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feeling the effect of the spill

JazzyB May 3, 2010 09:36 AM

Went to Luke for happy hour oysters Sunday. Due to the spill, "25 cent oysters" has been suspended. Oysters are now $13 a dozen. The oysters were great, just glad to ge them while I can.

  1. l
    localfoodie May 6, 2010 10:33 AM

    Continue to enjoy fresh Louisiana seafood as usual. Seventy-seven percent of Louisiana seafood comes from the west side of the Mississippi River which is unaffected by the BP Oil Spill. Fisheries east of the Mississippi River are closed for precautionary measures only at this time.


    This Saturday, May 8, is the annual Second Harvest Food Bank and Letter Carriers Food Drive. It's easy to contribute. Leave a sturdy bag of nonperishable food items (canned fruits, vegetables, tuna, beans, pasta, rice, peanut butter or cereal) next to your mailbox before your regular mail delivery. Your letter carrier will deliver them to Second Harvest Food Bank for distribution to fishermen and their families. Items also may be delivered to local post offices until May 14.


    The Ritz Carlton is accepting donations of nylons, hair and fur on behalf of Matter of Trust (www.matteroftrust.org) to create booms for the oil spill. The Ritz Carlton has partnered with 50 GNO area salons to collect hair, and we are helping them collect stockings and spread the word.

    1 Reply
    1. re: localfoodie
      swampsue May 7, 2010 09:12 AM

      thanks for the great info! i'll spread it around. And I admit my relative ignorance on spill impact v. seepage, spill risk and relative safety, but I do have a friend whose is a contract environmental cleanup expert, and he goes out on spills in the region a lot more often than i think gets covered, and of course he's out on this one now, and i've never seen such a kindhearted laid back guy so enraged or disgusted. I try to be levelheaded and fair minded and see all sides to the issues, but I have to agree with kibbles. Maybe it's all the dead sea-turtles washing up on Waveland beaches. Sorry, this has veered from food.

    2. edible complex May 4, 2010 05:01 PM


      "Gulf Seafood in Commerce Safe to Eat"

      1. Bill Hunt May 3, 2010 09:49 PM

        Unfortunately, there will likely be more of this. It has happened before, but not with these details. Usually, it's ultra-high River levels, or major storms. This is really a new one for the Gulf, so much will remain to be seen.

        Our thoughts and prayer are with the Gulf Coast and probably beyond.

        Have to admit that we are horribly torn over this disaster. First, an industry that has an excellent safety record, and then an industry reliant on all things going well. Damned bad fortune on every possible level.

        We're headed down in October, and will deal with whatever life presents us with. I only hope that the Coast can survive and the wonderful people, who make it all possible, will get past this.

        Good luck to all,


        7 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt
          ironballs May 4, 2010 12:09 PM

          there are alot of oyster beds between lake charles and galveston that will produce, the largest yielding shrimping area in the gulf is area #2 and is unaffected by the spill. the fishermen are suing bp for lost profits and many of them are not currently fishing. i am a professional chef in new orleans and my information came from my fish monger this morning. though this situation is really freakin bad it's not the apocalyptic scenario we've been told it is, most of the price raising is currently out of the fear of a shortage not an actual shortage

          1. re: ironballs
            kibbles May 4, 2010 02:44 PM

            another local chef does not share that "everything's fine" outlook. john besh:


          2. re: Bill Hunt
            kibbles May 4, 2010 02:41 PM

            im not so sure the industry's safety record is that excellent. they would like us to believe that, of course. but these disasters happen on a semi-regular basis. we hear about some, we dont of others. big huge ones everyone hears about.. these accidents are part of the industry, not despite the industry. drilling for oil is a dirty job.

            but the question to me is: why is this worth it? the US consumes a crazy amount of oil, far more than any off-shore drilling could account for. LA is one of the poorest states in the union and receives very little direct off-shore revenue. therefore, why do we want to risk seriously screwing up our environment *and* local commerce (seafood, etc), for such little gain?

            if you consumed 100 barrels annual but found you could drill 5 out your back yard, but also found that every so-many-years you had a disaster and ruined your house and your neighbor's house...would you continue to drill for the measly 5 barrels? of course not. apply that to the state, the region, and country as a whole. this is our backyard. why do we do this?

            because oil companies profit from it. that's it. they want to. they throw some of it back to the politicians and maybe to the state if youre lucky (LA isnt), and supply some jobs. but that's the only reason....and maybe it will take a catastrophic screw-up of epic proportions for citizens to realize its a raw deal.

            full disclosure: i used to work for Shell here in new orleans.

            1. re: kibbles
              Bill Hunt May 4, 2010 07:19 PM

              Well, if we look back over the history of the Gulf oil & gas industry, I think that you will see how good it is. The normal seepage from the ocean floor far exceeds everything, until now.

