“Strong backs and weak minds” was the motto of John Finger when he planted his first oyster seed in Tomales Bay in 1983. Hog Island Oyster Company has grown into a legendary Northern California oyster farm that began with a five-acre shellfish lease.

Many of those involved in the early days had marine science backgrounds. Finger, who hails from the East Coast, fished and clammed while growing up. Their love of food allowed the company to expand into five restaurants around the Bay Area, as well as wholesale and catering divisions, a dedicated hatchery, a saltworks, and several seaweed initiatives. Finger is the founding CEO. Along with two-time James Beard-award winning cookbook author and noted Northern California chef John Ash, they discuss the culture and cuisine of the place and Ash’s new book, The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood.
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