2023 Chefs

Rappahannock Oyster Co.

Topping, VA

Saturday, May 12th at the Grand Tasting & Auction

In 2001, when Ryan and Travis Croxton set out to revive their grandfather’s oyster company, the Chesapeake Bay had just recorded its lowest oyster harvest in history. Nearly all of the oysters being processed in the Bay were being trucked in from the Gulf of Mexico. But for a few enterprising individuals, the industry was headed for utter collapse. So their mission seemed clear: to resurrect the native Bay oyster and put it back on the map. Just a little over a decade later, Virginia is seeing harvest tallies not witnessed in a generation, and she now leads the entire East Coast in oyster production.

In no way is that due to any one company, but rather due to an inspiring collective of farmers, chefs, patrons, activists, and politicians who’ve put purpose ahead of profit. The Chesapeake once again enjoys its place among the great oyster regions of the world – this time, on a foundation of sustainability. For their part in that, they’re immensely proud of their history and their amazing and irreplaceable staff.

Today, Rappahannock River Oysters has a new mission: to celebrate good food grown well … or put another way, to celebrate a community of like-minded friends. Because it’s always been about more than just oysters. It’s about good people doing great things.