Seattle's representatives in international culinary competitions this weekend didn't fare as well as hoped.
Jorge Hernandez, shucker at Elliott's Oyster House, was disqualified from Sunday's World Oyster Invitational and Guinness World Record Shucking Competition in Whistler, B.C., on a technicality.
"He had to shuck 10 of three types of oysters and missed one oyster," explains Elliott's spokesperson Katie Wilkinson, who reports another competitor was ruled out for the same reason.
According to Wilkinson, the oyster that didn't get shucked had slipped onto the floor.
Canada's reigning shucking champ, Eamon Clark from Rodney's Oyster House in Toronto, won the contest. First prize was $5,000, which promoters claimed was the largest cash prize ever given for successful oyster shucking.
"It's pretty crazy that they are going to offer that money," Clark told The Whistler Question before the competition. "If you can open 30 oysters in under three minutes--do the math on $5,000 in three minutes. That's a pretty good hourly wage."
Across the continent, Shane Wahlund of DeLaurenti's struck out at the second annual Cheesemonger Invitational. Wahlund didn't return messages, so it's unknown whether blind tasting, measuring, or wrapping proved to be his Waterloo. Wahlund's name didn't surface in play-by-play coverage of the 40-person competition.
Portland's Steve Jones, who last year opened The Cheese Bar, surged from seventh to first place after submitting a plate of Austrian mountain cheese paired with bacon caramel corn. Jones' win netted him $1,000 and the admiration of adoring cheeseheads who enthusiastically chanted the names of cheeses throughout the competition.