When Boathouse Oyster Bar & Grill’s manager and bartender Kelly Camardelle was asked to compete in a oyster shucking challenge in New Orleans, it only took him a few minutes to say yes.
US Foods, a food service distributor, invited Camardelle to a Food Fanatics Live event in New Orleans, Louisiana. The event brings food service professionals together with premier chefs, culinary experts and business operations consultants for an innovative and informative food experience.
“A US Foods representative called and asked me if I had anyone who was interested in competing in the oyster shucking challenge of the event and the first person I thought of was Kelly,” said Jenn McGee, the restaurant's general manager.
McGee said she chose Camardelle because his has been a devoted employee for the past nine years and has a lot of love for the restaurant.
“He also has a record here… He has a record of shucking 12 oysters in a minute,” she said.
Camardelle said he was excited to represent his restaurant at the event, which took place on June 28.
“My knees were trimbling… That’s how nervous I was,” he said.
Camardelle had three minute to shuck the most oysters he could.
“It was only two of us and when we were done, I shucked 25 oysters and won the challenge,” he said. “They told me the event’s world record was 27 in three minutes.”
Camardelle said any guys from the restaurant could of done it, but was honored to have been chosen.
“It was a cool experience. … Things like this never happens to me,” he said.
Camardelle has been invited to future Food Fanatics Live events in Tampa and Birmingham.
"I’m so exited. … I think I will put on more gloves, bring my own knife and will try to beat the record again,” he said. "If I can get into the groove, I'm sure I can beat it."