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The cooking season begins for me in late fall when the days are shorter and that extra warmth in the kitchen is a comforting plus. It’s also the time to keep an eye out for regional oysters. I love raw oysters in the shell and adore a good oyster roast, but my favorite is a well-fried fresh oyster. Once you find some fresh-shucked oysters packed in pint or quart containers on ice, the rest of the process is easy. Here are a few suggestions for great suppliers in Richmond.
 
Bon Air Seafood at 2722 Tinsley Drive. They stock select jarred oysters from Urbanna, and sweet and salty varieties in the shell. Thinking of an outside oyster roast this year? Owner Joe Skinner can recommend the perfect variety depending on your taste. While you are there, check out their prepared items. The tuna salad is made from the same Yellowfin tuna they sell, and their shrimp cheese balls are a Richmond tradition. Over the holidays there is a line out the door and down the block, and they always sell out.
 
Tuckahoe Seafood at 1007 Starling Drive. They stock a variety of jarred local oysters, Eastern Shore oysters in the shell, and even fresh oysters from New England and the West Coast. Have a certain oyster you still dream about from your last vacation? They can special order it for you.
 
Yellow Umbrella at 5603 Patterson Ave. With two seafood trucks arriving each day, you can count on Yellow Umbrella for fresh seafood and local oysters. And if you want surf and turf, their meat section is just as spectacular as their seafood.
 

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