Local oyster wares shine on ‘Top Chef’ tonight


“Top Chef,” featuring competing chef contestants, was filmed in Charleston this year.   File photo

A South Carolina couple’s search for custom gifts led to their formulating oyster knife and steamer prototypes, founding the Charleston Shucker Co. and finding their products featured on “Top Chef,” now in its 14th season.

Lindsey Ballenger and her husband founded the firm in 2007 after discovering an untapped market niche. They run their customer-centered company as a home-based business, allowing their children to observe friendly Southern-style service as they fulfill orders.

“Top Chef,” featuring competing chef contestants, was filmed in Charleston this year and will be using the company’s Lowcountry Steamer during the season’s second episode, set to air Thursday. The all-purpose appliance can boil, steam or deep fry enough oysters for large events.

“We’ve remained a small, family-owned business offering products we love to use ourselves,” Ballenger said. “To see our labor of love featured on such a popular television show was so gratifying. We were thrilled to represent Charleston to the world.”

Charleston Shucker Co.’s Palmetto Shucker is featured in Southern Living magazine’s December issue in addition to the publicity via Bravo’s well-known cooking show.

In addition to specialized quality cutlery and its signature steamer, Charleston Shucker Co. offers personalized monogramming for knives and related items.

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