The original recipe for Oysters Rockefeller, a dish dating back to 1899, was literally taked to the grave by chef Jules Alciatore, chef of New Orleans restaurant Antoine's. It is said that the dish was created during a shortage of french snails, which were used for their popular dish, escargot. As it turns out, butter, herbs and breadcrumbs were the perfect topping to oysters as well. Unlike snails, which needed a vessel to bake in, oysters had a natural shell that can withstand heat. The dish was so rich from all the butter, that when it came to naming it, what better namesake than the wealthiest man at the time, John D. Rockefeller.
Over the years, the core ingredients of oysters rockefeller have classicly remainded oysters, butter, spinach, parmesan and breadcrumbs, though we've seen versions with kale and parsely, bechemel, capers and pernod. Eric Kuna, Chef of Claudio's Restaurant, a Greenport, LI, institution since the 1800s, has shared with us his famous Oysters Rock, which includes one of our favorite ingredients, sriracha!
Heading to the Island? Add Claudio's to your must-eat-at list of restaurants. Need to live vicariously? You can find Claudio's on Instagram @claudiosgreenport or Twitter @ClaudiosGrnport.