              I'd go a bit slowly on the anti-capitalist assertions without the numbers. Might bite worse than a sand shark.

              Good luck,


              1. re: Bill Hunt
                kibbles May 5, 2010 05:17 AM

                Normal ocean floor seepage does not spew to the surface and reach the shores of our seafood beds. That is a direct result of the intense pressure of our reservoir engineering.

                Minor safety and engineering accidents happen on a regular basis; this is a dangerous game. The major "spills" only occur ever few decades, it is true. Last in our gulf was a few decades back. But again I ask you the question -- considering we will never come close to drilling what we consume, why take the risk? Why is the long-term environmental & economic damage worth it for a drop in the bucket?

                Not following on anti-capitalism - as a business owner I am very much for capitalism. Just not short-sighted, irresponsible stewardship in the name of profit.

                1. re: kibbles
                  Bill Hunt May 6, 2010 07:12 PM

                  Well, the Gulf exploration record is very clean.

                  The volume of seepage is much greater, than this spill has been.

                  The effects of this spill might well be horrific and catastrophic, and we will only have to wait to see the impact.

                  Let's say that the seafood industry survives, but the price of gasoline goes to $10/gallon, and that jet fuel skyrockets too. Then, only the locals will likely partake of the bounty of the Gulf.

                  Regardless, it will be interesting in the future.



              2. re: kibbles
                nomadchowwoman May 5, 2010 07:20 AM

                Couldn't agree more: is what we--the state/people of Louisiana--reap from the oil industry worth risking serious damage to our fragile eco-sysytem, our wetlands and estuaries, which in turn means our culture and cuisine?

            2. edible complex May 3, 2010 09:27 PM

              JB, good for you for supporting local!
              wish i was in the city so i could partake as well. cheers!

              4 Replies
              1. re: edible complex
                N.O.Food May 4, 2010 04:49 AM

                Where are you?

                1. re: N.O.Food
                  edible complex May 4, 2010 04:59 PM

                  splitting my time btwn NOLA and Eureka Springs, AR.
                  great food here in Eureka too!
                  but hope to get back to NOLA early June to eat my weight in seafood!

                  1. re: edible complex
                    Suzy Wong May 4, 2010 07:21 PM

                    I had no idea you lived in AR)

                    As a general fyi and to not post twice:
                    From Lorin Gaudin's blog....including what Sal Sunseri of P&J, the owner of Parkway Bakery had to say and Tommy Cvitanovich of Drago's:


                    1. re: Suzy Wong
                      edible complex May 5, 2010 07:15 AM

                      live to eat in both NOLA and Eureka! but was born and breaded in NOLA!

              2. j
                James Cristinian May 3, 2010 02:40 PM

                Jazzy B, sounds like a little price gouging going on. Thirteen dollars a dozen is crazy, and I love oysters, but not that much.

                6 Replies
                1. re: James Cristinian
                  Brfoodie May 3, 2010 08:21 PM

                  I was in Luke on Saturday and the bartender told me that they had suspended the oyster special indefinitely and we were the first victims of the price hike. I still ate a dozen as theres no telling when the next batch will be as good as the ones we had this year. Good luck to all

                  1. re: James Cristinian
                    edible complex May 3, 2010 09:25 PM

                    crazy is relative to what and where you eat them. I've seen prices higher and lower depending on supply and ambience.
                    I don't work for Besh or know him personally, but I would think he has too much invested in greater New Orleans to risk alienating his clientele by price gouging.
                    I'm waiting to the get facts on how this spill affects supply before passing judgment. I remember all too clearly what our limited options were and at what price immediately following Katrina.

                    1. re: James Cristinian
                      Bill Hunt May 3, 2010 10:00 PM


                      For the Coast, that is correct. For other parts of the US, not quite. I can recall oysters (half-shell) selling for US$20 for a half-dozen at two restaurants in Vail, CO, and this was maybe 15 years ago. Now, being from the Coast, we were not going to indulge, by any stretch, but prices will probably high around the entire US, based on this.

                      Now, at this time, the beds in the Chef/Lake Katherine Area, the Rigolets and Lake Pontchartrain are unaffected, as are the beds to the west. Time will tell how much effect this will have across the Coast.


                      1. re: James Cristinian
                        N.O.Food May 4, 2010 04:48 AM

                        Nah. 13/dozen is ordinary price for the quarter, so I couldn't call it gouging.

                        1. re: N.O.Food
                          James Cristinian May 4, 2010 01:41 PM

                          Ok, maybe gouging isn't the right word. How about outrageous? How much are they in the rest of New Orleans?

