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Chef David Burke Supports NJ Oyster Farms

Chef David Burke Supports NJ Oyster Farms

With mollusks often the first to fall from menus in hard times, acclaimed chef & restaurateur David Burke is keeping New Jersey oysters a staple at his eateries.

As it winds down, this summer has been a difficult season for Garden State oyster farmers. Oysters are a labor-intensive product, requiring special storage and care.

Chef Burke operates 6 restaurants across the state, all of which have oysters on their menus. A believer in the Garden State’s maritime heritage—and sourcing ingredients locally—Burke is standing by New Jersey’s oyster farmers.

“I want to support local oystermen,” says Burke. “To keep a local industry alive and be proud of what you’re serving—that’s a good feeling.”

With fall oyster festivals canceled in Shore towns like Asbury Park, the solidarity is greatly appreciated.

“To have someone with David’s knowledge and star power giving our industry a solid leg to stand on means a lot,” said Scott Lennox, co-founder of Barnegat Oyster Collective. “David has been a great help to us, even before the pandemic.”

The Collective, run by Lennox and partner Matt Gregg, represents a dozen Jersey oyster farms. In addition to providing resources for farmers, it hopes to educate the general public on the oyster trade itself.

As COVID-19 impacts the Shore economy with particular force, the pair believe they’re able to sell only 60% of their previous volume. But with help from loyal restaurateurs—and their hungry patrons—the industry can start on the road to recovery.

“…It’s a no-brainer,” says Burke. “It’s all about quality, freshness, and working with people we know.”

Looking to show some love to New Jersey’s oyster farms? Try making a reservation at one of Chef David Burke’s restaurants. To learn more about the Barnegat Oyster Collective, check out their website!

For everything Garden State, keep up with HipNewJersey.com.

Posted By

Bridget McAllister

Born and raised in Scotch Plains, Bridget McAllister studied Television, Radio & Film at Syracuse University before returning to New Jersey in 2019. With a passion for multimedia production and a background in nonfiction and journalism, she loves learning more about all that goes on in her home state. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and writing for pleasure.

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