DESIRE this? Passing the oyster knife on Bourbon Street from one shucker to another

 

NEW ORLEANS - On a desired corner of Bourbon Street, there's a New Orleans spectator sport.

It's not football or basketball or baseball.  It's big time oyster shucking.

It's at Desire Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  That's where you find oyster shuckers Gus Marshall and Kentrell Simms.

WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood chats with both of them and finds out about their oyster shucking resumes.

This is the only job Kentrell has ever had.  He says he's had it since 1994, that's twenty years, plus.

Gus Marshall has a little history in the business, too.  Gus has been opening oysters for forty years.

It's no wonder this is a spectator sport for four friends from London.  They got up close to see these guys in action.

One of the Brits says, "I've never seen anything like it.  I've never seen anyone shuck an oyster as quickly as these guys."

Since they're British, they'll recognize what's about to happen.  It's the changing of the guard.  Here at Desire Oyster Bar, it's the changing of the oyster guard.

Kentrell Simms steps up to enter the New Orleans Oyster Festival's P& J Oyster Shucking Contest. As he steps up, Gus Marshall steps down.  Gus is a three-time oyster shucking champion.

Gus says he's retiring because he wants to go out as a champion.

That's a lot of pressure on Kentrell who says he's done his nails, his nerves are good, he'll do his best and take care of the rest.

But Wild Bill has to ask Gus, "any chance now that you retired, you might come back again, another time?"

Gus says, "yes, maybe next year!"

Hearing that, the oyster audience goes wild. That's British wild.

And they notice both these guys have smiles on their faces.