It’s becoming one of the Gulf Coast’s favorite events. The 8th Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend at The Hangout has been scheduled for Nov. 6-7. Prepare your tongues for a craft beer festival featuring more than 60 beers from at least 20 breweries kicking off that Friday. Surely that’s enough to get you there, but wait, there’s more! The Black Jacket Symphony will be performing Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirety.

(Photo/ www.hangoutcookoff.com) The Hangout’s Oyster Cook-Off returns in November.

(Photo/ www.hangoutcookoff.com) The Hangout’s Oyster Cook-Off returns in November.


On Saturday, Nov. 7, it’s all about the oysters, as attendees sample my favorite reason to live in the South, prepared by more than 70 nationally renowned and local chefs. The list of celebrity chefs this year features Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy and Martie Duncan of the Food Network; Jason Roberts of “Rachael Ray” and “The Chew,” Michele Ragussis of NBC’s “Food Fighters,” Alon Shaya (James Beard Best Chef South Award Winner, 2015) and Ryan Prewitt (James Beard Best Chef South Award Winner, 2014), and that’s just the beginning of the list. Tons of local and regional chefs will make a pilgrimage to this bivalve mecca as well.  

We’ll be updating you on the events as they unfold, but trust that in its eighth year there will be plenty of surprises between now and November. In the meantime, visit www.hangoutcookoff.com for more details.  

Last-chance Beer Fest plans
As of press time, tickets were still available for the 18th annual Dauphin Street Beer Festival this Saturday, Aug. 29. The venue where you purchase your $25 ticket will be your starting point. The night of the event, you’ll pick up your mug from that venue. Guard it with your life. You have 29 venues to visit between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., from Washington Street to Royal.

At one of these places I would recommend you get some food. There are so many great things to eat on this route. Also remember to drink plenty of water, as it may still be hot out. We don’t need any of you collapsing like a 23-year-old at a Ramones/Pearl Jam concert circa 1995.

And another thing, don’t drive.  

Chat and Chew to visit Kitchen on George
The Mayor’s Eat Local Initiative will be making its way to the OGD. On Friday, Aug. 28, the latest installment of Chat and Chew featuring Mayor Sandy Stimpson will be held at Kitchen on George. The event at our very own teaching restaurant begins at 11 a.m., as ordinary city folk like you and me are encouraged to dine in and express opinions for this open lunch with our mayor.

We all know Chef Gillian Clark’s fried chicken is good, but that may not be the opinion the mayor is looking for. Dig a little deeper.

Reservations are not required but are strongly suggested. The number for Kitchen on George, at the corner of George and Savannah streets, is 251-436-8890. We’ll see you there.

Serving You coming to The Bull
As far as working events go, I personally look forward to Family Promise’s Serving You. Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 6-8 p.m. The Bull will be rampant with knuckleheads like me as well as other people in the media serving diners their meals. All tips go toward Family Promise of Coastal Alabama.

This is my third time doing this and I’m honored to be strapping on an apron again. Family Promise’s goal is to end homelessness one family at a time and their success rate is unmatched. They provide shelter and counseling to families with children, so give generously.

It’s less than a month away, so reserve a spot in my section when you can. Imagine how great it will be watching me nervously struggle with a wine bottle or forget the specials. You will definitely get your money’s worth in entertainment, but the crackerjack staff at The Bull will have one of their amazing servers shadowing yours truly, so your dining experience will be as impeccable as it should be.  

The Bull is located at 609 Dauphin St. Make reservations by calling 251-378-5091.  

Bill’s by the Beach on “Beach Eats, USA”
Curtis Stone, chef and host of Food Network’s “Beach Eats, USA,” travels the country in search of beautiful scenery and delicious food in paradise. Sounds like a pretty tough job. Stone recently made his way to our Gulf Coast and shot an episode at Bill’s by the Beach in Gulf Shores.

The episode at Bill’s features Executive Chef Jon Gibson showing his kung fu with bacon and crab cheesecake with Vidalia tomato jam that sounds like it may be the best appetizer on the coast. Show enough self respect to not lick your television.

Chef Gibson also treated Stone to blackened shrimp and grits with red-eye gravy with tomato and red and green onion concasse. Toasted coconut shrimp atop grilled pineapple with homemade chili garlic sauce also sounds wonderful.

“I am excited to share my passion for creating delicious dishes with viewers of the Food Network,” Gibson said. “I hope to inspire people to seek out the best meals with the freshest ingredients, no matter where they are. In Gulf Shores, both can be found at Bill’s by the Beach.”

The show is set to air Aug. 26 on Food Network, but if I know that channel you’ll have opportunities to catch a rerun or two. Check local listings for airtimes.

Congratulations, Chef Gibson!

Until next time, recycle.