Not that every event has to be so classy — Meier can tell you about a crazy 4th of July out in the Hamptons that didn’t go so well. “It was like that movie where they try to throw the craziest party of all time — Project X.” Eventually, the place got shut down after someone accidentally set fire to the beach grasses. “So we just left and went to enjoy a BBQ with some oysters by ourselves.”
Ever since that first stroke of inspiration, Meier has been pretty obsessive about oysters. Not only did he set out to learn everything there is to know about them, he developed a new method of shucking to ensure a perfect presentation every time. “Since you’re shucking and serving directly in front of the guests, the product needs to be consistent and clean. That’s why I source all my oysters directly, and also focus on having the perfect shucking technique.” The technique? Well, he’s happy to teach you himself, since he’s beginning to teach shucking and oyster tasting classes at the James Beard House, “Teaching America How to Shuck.” Meier says he’s looking to teach more of these classes, so don’t be surprised if he’s soon bringing his love of oysters to a city near you.
“I want everyone to enjoy oysters the way I do,” he says. “A lot of people don’t experience something this natural and unsanitized when they eat, but they should. The best celebrity chef in the world can’t make an oyster any better.”