Your average food and wine lover knows there’s a whole industry surrounding wine education. People talk about terroir, wine varietals, producers, regions, etc. Sam Asher wants to start a similar conversation around the world of oysters.
The longtime seafood lover, who was raised on the East Coast and has several family members in Austin, left his world in finance to start Pearl, an app that educates users on the wide array of oysters and shows them where to find the bivalves at restaurants in more than a half dozen cities in America.
Asher launched the app in June and works with restaurants in cities from Seattle to New York City to communicate current selections and educate about the history and flavor profiles of a multitude of appellations.
When users open the app, they can geolocate restaurants, find out about specials, read about the oysters currently offered and find links to the restaurants and their reservation sites. Pearl currently includes seven Austin restaurants, including Parkside and Vox Table. The free app is currently available only on iPhones but is coming to Android phones later this year.
Pearl is one of the sponsors of this year’s Austin Oyster Festival, which takes place Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at the French Legation Museum (802 San Marcos St.) The event features oysters served in myriad ways – raw, grilled, roasted, fried, etc. – prepared by Eddie V’s executive chef Chris Bauer. General admission tickets are $50, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank. For tickets or more information, visit austinoysterfestival.com.