Book cover for GULF COAST OYSTERS: Classic & Modern Recipes of a Southern Renaissance

GULF COAST OYSTERS: Classic & Modern Recipes of a Southern Renaissance

Irv Miller

Spring House Press
September 1, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1940611761

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Chef Irv Miller has been working along the Florida Panhandle and writing about the foods of the Gulf Coast for more than three decades. He received national acclaim for pioneering the area’s New Florida Cooking during the American Cuisine movement in the late 1980s and 1990s. Miller’s longtime commitment has been to sourcing Gulf Coast ingredients and Southern-inspired foods.

In 1999, along with his partners, Chef Miller founded Jackson’s in Pensacola. He currently resides as executive chef. Chef Miller is a six-time performing chef for the James Beard Foundation and is also noted for cooking alongside legendary chef Edna Lewis numerous times, which led to his appearance as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Miller’s regional recipes are included in Lodge Cast Iron Nation. His first cookbook, Panhandle to Pan: Recipes and Stories from Florida’s New Redneck Rivera, was published in 2015.

The oyster against which all others should be measured. 

From acclaimed chef Irv Miller, GULF COAST OYSTERS is a beautifully photographed and joyful exploration of the Gulf oyster culture. Replete with mouth-watering recipes that honor the many oyster classics of the Gulf foodways, GULF COAST OYSTERS also celebrates the renaissance of the region by putting a fresh, modern, and delicious spin on preparing these “panhandle pearls” for oyster lovers everywhere.

“The Gulf oyster’s revival is one of the great culinary stories of our time, and there’s no one better to tell it than Irv Miller. Gulf Coast Oysters will dazzle you, enlighten you, and inspire you. And it will make you very, very hungry.”  —Rowan Jacobsen, author of The Essential Oyster

Chargrilled Oysters with Fresh Herb Shallot Butter

Makes about 1 dozen oysters

One of my favorite ways to savor large oysters—the 3 to 5-inch big-bellied ones with deep cups and big adductor muscles—is to grill them. Also known as “aristocrat” oysters, they are ideal canvases for a seemingly endless array of simple, tasty, yet elegant recipes. Some cooks use melted margarine, but most purists use melted, unsalted butter, which is then formed into a compound butter or stirred frequently over heat into a yogurtlike consistency. Most of my recipes are for compound butter–style preparations.


  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot 1 tablespoon minced garlic Hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 Gulf Coast oysters in their shells, scrubbed and shucked

Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces, place into a small mixing bowl, and put in a warm area (about 80°F) for 30 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, lemon juice, parsley, tarragon, shallot, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir and mash with a fork until well blended. Follow directions for completing compound butter on page 130.

Follow directions for shucking oysters on page 30. Place one slice of butter over each oyster. Follow directions for handling and grilling oysters on page 130.


Magnolia Bluff Mignonette

Makes about 1 cup

Pensacola is notorious for adapting to its settings. Some 500 years ago, a massive estuary system evolved from the sediment carried down from the Appalachian Mountains, creating present day Escambia Bay. The same flow deposited the oval grains of white quartz sand that shaped the Santa Rosa Island bay systems and formed our beautiful white beaches. The bays became the source for bountiful seafood like oysters, which in turn help to clean the bays by filtering the water and creating a healthy habitat for all marine life. Right now, Gulf Coast hatchery-produced oyster seeds are being raised off-bottom, and can be seen in their floating cages overlooking Magnolia Bluff along Pensacola’s scenic highway. I prepared this mignonette sauce to accompany Magnolia Bluff Oysters, Pensacola’s premium comeback oyster, and for the grand opening event for Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. Oysters are back in our bay!

  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar 1/4 raspberry vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 jalapeño  pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot Freshly cracked black pepper 2 tablespoons small-chopped cilantro leaves

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, raspberry vinegar, lime juice, jalapeño, and shallot. Stir, taste, and season with black pepper. Place in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, add the cilantro, stir, and then spoon over chilled cocktail oysters. Serve right away.

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from GULF COAST OYSTERS: Classic & Modern Recipes of a Southern Renaissance by Irv Miller. (Spring House Press; September 1, 2018; $24.95/Paperback, ISBN: 978-1940611761).

Contact: Paul McGahren