Chris Manocchio, a Toronto-based oyster shucker, beat out 15 other competitors from all-over Canada to take home the first-ever Tofino Oyster Festival trophy and a prize purse of $1,500 on Nov. 27 at the Shore Pier.
In the grand finale, Manocchio masterfully shucked 18 oysters the fastest in front of an ecstatic crowd. Mike Gill placed second, earning a cash prize of $1,000, and Mike Osborne placed third, taking home a cool $500.
“The oysters were great and the people are always great at these things. I was just looking for a really good excuse to come out here and this was the best one I could think of,” said Manocchio.
Manocchio is no stranger to the oyster shucking competitions. In 2022, he won the Canadian oyster shucking championships in Prince Edward Island and he’s also travelled to Ireland to represent Canada at the world shucking championships. He told the Westerly he was a little embarrassed by his initial performance in Tofino.
“Honestly, I was very worried. I didn’t think I would make it to the second round. But I got a second chance and that’s where I think I delivered. It was a good day for me,” said Manocchio after nabbing the title. He went on to say he would save some of his winnings after buying his friends a round at the bar to celebrate.