                          1. re: James Cristinian
                            BayouTeche May 4, 2010 01:54 PM

                            Felix's - $10
                            Acme - $11
                            Boubon House - $14
                            Redfish Grill - $15

                            And $13 is Luke's normal price on the menu. They just discontinued the happy hour special.

                      2. g
                        gernmaterne May 3, 2010 02:15 PM

                        Hello, my company works with Galatoire's Restaurant in New Orleans and they issued the following statement regarding the oil spill effects on Louisiana seafood:

                        To our friends and guests,

                        Galatoire’s Restaurant shares the nation’s concern about the current activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

                        We can assure you that you can continue to enjoy locally-sourced fish, shrimp, crawfish and crab from Louisiana for the foreseeable future.

                        In accordance with the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries' guidelines, Galatoire's requires each of our seafood purveyors to provide a "trip ticket" identifying the exact geographic areas where our fish and shellfish are caught or harvested. These regulations make our fishermen and other purveyors accountable to us and the state of Louisiana.

                        Nearly 80 percent of Louisiana's seafood comes from thousands of miles of coastline west of the Mississippi River, hundreds of miles away from the currently affected areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Galatoire's has taken steps to support our seafood producers and ensure that the freshest, highest quality fish, shrimp, crawfish and crabs are available without interruption.

                        New Orleans is located more than 100 miles inland from the Louisiana coast. We are enjoying one of the most exciting times of the year. If you have plans to visit our great city and restaurant, keep those plans and come see us.

                        As we have for 105 years, our chef and waiters are happy to suggest the freshest seafood that we have available and answer any questions about how we maintain our seafood standards. Your favorite Galatoire’s dishes are waiting for you.
                        We encourage you to follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook to receive more updates from Galatoire’s.

                        Galatoire's Restaurant
                        209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: gernmaterne
                          ncara May 3, 2010 02:18 PM

                          gernmaterne- what about the oysters???

                          1. re: ncara
                            runCP3 May 3, 2010 02:32 PM

                            Only a small number of the oyster beds are closed. Plenty are still open. Check out this diagram:


                            1. re: ncara
                              gernmaterne May 3, 2010 02:51 PM

                              There are oyster beds east and west of the Mississippi River. The beds east of the River that have been closed by the federal government as a precaution. Galatoire’s continues to receive oysters from suppliers with beds west of the Mississippi River.

                              Galatoire’s and other New Orleans restaurants know where each piece of fish and shellfish comes from, because of guidelines and tracing procedures in place from the State Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

                              Galatoire's Restaurant
                              209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                          2. BayouTeche May 3, 2010 12:41 PM

                            All fisheries are still open west of the Mississippi.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: BayouTeche
                              runCP3 May 3, 2010 01:15 PM

                              Right on. West of the Mississippi River is 80% of Louisiana's seafood. So only 20% is affected. The best side and majority hasn't been affected at all.

                            2. l
                              Littleman May 3, 2010 12:29 PM

                              Here's a website report from a restaurant in Fairhope, AL. Eating seafood is fixing to cost more.

                              I just got off the phone with my seafood guys and here is the latest update on how the oil spill

                              is going to effect the seafood industry in our area: current weather conditions and future fore-

                              casts indicate that the Gulf waters of Texas, especially Galveston Bay will remain unaffected by the

                              the spill. This means that shrimp and oysters will continue to be supplied to our area. Crab ,

                              on the other hand is going to be in short supply as all of it comes from Louisiana, Mississippi,

                              and Alabama waters. Other sources for the seafood we currently sell include North Carolina,

                              Maryland, and the west coast. The current situation will be monitored daily and certainly

                              subject to change daily as this crisis continues. The seafood industry along the entire Gulf

                              Coast has taken a beating the past several years and it looks like this BP mess could mean

                              rough times for a long time. Big Daddy's will continue to purchase as much Gulf seafood as

                              possible for as long as possible. In the event that this changes, you will be made aware of

                              what is happening and why. We encourage everyone to do what they can to help with this

                              disaster. Contact local environmental agencies and conservation groups to see where help is

                              most needed.

                              Gulf Coast Restaurants
                              1200 S Clearview Pkwy, New Orleans, LA 70123

                              Big Daddy's Bar
                              2513 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Littleman
                                Cookie Baker May 3, 2010 12:36 PM

                                I second the motion Littleman - please contact local environmental agencies and conservation groups to see where we can help. This is tragic on many different levels.

                                1. re: Cookie Baker
                                  James Cristinian May 3, 2010 02:30 PM

                                  Littleman, not true on the crabs. We have just as much crab in Texas as anywhere else on the coast. The only problem is most of it goes to Maryland. The La. folks are going to have to outbid them.

