Jay Gallet from Superior Seafood takes home top honors in pre-shucking competition

NEW ORLEANS -- The best shuckers from around the Nation are hoping to shuck their way to the final round this Saturday.

"It's amazing to be able to have all these people competing. But of course, we've got a local contingency that is promising to kick butt," says Sal Sunseri with P&J Oyster Company.

P&J Oyster Company is sponsoring both the pre-shucking contest Thursday as well as the official shucking competition at Oyster Fest on Saturday. 18 shuckers are competing for one of six positions at Oyster Fest. And while the heat is on and they're making it look easy enough, a word to the wise from Sunseri.

"Do not try to shuck an oyster by yourself at home. Make sure you have people around you if you're going to do it. It is one of the hardest things in the world to do," says Sunseri.

So once these experts manage to pry open these shells, the true test begins. In order to qualify, shuckers need to detach the oyster completely and uniformity in presentation is also a must.

So after all this, who won?

"It feels good. Anything can happen. I'm just going to take the mistakes I made and try to get all 24 in the finals," says oyster shucking champion, Jay Gallet.

Gallet shucks at Superior Seafood Uptown and shucked 19 out of 24 oysters Thursday, taking home top prize at the pre-shucking competition and who knows, maybe he'll win top honors at oyster fest 2018 as well.