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Want really fresh oysters? This Hawaiian resort raises ‘em and serves ‘em

Hualalai oysters

At the Ulu Ocean Grill, oysters on the half shell are served with a hot sauce made with locally sourced ingredients.

(Four Seasons Resort Hualalai)

A posh resort on the Big Island of Hawaii is giving new meaning to the words “fresh seafood.” It’s raising its own oysters right on the property.

The sustainable oyster growing habitat is a recent addition to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s Kona-Kohala coast.

Punawai Lake is stocked with 9,000 of the mollusks, with plans to increase the total to 30,000 by next summer.

They are served exclusively at three resort restaurants.

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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

David Chai, shown here with freshly harvested oysters, spent 12 years studying which type of mollusk was best suited for the resort's saltwater lake.

(Four Seasons Resort Hualalai)

The oysters, from a variety originally sourced from Chesapeake Bay on the East Coast, are the result of 12 years of research by David Chai, the hotel’s director of natural resources. He raised various types to determine which were best suited to the property’s saltwater pond.

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Oysters on the half shell are priced at $3.50 each. At Ulu Ocean Grill, they’re served with hot Damskey sauce. Named after chef du cuisine Chris Damskey, the sauce includes chilis, citrus, garlic and honey, all locally sourced. A fried oyster po’ boy is also on the menu.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai as the best hotel in the state of Hawaii.

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