Riding High On the Hog
Riding High on the Hog, John Burkhard brings his passions for wheels & oysters, to deliver you an exceptional and unique oyster experience – anywhere you want.
John has been cultivating an exceptional oyster experience with Hog Island for nearly a decade. His journey with Hog Island began in 2003 the opening week of the Hog Island Oyster Bar in San Francisco. As a chef and former restaurant owner who grew up in Marin County, John’s passion for the Bay Area’s abundant bounty and fresh seafood began at very early age.
“My parents tell me that at age five or six, I knew I wanted to be a chef and work with food.”
When Hog Island opened their then new restaurant in San Francisco he leapt at the chance to try his skills at shucking. “I had known of Hog Island’s reputation for growing some of the best oysters in our region and I was excited for a bit of change.”
This was the turning point when the ‘oyster bug’ bit John. “Honestly, I thought I would come to Hog Island, learn about oyster culture, hone my shucking skills and move on in a year. I was so impressed by the people and passion of this company, and the quality of oysters, that I stayed. And I’m loving every minute of it!”
Since 2006 John has managed and grown the outreach for Hog Island’s Traveling Oyster Bars. His inspiration and focus is on making people happy. “It’s always amazing to witness the reaction people have when tasting a fresh, expertly shucked oyster for the first time. And it’s even more fun when folks step up to the bar having never tried an oyster. It’s a game, all of our shuckers love converting ‘oyster virgins’ into ‘oyster lovers’.”
From weddings, to wineries, to large public events and private intimate dinners, John has tailored the Traveling Oyster Bars to fit all occasions. “The recipe is simple, we arrive with our freshest oysters, lemons, Hog Wash and expert Hog Island shuckers. From there we can dress up or down the bars to fit just about any style.
When not touring with the Hog Island Traveling Oyster Bars you might find John winding up the coast of Highway One, cruising on one of his collectable, vintage European motorbikes. His favorite ride? “Any sunny day between Jenner and Legget with my 1967 Bultaco Metralla.”