A Celebration in the Raw

By Jeremy Sewall, Marion Lear Swaybill

Photographer Scott Snider

Release Date
Format Hardcover 216 pages 8 x 8 inches Approximately 150 illustrators, most in full color
Category Food and Wine
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-249-8

Winner of the 2017 Readable Feast People's Choice Cookbook of the Year

A comprehensive visual celebration of one of the sea’s most delicious and fascinating creatures, featuring lush original photography, practical guidelines, and historical anecdotes

For centuries, oysters have had the power to sustain and delight, inspiring writers and artists, lowly cooks and four-star chefs, laborers and gourmands, and everyone in between. A feast for the eyes and the palate, oysters also are rich in history and lore. In Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw, Marion Lear Swaybill presents a wide-ranging visual exploration of this iconic shellfish, including stunning portraits of more than fifty oyster varietals, the latest photographs from some of the country’s most renowned and beautiful oyster farms, and notable illustrations of oysters in art and culture, all alongside a lively and informative text. Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jeremy Sewall provides personal insights, drawing on his New England lineage and his place in the forefront of the oyster revival.

Overflowing with gorgeous original photography and fascinating anecdotes, Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw is the perfect book for oyster aficionados and newbies, foodies and chefs of all stripes, lovers of photography and art, the environment, history, and the sea.


2016 Holiday gift guide selection  Mic

2016 Holiday gift guide selection — Parade

2016 Holiday gift guide selection  The Boston Globe 

2016 Holiday gift guide selection — Foster’s Daily Democrat

2017 Readable Feast People's Choice Cookbook of the Year — The Readable Feast




Oysters are back, and luckily writer Marion Lear Swaybill and Chef Jeremy Sewall are here to celebrate one of the few food groups chefs are happy to leave alone, knowing they are best eaten cold and raw — Eli Zabar, New York’s neighborhood grocer

Reveals everything you wanted to know about the shellfish. — The New York Times

If you know someone who considers the world their oyster, is obsessed with seafood or other aphrodisiacs, this book is for them. — Parade

Chef Jeremy Sewall and journalist Marion Lear Swaybill present historical anecdotes and plenty of quotable factoids, plus information on growing cycles and growers, and tasting notes on 54 varieties. — The Wall Street Journal

A beautiful volume featuring oysters as art, along with descriptions of how different oysters are raised, how they taste, as well as suggestions for serving them at home. — Forbes

Features pretty portraits of oysters and oyster farms, plus briefings on bivalve prep. — The Boston Globe

One can only say, "About time!" It is a delight to have a book that treats this beloved mollusk from every possible standpoint. It is at once a field guide and an eater's companion, an entertaining romp, and a cookbook for those who like it raw. We've long been awaiting a volume such as this. The marvelous photographic gallery, revealing the character of each of dozens of oyster varieties, would by itself be enough, but this is ever so much more. Truly a pearl. — Nach Waxman, Founding Partner of Kitchen Arts & Letters

If oysters are an aphrodisiac, let this beautiful book speak volumes. Mic

Marion Lear Swaybill wanted to make an ode to oysters that was as much a guidebook as an art book celebrating their inherent beauty. With Boston chef Jeremy Sewall, she wrote Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw … They worked with dozens of oysters farmers and photographer Scott Snider to produce a beautiful yet compact ode to more than 50 varietals and the history, lore, art and science behind them. — Food Matters, Austin American Statesman

Though many have a fondness for oysters, Chef Jeremy Sewall and writer Marion Lear Swaybill gush with an outright passion in this love letter to the beloved bivalve. Jeremy, an expert taster and professional oyster pusher, offers up a range of mouth-watering descriptions while Marion puts forth a solid primer covering everything from the rich history of oyster culture in this country to notes on how to identify certain species and, more importantly, how to open and enjoy them. If you’ve been on the hunt for a book that thoughtfully covers all things oyster, you're in good hands. — Erin Byers Murray, author of Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm

Then comes the main course: 100 pages of close-up photography. Dozens of opened oysters get the treatment, which consists of two large photos that focus on the swirls, ridges and gooey guts of the interior, as well as the beautiful and intricate patterns of the outer shell. Wildlife cinematographer Scott Snider shoots them all stunningly against a black background, giving them the eerie appearance of mollusks lost in space. — Publishers Weekly

The authors’ deep love and knowledge and the incredible photography casts the oyster in an even more beguiling light. It’s truly a work of passion and art. — Barton Seaver, author of the best-selling For Cod and Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking

If you love eating oysters but know little about all the various East Coast, Gulf Coast and West Coast varieties, then we’ve got a handy reference for you … Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw is a primer on everything you need to know about these ambrosial bivalves…you’ll find more than 200 pages brimming with beautifully photographed oysters, their origins and flavor profiles, as well as helpful insights on the history and current revival of oyster farming in America. — Food Republic

A gorgeous look at this popular and delicate mollusk, from decadent history, to modern oyster farming,  to many varieties and their unique properties. — Omnivoracious

Gorgeous oyster centerfolds. Tasting Table

I have to admit that I am not an oyster enthusiast and couldn't imagine how you could have an entire book devoted to the subject. What a revelation! The book is not only a comprehensive encyclopedia of oysters but you've included the history and provenance as well as a look at the passionate people who are working to restore oysters to a sustainable place in American cuisine. Oysters may or may not be an aphrodisiac but they clearly inspire passion among its devotees. — Chris Fennimore, Producer/Host, QED Cooks, Pittsburgh

Mollusk-lovers rejoice! Jeremy Sewall and Marion Lear Swaybill dive into the depths for an expansive exploration of the beloved bivalve. — Boston Chefs

This is a good general reference book on oysters, just not for the home cook. — The Manhattan Book Review

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