                                  1. re: James Cristinian
                                    hazelhurst May 3, 2010 02:44 PM

                                    An owner in Annapolis sheepishly confessed to me that almstt all his "maryland Crab" can from Texas, some from LA, and some from Mississippi. It is still too soon to tell but it is looking like Mississippi and ALA will be slammed and much of LA will escape. If it afffects the Appalachicola oysters, I know one friend who will be up to do murder.

                                    1. re: hazelhurst
                                      James Cristinian May 3, 2010 02:55 PM

                                      The same thing kinda happened to me. I was in New Orleans pre-Katrina, had oysters at Felix Oyster Bar, and I get back to Houston and read a couple of articles about how there were a bunch of boats from Louisiana fishing Texas bays due to a bumper crop. These guys move around from bay to bay, as some years one bay will be hot, and another not so. Maybe your friend can get by on some Texas oysters. The ones from Matagorda Bay are particularly good.

                                      1. re: James Cristinian
                                        hazelhurst May 3, 2010 02:58 PM

                                        I'll tell him....I usually check rainwater and ask to se the tag so I kow where they are comnig from. BUt I pul the plug on oysters this time of years because I think it is not fair to the oyster...I'd rather we let them live and grow until cold weather

                                        1. re: hazelhurst
                                          James Cristinian May 3, 2010 03:10 PM

                                          Yes, I'm with you. I stop eating oysters when the water tempeatures get into the sixties, except for the occasional fried or grilled ones.

                                    2. re: James Cristinian
                                      joedontexan May 5, 2010 03:35 PM

                                      excellent observation your the only person beside myself that knows that maryland crabs are actually texas crabs.

                                      1. re: joedontexan
                                        JazzyB May 6, 2010 08:16 AM

                                        Maryland gets a good amount of LA crabs as well.

                                        1. re: JazzyB
                                          edible complex May 6, 2010 09:19 AM

                                          i believe southwest airlines flies more crabs from nola to maryland than people. so i've heard.

                                          1. re: JazzyB
                                            nomadchowwoman May 6, 2010 09:46 AM

                                            Reminds me of a time when we were on the Chesapeake Bay, and I dragged my (very reluctant) husband to a small dive-y restaurant many miles out of the way that I had heard had the best she-crab soup in the area. We ordered the soup and some carbcakes, and while waiting for it, I noticed that the small cracker-filled plastic tub on our--and every other--table was for lump crabmeat from Louisiana. We asked about it, and the server rather sheepishly acknowledged that for all but a few months, they got their crabmeat from La. (And then neither the soup nor the (very bready) crabcakes were anything to write home about, or travel any distance for.)

                                  2. l
                                    Littleman May 3, 2010 12:26 PM

                                    Galveston, TX is supposed to miss the effects of the oil spill. Local shrimp night go to $10/pound. Lot of seafood will start coming from TX. They will be shipping from TX to all points East.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Littleman
                                      hazelhurst May 3, 2010 12:34 PM

                                      A restaurant owner up in Baton Rouge told me Thursday that he had juist bought 30,000 lbs of shrimp..says he can make it through the summer with that.

                                      1. re: hazelhurst
                                        JerryMe May 4, 2010 05:12 PM

                                        Good thing he has storage for that much shrimp. It is indeed heart rendering and sickening. "Waiting for the black tide to reach the shores, our stomachs and our pocketbooks.

                                    2. l
                                      Liz Gober May 3, 2010 10:53 AM

                                      We're also very upset....one of our good friends is an oyster distributor and this may ruin his businesss...

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Liz Gober
                                        ncara May 3, 2010 11:02 AM

                                        Do you think we won't get them at all or will they just be more expensive? We will be down the beginning of June. I haven't been back since before Katrina and was looking forward to my raw oysters.

                                        1. re: ncara
                                          roro1831 May 3, 2010 12:06 PM

                                          The restaurants may have them but the won't be gulf oysters, they will have to ship them in from elsewhere driving up the price

                                          1. re: roro1831
                                            luckywonton May 3, 2010 12:15 PM

                                            For more on this subject, check out this post thread that was moved by the CH powers-that-be to the Food and Media Board:


                                            1. re: luckywonton
                                              swampsue May 3, 2010 01:43 PM

                                              Thanks for that link. I hope the Chowhound folk will exercise a little compassionate flexibility in this situation. I think I am not the only one rendered a little speechless by all this, and in a looming state of dread about what the ultimate impact this will be, on all levels, not just the seafood. On the food front, almost everyone I know is out there (with my passionate new orleans vegetarian encouragement) enjoying as much Gulf seafood as they can. Many are also signing up for whatever prospective volunteer opps will arise. (the audubon institute seemed to have a good sign up system in place for those interested)

                                      2. FoodChic May 3, 2010 10:50 AM

                                        I'm physically ill over this mess. My best to those there.

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