Tommy (left) and Adam Waller, with Miss Louisiana 2015 Candice Bennatt, at the introduction of their first invention The Oyster Bed. Photo: The Oyster Bed

by Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink  and Gulf Seafood Foundation Board Member

Two brothers in Louisiana are giving a whole new meaning to the term “Surf and Turf.” A new product launched by their company, The Oyster Bed, will not only benefit steak lovers at the dinner table, but also oystermen across the Gulf who have suffered through the two devastating hurricanes.

The new sizzling steak plate called “The Steak Bed” is able to withstand extreme thermal shock. Photo: The Oyster Bed

With the launch of a new steak plate able to withstand extreme thermal shock called “The Steak Bed,” Tommy and Adam Waller are teaming with the Gulf Seafood Foundation to assist oystermen across the Gulf devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, hundreds of us reserve Marines were mobilized to help the citizens of Florida and Louisiana,” said Tommy Waller, a Marine Major Reservist and the outgoing Executive Officer at 3d Force Reconnaissance Company. “As recent oyster seasons opened across the Gulf,a large number of oyster fishermen are still struggling to recover from the damage they sustained during the storms. We felt it imperative to find a way to help.”

Remember November 28th is “Giving Tuesday”.  Please contribute anything you can!

The two Hammond, LA bothers are no strangers to finding innovative ways to help oyster fishermen. Three years ago they crowd funded an oyster serving creation they named “The Oyster Bed.” At the time it became the highest performing Kickstarter campaign in Louisiana history. Since then, their company has been a leading supporter of oyster shell recycling programs across the country in an effort to preserve the nation’s coastal estuaries.

Early in 2017, Chef Brody Olive, winner of the 2017 Alabama Seafood Cookoff, approached the Waller’s to develop an innovative hot stake plate similar to the one made popular by Ruth Fertel at her world-renowned “Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses.” The new plate would have to be able to withstand the high temperatures causing regular plates to break after only a few servings.

Taking up the Chef’s challenge, the Bayou brothers teamed up to design an innovative new cooking platter they called “The Steak Bed.”

Raz Halili (in blue) and his cousin Gezim Halili push a boat through the flooded streets of Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Photo: Prestige Oysters

“This new platter is sized perfectly to cook and serve any variety of steak, or even seafood,” said co-inventor Adam Waller. “It even features a shallow well for au jus, you know the juices of the steak. But what makes it unique is that it will not shatter after a couple of servings. It is built to last.”

As the brothers were finishing their design and production plans, Hurricane Harvey was taking aim at the Texas coast.

While packing his rucksack preparing to mobilize with his reserve unit, Tommy called Texas Gulf Seafood Foundation Board Member Raz Halili, owner of Prestige Oysters, to offered his support and prayers. Both Waller and Halili became part of the heroic rescue operation as floodwaters rose in to record proportions in Houston, the Southeast Texas Coast and Louisiana.

After the storm, The Oyster Bed brothers decided to team with the Gulf Seafood Foundation, through the encouragement of Halili, in the launch of The Steak Bed to raise money for affected oyster fishermen.
“Fishermen go through three or four pair a week, that’s more than $75 a month they could have used to repair their flooded home, feed their kids, or pay their mounting bills,” says Halili. An oyster boat is left high and dry during one of the Gulf’s many hurricanes. Photo: Caminada Bay Oyster

The company created a coupon code – HelpingHands – to save customers 10% on The Steak Bed orders from The Oyster Bed’s website. For every use of this code a five-dollar donation is made to the Gulf Seafood Foundation.

“It’s a real blessing not only to be asked to create an innovative new product, but to have friends like Raz who can help us bring it full circle and help people in need though the good works of the Gulf Seafood Foundation,” said Tommy.

“Five dollars may not seem like a lot, but consider that each pair of gloves cost more than five dollars,” explained Halili, who is also co-chairing charitable donations. “Fishermen go through three or four pair a week, that’s more than $75 a month they could have used to repair their flooded home, feed their kids, or pay their mounting bills.”

The Oyster Bed brothers hope that sales of The Steak Bed sizzle, allowing them to make a sizeable donation to the Gulf Seafood Foundation. The “Surf and Turf” combo will give oystermen across the Gulf a hand in getting back to the business of bringing Gulf oysters to the people who love to eat them.

How to Contribute

Florida Gulf Fishermen Affected From Hurricane Irma 

Every dollar donated to the Foundation will go toward helping those who provide Gulf fish to the tables across America and around the world.  Gulf fishermen are resilient. They are survivors. They have been through this before and we have always come back stronger.  This will be no exception.

To donate to the Gulf Seafood Foundation’ “Helping Hands” please choose the DONATE button below or send a check or money order to: Gulf Seafood Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief,  2851 Johnston Street, Suite 162, Lafayette, LA 70503.

The Oyster Bed Partners with Gulf Seafood Foundation on Donation Program
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