Hangout Oyster Cook-off

September 10, 2019 - Gulf Shores, AL - (OBA®) - The 12th Annual Hangout Oyster Cook-Off Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend has four major announcements! This signature seafood & music event at The Hangout serves 100,000 oysters in one day to guests from all over the country, and it is bigger and better than ever for 2019. Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd, over 10,000 people will arrive at the beach in Gulf Shores for an unforgettable weekend. Walk the beach, drink rare spirits and craft beers, listen to live music, and meet some of the most celebrated chefs in the country.


  1. Headlining the weekend is Chef Michael Symon and world-champion BBQ Pitmaster, Chris Lilly. Chef Symon is a star on the Food Network. His shows include Iron Chef America, BBQ Brawl, Burgers Brew & ‘Que and is perhaps best known for his hit Emmy Award winning show, ABC’s The Chew. 

    Chef Chris Lilly is a six-time barbecue world champion, including four wins at the prestigious Memphis in May Grand Championships. He is the head chef at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q and heads their competition cooking team. Chef Lilly also serves as a judge on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl.

  1. Oysters are the highlight of this magnificent event, with more than 100,000 oysters prepared in the Raw, Cajon, and Rockefeller categories. In addition to featuring thousands of Alabama oysters, there will be oysters from all over the continent in the North American Raw Oyster Showcase. New for 2019, restaurants will feature a specialty dish to represent their culinary flair. These dishes will be available for all Hangout Cook-Off attendees! 

  1. JIMMY HALL & THE MUSCLE SHOALS ALL-STARS: Come dance, sing along, and hear the stories behind the music when the Jimmy Hall and the Muscle Shoals All-Stars come to Gulf Shores to celebrate 60 years of #1 hit records. Fronted by Mobile native Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie and Jeff Beck fame, the lineup of legends includes David Hood, of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section- also known as the “Swampers” and keyboard player Spooner Oldham who have helped create some of the most popular songs in American music history. Songs like “Mustang Sally”, “Old Time Rock and Roll”, “Sweet Soul Music”, “Slip Away”,  “Free Bird”, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, “Tell Mama”, “Brown Sugar”, “I’ll Take You There”, and “When a Man Loves a Woman” are only a few of the hundreds of number one hits recorded at FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios over the decades. The Muscle Shoals All-Stars also includes Clayton Ivey of the Fame Gang, Will McFarlane, Kelvin Holly, Carla Russell, The Shoals Sisters, and the Muscle Shoals Horns with arrangements by Charles Rose.

    As Alabama’s 200th birthday celebration concludes, there could be no more fitting way to celebrate Alabama’s beautiful beaches, Alabama oysters, and Alabama hospitality than with the Alabama music and musicians who have helped create the soundtrack to so many lives. 

    Caroline Jones, currently touring with Jimmy Buffet, will perform Saturday on the main stage. Her hit record “Gulf Coast Girl” written with Buffet, Kenny Chesney, and Mac McAnally went viral this summer with millions of views. Crawford & Power will kick off the party on Friday night followed by folk pop band Boy Named Banjo and others. 

  1. Friday’s Kick-Off party is back and bigger than ever! Sample some of the rarest spirits to reach the Gulf Coast. Bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle will be paired with high-end barbecue, prepared by some of the hottest pitmasters in the U.S. (Fox Bros BBQ, Jess Pryles, Pig Beach NYC Shane McBride, and Sam Jones BBQ). Rums like Matusalem will be paired with Carribean cuisine, and Mexican food will be paired with boutique tequilas including Avion 44. The craft beer village features All-American gourmet grilled food with the best burgers and hotdogs on the beach. 

Celebrity Chef Lineup includes:

  • Hosted by Alabama’s own Food Network star, Martie Duncan

  • Michael Symon (Iron Chef, The Chew, BBQ Brawl and many others)

  • Chris Lilly (5x Memphis in May winner, Food Network, BBQ Brawl)

  • Aarti Sequeira (Guy’s Grocery Games, Season 6 Winner of Food Network Star)

  • Carl Ruiz (Guy’s Grocery Games)

  • Justin Warner (Food Network Star)

  • Panini Pete Blohme (Guy’s Grocery Games)

  • James Briscione (Food Network, Chopped)

  • Michele Ragussis (Food Network, Beat Bobby Flay)

  • Jim Smith (Top Chef)

  • Irv Miller (Cookbook Author)

  • Wes True (Bravo’s Top Chef) 

  • Linkie Marais (Food Network Star and Big Green Egg Chef)


Now in its twelfth year, the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off has become a regional staple, shining a spotlight on Alabama Gulf Seafood and Southern oyster recipes from Rockefeller to Cajun. In addition to the culinary creativity of this event, it is a great weekend getaway for families and couples. There are a multitude of fun, interactive activities including cooking demos, live music, and more. 

Workshops, Food Demonstrations, and Activities

  • The Publix Hands-on Demo Stage 

  • Celebrity Stage presented by Big Green Egg® 

  • Food Stars Book Signings

  • North American Raw Oyster Showcase

  • Bloody Mary Invitational presented by Ketel One Vodka & Whiskey Willy’s Bloody Mary Mix

  • Shucking Competition 

Publix Hands-on Demo Stage

Join us during the festival at the Publix Hands-on Demo Stage, where attendees can follow along and cook simple and delicious meals with instructions from our celebrity chefs. This activity is included in the admission and free for attendees to participate.

Big Green Egg Tailgating Experience 

This year, we have added the Big Green Egg® tailgating experience, where “eggheads” and food lovers can sample culinary delicacies slow-cooked on these traditional kamado-style grills. Bring your appetites because this popular ceramic grill & charcoal smoker creates a unique taste that can’t be beat. 

Featured Restaurants 

The Hangout Cook-Off will feature chefs competing for cash and prizes. Each restaurant will be serving up Rockefeller, Gulf Coast Cajun and Raw Oysters for everyone to taste. Participating restaurants and chefs to be announced!

North American Oyster Showcase

In addition to the over 70,000 wild Alabama oysters that will be served, the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off will also feature a wonderful variety of farm-raised, boutique oysters from farms across North America. 

Ticket Information 

Saturday General Admission: $10

Includes admission to Saturday’s Hangout Oyster Cook-Off, chef demo viewing, live music, and much more. Food and beverages are not included with admission.

Weekend VIP: $150

Includes admission to Saturday’s Hangout Oyster Cook-Off, 2 tasting ticket booklets (30 total tasting tickets), celebrity chef food tastings, admission to the “Chef’s Only” after party on Saturday night, and admission to Friday Craft Spirits & Beer night. The exclusive VIP area is a great place to relax with friends with free refreshments, comfortable seating and a private bar.

Weekend Super VIP: $250 (Limited availability)

Includes all the VIP access, amenities, and admissions plus Celebrity Chef Meet-and-Greet opportunities, free swag, a commemorative laminate, reserved premium seating at activations, and admission to an exclusive Meet-and-Greet with ChefChef Michael Symon.

Tasting Ticket Booklets: $30 in Advance

Tasting ticket booklets include 15 tickets each and are used to purchase oyster tastings at all booths. Each oyster is equivalent to one tasting ticket. Tickets cannot be exchanged for drinks.

Children 12 and under are admitted for free on Saturday, November 2nd. Friday, November 1st is a 21 and up, adults only event. 

General Admission and VIP tickets for the 2019 Hangout Oyster Cook-Off Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend are on sale now