Shucking 2,000 Oysters A Day At Hog Island

Shucking 2,000 Oysters A Day At Hog Island

Oh it’s up! Wait, go up. I’m only 5’7″, you can
only reach so far. My name’s Anthony Rizzi. I’m an oyster shucker. I work at
Hog Island Restaurant in the Ferry Building
San Francisco. I shuck anywhere
between 1,500 and 2,000 oysters a day. We’re actually
the only restaurant in San Francisco that
also has a farm. What I love about oyster
shucking is it combines front of the house and
back of the house. You get to talk
with people, but you also get to
deal with food. We’re headed over to
the Ferry Building, Hog Island
Oyster Company. We’re gonna get
some raw oysters, maybe heckle the shuckers
a little bit. I’m not shucking today,
so I’m on the other
side of the bar, which is nice for
me every once in a while. It’s not just about
shucking the oyster, you know, you’re
surrounded by people. And at Hog Island you’ll
see, the oyster bar is the focal point of
the restaurant. So you’re talking
with people from all over the world, you’re
teaching them how to shuck oysters, you’re
converting people who previously didn’t
like oysters. Dispelling myths about
oysters because the shucker’s right in front
of us, non-stop shucking. You’re putting
your head down and you’re just pumping
out oysters. Six dozen, two dozen,
four dozen, doesn’t matter but
yeah, it doesn’t stop. If we stop,
they go hungry. Anarchies will ensue. So we’re getting four of
six different types of oysters right here. Started with the sweet
waters and the Atlantics. These are the two oysters
that we grow on our farm over in West Marin
in Marshall. We got up at 5 a.m. We’re out here coming
out to Marshall, California in West Marin
to harvest some oysters. This is the gorgeous
Tomales Bay, basically the Mecca for oyster growth in
northern California. So we’re about to head
out on a boat with a crew of four people to
Hog Island’s oyster beds. Pull some oysters out of
their beds for harvest. These guys do
this everyday. And 40 racks is, is
about how many oysters? Well, it’s about,
you know, 800 oysters per rack, so anywhere
between you know, 35,000 to 38,000,
give or take. 800 per rack. 800 per rack. Okay.
40 racks. Right. Are they leaving
us behind, or
Nah, they’re,
Hector? Yeah.
Hey, Anthony. Nice to meet you, man. Nice to meet you. So, I can help you
guys if you need, get in the water. You bring gloves with
you? I don’t have gloves. Should I get some gloves? Right behind us, if you look to my right,
we have Hog Island. This is the island that gave the oyster
company its name. We’re gonna show you just
how natural an oyster farm is. It’s basically oysters
sitting in the bay. Every single morning
these oyster farmers go out and they’re pulling
oyster racks right out of the water. Each rack has about
800 oysters and then throwing them
on to the boat. I should have brought
my shucker so I can taste one right
out of the water. Is there a shucker? Yeah. So you can sample? Mm, yeah. Try one? Yeah.
Maybe, I’ll pay for it later. So how many
oysters total are, are being harvested
at this moment? Yeah.
Let’s see, 16? 16 million? Oysters. Yeah. That’s a lot of iron. One, two. This is the rack and
bag system, they call it. You have the metal
racks right here, then the bags that
are attached to them. The bags protect the
oysters from any sort of sea critter or creature
that would eat them. But the holes are small
enough that the oysters don’t fall through, but
large enough to let water come in and provide
the nutrients, the algae, and the phytoplankton for
the oysters to feed off. Sometimes we get
a little extra. It’s about 7:00 a.m. and I haven’t had
breakfast, so. Got a little snack. To me it sounds a little
weird, but kinda reminds me of eating
a sharp cheddar cheese. You get that like,
right here, start salivating in
the sides of your mouth. But I think it’s
great just as is, right out of the water. Do you guys eat oysters? Yeah, a lot. Yeah, how many can you
take down in one sitting? One sitting,
like 50 oysters. 50 oysters, and
those are all, you don’t have to pay for
those, right? No. Yeah, just take one of
these racks home, right? It’s like a lunch box. Yeah. Okay, one, two. So we’re pulling up
racks right now, I would say at
least 100 pounds. This guy thinks
they’re only about 60, but I mean his arms
compared to mine. One, two, three. Are anybody else’s
fingers numb, or just me? Just you, man. These oysters are getting
