NEWPORT - Professional chefs throughout the Pacific Northwest will gather in Newport to compete in the fourth annual Oyster Cloyster at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Presented by the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Bank of the West and TLC Federal Credit Union, this year's event is set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.

The event is a benefit for the Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) Foundation, which will invest the proceeds to continue support of its many academic programs including the two-year Aquarium Science Program.

The culinary competition features oysters prepared in a variety of ways by some of Oregon's most talented chefs, including Mike Downing of Quimby's in Newport, Kendra Hall of the Whiskey Creek Cafe in Tillamook, Ken Martin of Salishan Resort and Spa in Gleneden Beach, Robert Young and Mark Goeserich from the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde and Stephen Davis of the Silverwater Cafe in Port Townsend, Wash.

The list of top chefs also includes Patrick Wheeler of the Embarcadero in Newport, Jeremy Harris of the Rogue River Room at Chinook Winds, Jardin Kazaar of Black Market Gourmet Food Center in Coos Bay, Steve Strenge and Enrique Sanchez of Rogue Ale Public House in Newport, Garnett Black and William Moher of Port Dock One in Newport, Richard Bergan of Shucker's Oytser Bar, Cathy Hagans of Snug Harbor Bar & Grill, Jason England of the Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay, Ryan Cornwall of the Starfish Grill and Eric Jenkins and Jennifer Chapman of the Seafood School in Astoria. Clam chowder, shrimp cocktails, a variety of cheeses, meats, breads and soft drinks are also included in the ticket price of $45.

First, second and third place awards and a people's choice award will be presented. Last year, Spirit Mountain Casino wrapped up first place as well as the people's choice award with their Savory Oyster and Chanterelle Bread Pudding with a choice of Pumpkin Puree Sauce or Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Sage Infused Brown Butter.

Several of the state's top wineries and breweries will be serving beverages at this year's Oyster Cloyster, including Rogue Ale Brewery, Chateau Bianca, Flying Dutchman Winery, Secret House Vineyard and Stangeland. Desserts for the evening will be prepared by Kathy Lusk of the Table of Contents Restaurant at the Sylvia Beach Hotel, Black Swan Bookstore and Cafe and Katie McNeil of Pacific Sourdough.

Tickets can be purchased at Bank of the West, TLC Federal Credit Union, OCCC, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Newport Performing Arts Center, J.C. Thriftway in Newport and Toledo, Chuck's Video in Waldport and the Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau.

For more information about the Oyster Cloyster or the OCCC Foundation, call A.T. Ronan at (541) 574-7131 or visit the Web site at www.occc.cc.or.us/oystercloyster

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