Scene & Heard: Oyster Ball

Jennifer Pellegrino and Gloria Gunning attended the Oyster Ball at Ryleigh's. The Oyster Ball was aptly named. About 150 folks filled Ryleigh's Oyster Bar to fill up on oysters and raise money for the Oyster Recovery Partnership and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The ice sculpture of a mermaid out front was about the only one not sipping champagne or slurping oysters on the half shell. “This is the third year, and each year it gets bigger. It gets some folks outside of the city to come here and feast on oysters,” said Scotti Offutt, Ryleigh's marketing and events manager, who had organized the party. “It's great to see people come together for a good time that's also for a good cause,” said Bryan Gomes, Oyster Recovery Partnership special programs manager. “It's oysters and champagne. How can you not get excited?” asked Jerry Pellegrino, chef/owner of Corks Restaurant and Waterfront Kitchen, who was there with his wife, Jen Pellegrino, Corks event coordinator. “I came last year and came back because it's a great party and great oysters. And I support the program because I want to continue to love oysters,” said Brittany Webster, Thornton's Pub bartender, who had just made a trip to the raw bar, where the line stayed constant. Meantime, Larry Storck, Nyquist Inc. sales representative, had planted himself at one end of the raw bar so that he could enjoy the mollusks as soon as shucker John Meyers had them ready. “It is a little intimidating when people are waiting to take them off the tray as soon as I put them down. But it's a good warm-up for the shucking competition,” said Meyers. Then there was another potential warm-up noted by Pellegrino. “It's a bunch of guys eating oysters, and girls in high heels. It's trouble waiting to happen.” -- Sloane Brown
Photo by Colby Ware, Special to The Baltimore Sun
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