Champion oyster shucker David Leck is in the process of hiring some damn talented staff to help him open Little Gull, the sibling boutique grocery slash fresh oyster bar of Josh Henderson's Westward — both of which are expected to open on the restaurant-deficit north shore of Lake Union later this summer (it's looking like late August at this point). Leck will be managing the place and it sounds like he has no plans to go easy on the hiring process:
Everyone I hire will be very skilled at shucking oysters and very knowledgeable about oysters so we can teach people about them — how to use the product, how to store it and what to look for when eating them. We want to spoil people and give them an experience they'll never forget.
A little history on Leck: He worked at Elliott's for almost 10 years as their main oyster shucker before opening Blueacre with Kevin Davis. He's been in more than 70 shucking competitions in the U.S. and Canada, "I'm usually in the top 3 if not first place." When it comes to oysters, "Anything that comes out of the sea gets me excited." And he admits, "It's hard for me to go order oysters from some place when I can probably do it better myself."
With that said, Leck has a list of places that anyone visiting Seattle should check out. Here are his top 5 picks, ranked and in handy map form for easy tourist guiding.
· Westward/Little Gull [Official Site]