysters should only be enjoyed in the cooler months (i.e. months that include the letter “R”), you can grill them year-round. So, even though this recipe technically falls under the Fifth Season (our perennial classics), it is always best with oysters so fresh that you could sneak a few raw ones while the grill is getting hot.

This sauce is simple, but so flavorful. We love to make this versatile dish for any occasion, from smaller dinner gatherings to tailgates, or even cocktail parties.

GRILLED OYSTERS + GARLIC HERB BUTTER

12 Gulf oysters, shucked
1 baguette, sliced on an angle

For the Garlic Herb Butter:

8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (we prefer Cholula!)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1/2 a lemon)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon sauce over each oyster, reserving remainder of sauce for dipping.  Place oysters shell-side down on a grill over high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes. Arrange on platter and serve with the sliced baguette and extra lemon wedges (if desired).

 

Cheers,
Five Seasons