Chesapeake Farm & Bay to Table Celebrates Oysters During November 9 Episode


Gwyn Novak, chef, author and owner of No Thyme to Cook, joins Mary Hastler and Chef John Shields in this program featuring all things oysters

“Oysters, Oysters Everywhere at the 56th Annual U.S. Oyster Festival” is the theme of the November 9 episode of “Chesapeake Farm & Bay to Table.” This popular virtual cooking series is produced by Harford County Public Library and Chef John Shields’ nonprofit Our Common Table and highlights Maryland farms, fisheries and local businesses. The program will be presented via Zoom from 7 to 8 p.m.

Whether slurped raw, fried, baked, braised or roasted, the Chesapeake oyster reigns supreme. Join Library CEO Mary Hastler as she cheers on Chef John as he judges the hotly contested U.S. Oyster Festival Cook-Off. With him in the judge’s stand is this episode’s special guest Gwyn Novak, chef, author and owner of No Thyme to Cook, a cooking school in Solomons, Md. After the judging it’s back to the kitchen where they will cook up some delicious recipes and, of course, have lots of fun.  

Novak is the chef and founder of No Thyme to Cook, a recreational culinary school in Southern Maryland. She teaches people how to put the fun in cooking by using fresh, local ingredients to create delicious meals. As a native of Southern Maryland, she offers her special skills and passion for good food and sustainability to improve her students’ fluency in the kitchen.

A graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals as well as Women Chefs & Entrepreneurs, Novak has been cooking and writing about food for more than 25 years. She has worked in numerous B&Bs, country inns and country clubs on the East Coast. Novak is the author of the Amazon best-selling cookbooks “How to Cook for Beginners” and “One Pot Supreme.”

“It’s so exciting to take our viewers behind the scenes at this year’s U.S. Oyster Festival Cook-Off to see these incredible chefs and the recipes they will be preparing,” said Hastler, the Library CEO. “We are thrilled to have No Thyme to Cook’s Gwyn Novak join us in the kitchen as we prepare and celebrate oysters in oh so many ways.”

To sign up to view “Oysters, Oysters Everywhere at the 56th Annual U.S. Oyster Festival,” visit Advanced registration, including a valid email address, is requested. Once registered, participants will receive a confirmation email from Zoom with a link to the program and a unique password to access the event. Viewers will also receive copies of the recipes (usually provided the night of the event).

This episode of “Chesapeake Farm & Bay to Table” is presented in partnership with Harford County Public Library, Our Common Table, Chef John Shields’ restaurant Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen, 32nd Street Farmers Market, 56th Annual U.S. Oyster Festival and No Thyme to Cook.

The Oyster Cook-off is supported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Seafood Marketing Program, St. Mary’s County Department of Economic and Community Development, and Rotary Club of Lexington Park.

For more than 75 years, Harford County Public Library has provided its communities with

access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 12 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, using free WiFi, and attending classes and events. In 2021 Harford County Public Library was named a Star Library by Library Journal. For more information, visit

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