loaded up on this truck, and then we’re gonna
drive them down to the farm where
they’ll get sorted, sized out accordingly. Some will go back into
the bay where they’ll grow a little bit larger,
the other ones that are to size will go into
our wet storage tank and then they’ll get shipped
off to our restaurants. They’re basically
hand-sorting these guys, right. This is a medium, so
that’s an oyster that we’re just going to shuck
the meat out of and use for
the po’boy sandwich. That’s a small oyster, we’re gonna
barbecue that. They’ve been in the water
for 10 to 12 months. So you can feel by their
weight they’ve got a good amount of liquor inside,
a good amount of meat. We just picked up a
bushel of 50 oysters and now the fun begins,
we start shucking them. Let me show you how to
shuck a perfect oyster. Each oyster has
a top shell and a bottom shell,
you can tell. The bottom shell is
the rounded part. We call that the cup. And where the two shells
adjoin at the base, it’s called the hinge. And that’s where I’m
gonna insert the knife, right here,
this here oyster knife. You have different
styles, you know? In France, they’ll use
a sharper knife, right? They’ll come
in bill side. Most people go in
from the hinge. So I’m gonna
take the knife, give it a little
gentle pressure. And then my buddy calls this the
lollipop test right here. So if the, the shucker
is far enough in the oyster where it can
support the weight, right, of the oyster,
but not too far as to puncture the actual
oyster. That would be
a rookie move. So we are gonna
turn it like a key, either clockwise or
counter-clockwise. And we’ll open up. What I like to do
at this point, is, I get it eye level,
and I’ll work my way across the right
side of the oyster. And what you want to
do is gently peel away the meat, detaching it
from the top shell. Then you have a beautiful
oyster right there. Now, the last thing we
need to do is just detach it from the bottom, and
it should be good to go. Let’s give her a go. Taste the taste
the liquor. Right? You don’t wanna
dump that out. That’s as pure
of a food as you can wish to consume. So tonight we’re going
to have a little fun. I’ve invited some
friends over from the restaurant and
a few other people, and we’re going to have
an oyster-themed dinner. We’ll have raw oysters, we’ll have some
cooked oysters, we’ll do a little
surf and turf, a little clam fried
rice with lemon grass. It’s similar to
a dish that I had in central Vietnam. What I like to do when I travel is pick up
different recipes and then take them back
to San Francisco. I think oysters
are a great representation of the way
that I view food. I love to cook. I love to entertain for people, and if I’m
having people over, if I’m even cooking for
myself, I’m not gonna make something if it’s
not the best it can be. I’m known for having quite an array
of animal fats. Shallot oil. I cooked some duck
confit a few weeks ago. Bacon fat right there. So I have basically
a pot of fat. I haven’t been able to eat pasta for
the last month. How are you? I’m good, how are you? Would you eat a burger? Oh, yeah. You guys wanna test
it out with me? Oyster-themed cocktails. Are those big enough for
your cocktail? Yeah, for
these are gonna be basically just
on the rocks. We’ve got an oyster michelata that
we’re making. So my lovely girlfriend
has a pacifico, a little bland soy sauce,
Worcestershire, a little old bay rim, and
then this is the clamato. We’re going to do
an oyster and its liquor. So as you remember,
retain all the liquor. that’s, there it is. Big smooth. Oh, here we go. We like to do
theme dinners. Wow, that’s
definitely spicy. What was the last
theme dinner we did? So Anthony has decided
that Mason jars are out, and cans are in, so. Cans. Cans are in. Mason jars are out. 2012. What did he do with
the stuff in the can? Did he actually
use everything? It’s in Tupperware
in his refrigerator. That was my question. You should see how
much coconuts we have. There we go, oh hello. Oyster shucking is
an ideal job for me, because it combines
two of my interests and two of my passions. I love to cook for people
and entertain people. So when you’re at
the oyster bar, you’re surrounded
by people, right? There’s no escaping that. But also,
at the same time, you have food in
your hand, and you’re dealing with food, which I love,
which I’m all about. That’s a wrap. Yes. Everybody go home. Actually not. Let’s drink more. I’m done cooking. Let’s have fun.


