Island Creek Oysters

Small Business Spontaneity

Text contributed by WWC Magazine, Images by White Loft Studio

Most of the boys from Island Creek Oysters (renowned Oyster farm and now restaurant in Boston) have grown up nestled in the very same seaside town as the little bivalves they rear — Duxbury, Massachusetts. Around 21 years of age, each has fled the nest to go to college, to sail yachts around the world, to sell stocks and bonds in New York, or to wear a lab coat in GE’s famed micro-structural laboratory. Eventually, each has awoken one morning and blinked into consciousness Duxbury Bay twinkling in the morning sun. Not really knowing how they got here, they instinctively strap on some waders and head out to the oyster flats never to look back.

Here at Island Creek Oysters, we’re not so much into planning things out in advance. Some of the best moments we’ve had together just seem to happen. As our business has grown and things have gotten busier, both on the farm and in the office, there are fewer moments when we find ourselves all together; luckily, things just click around here because we are all friends and we want to keep it that way.

We think this spontaneity is the essence of life here at Island Creek Oysters. Our company motto is: We grow some of the best oysters in the world, and we have a damn good time doing it. Our dedication to this credo manifests itself in our openness, not only to going to great lengths for good times and good friends, but to running a small business and all of the ideas and people that come with that. Some of the best things that have ever happened to us have become a reality simply because we were willing to say, “Why not?” And if it takes crossing Cape Cod Bay in a small, flat-bottomed boat for a few hours of fun to preserve that, well … that’s just fine with us.


PHOTO: White Loft Studios

PHOTO: White Loft Studios


PHOTO: White Loft Studios
Island Creek Oyster Sliders with Lime Aioli
Recipe type: Entree
  • 1 red onion, sliced very thin
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 4 Island Creek Oysters (or any good oyster, large in size)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 4 very small brioche or similar rolls
  • 2 Tbsp soft butter
  • ¼ cup baby arugula or similar lettuce greens
  1. To pickle onions, mix sliced red onion with sugar and vinegar, and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours until they change color and begin to wilt. Drain onions and keep cold until ready to use.
  2. To make lime aioli, place first 6 ingredients in a food processor and puree to combine. While machine is on, slowly drizzle in both oils until mixture becomes emulsified. If aioli becomes too thick, add a little cold water to thin mixture and then continue with remaining oil. This can be made a day ahead. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. Shuck oysters, being careful to keep from puncturing oyster with your knife. Dredge each oyster in flour, shake off any excess, coat in egg, and dredge in breadcrumbs. Set aside on a cold plate while you bread remaining oysters. Keep breaded oysters cold until ready to use.
  4. Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan to 325 degrees. Fry breaded oysters on both sides until golden brown. Carefully remove from pan to a paper towel and immediately season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a sauté pan set over medium heat, melt butter and lightly toast inside of the rolls. On each roll spread a layer of aioli, then layer a few pickled onions, a few arugula leaves, a fried oyster, and top with brioche roll. Serve while oysters are still warm.
PHOTO: White Loft Studios


PHOTO: White Loft Studios


PHOTO: White Loft Studios
PHOTO: White Loft Studios

Ogden, UT

Where Women Cook explores the heart of the home, the kitchen, through the stories of women who are passionate about food. This quarterly magazine shares the delicious recipes, beautiful kitchen decor, entertaining ideas, and inspirational journeys of extraordinary women.

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