  1. Isaiah

    15 For,
    behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a
    whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of

    16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

    17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.


    10 And
    all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of
    all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

    11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

    12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

  2. im so confused.. if you shuck with these farmers daily because they work for you- why are you all acting like you just met for the first time? what am i missing here.

  3. I went to a restaurant with oysters but I couldn't eat them due to the cut in my cheek. (I bit my cheek).

  4. 2000 oysters a day! and we wonder why everything is going extinct, this planet doesn’t have an unlimited supply of animals you greedy assholes

  5. Hey dude you comparing oyster to eating a sharp cheddar cheese you must be gay . I compare it to eating a woman's pussy.

  6. Copied and pasted, but wanted to share what I read: “ the capacity to feel pain and suffer, frequently is the main reason people “go vegetarian or vegan.” In his essay, Cox writes, “Moreover, since oysters don't have a central nervous system, they're unlikely to experience pain in a way resembling ours—unlike a pig or a herring or even a lobster”

  7. If you don’t have a girlfriend and are single know mater what you look like, how fat your are learn to cook like this guy and you’ll be Surrounded by women and friends. Just saying. Also be kind helps. I think I’m going to read some cook books tonight!😂

  8. It’s not hard to open oyster no for half of the bullshit telling people how to do it. You’re making it harder than it should be.

  9. The lollipop tactic? Lol, pendejo! Just grab a fucn knife, hit the edges and then an opening will be created. Use that opening for opening the dam oyster. Squeeze lemon, sprinkle salt, dash some Tapatio and we're in bussines baybee!!

  10. I mean that's cool, but your friends better have these dinners and invite you too… who's paying for this, real talk now

  11. "Shucking 2,000 Oysters A Day At Hog Island" is the title of the video, correct ?…and that's the reason I came here for…one reads the title and the description and they don't match.

  12. fucking death trap in between shells there's no way to know weather it has bacteria or not some people died from eating this shit

  13. oysters rank alongside prawns and crabs as the most disgusting things to eat as they are like little filters that store up the pollution from the water in their systems which is then transferred to you when you consume them…..

  14. I guess i shouldnt waste time and energy complaining but its pretty annoying when people drink oysters from the shell. I grew up in the south eating steamed oysters and we just kinda grab em with the knife and eat them. Theres no point in slurping from the shell. It doesnt taste different or better.

  15. Bro u need to wat them with a Mexican salsa like Valentina or guichol nd aom fexkin lemon bro u have no idea what ur missing

  16. Oysters filter the water and absorb heavy metals from polluted waters that end up in your plate and body without any chance to remove them from your body causing damage to your cells

  17. San Francisco Bay used to be the free food bank for natives. "Shellmound street" in Emeryville is named for the mounds of shells that were piled up by the wetland shoreline…. hungry natives just had to walk down to the shore line and scoop out there meal.

  18. So nice to see civility! To bad it was then, artistry of delicious yet delicate…. Paired with wine and music, priceless

  19. Been here and it’s not just oysters. They have an amazing grilled cheese made by the shop next door and also a great seafood linguini! Also a full bar and row of beers on tap

  20. Bro, you ate a lot of oyster shit. Did you even know that oysters contain a little bag of green shit and that is up to you to cut it open and clean it out or did you just not care?🤔

  21. I wish I could eat these but I'm horribly allergic. sigh I'm allergic to all things tropical. Shell fish, pineapple, i hat ethe taste of coconut and I cant swim. My mom would joke that i mustive done something terrible to the ocean/tropics in my previous life. So In this life i'm being punished for it in this one.

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