Oyster Supporter Spotlight: An Interview with Chef Travis Spear, the Chef de Cuisine at Limewood Bar & Restaurant

Chef Travis with volunteer Dale, picking up a week’s worth of oyster shells from Limewood Bar & Restaurant.

Chef Travis with volunteer Dale, picking up a week’s worth of oyster shells from Limewood Bar & Restaurant.

The Wild Oyster Project is a community of incredible individuals, businesses and organizations supporting oyster restoration, and we like to highlight the talented people who make our work possible. Chef Travis Spear is the Chef de Cuisine at Limewood Bar and Restaurant located inside the historic Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. Chef Travis and the Limewood team reached out to us in January about donating shell to Save Your Shucks and supporting our work. 

Wild Oysters: You are originally from the East Coast and worked as a chef and worked with an Oyster Shell Recycling program out there - how did that come about? Did you learn of the shell recycling program through the restaurant.

Chef Travis: I was introduced to an oyster shell recycling program in a former role as Sous Chef, Bourbon Steak Michela Mina at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in Washington D.C. The program collected approximately 100 pounds of oyster shells a week – I was impressed!  

Wild Oysters: When did you start working at the Claremont and what attracted you to move to the Bay Area?

Chef Travis: I started working at the Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel in June of 2018. When considering relocation, I was attracted to the natural beauty of the Bay Area. From endless outdoor adventures, year-round moderate weather (no snow!), to the diverse local communities – it quickly became a great place to call home. The Bay Area is recognized as a leading food destination in the U.S. and it’s truly an honor to be part of it.

Wild Oysters: After you started working at the Limewood you found out about our program and reached out to us, can you tell us how you found out about the Wild Oyster Project and why you decided to partner with us?

Chef Travis: Claremont Club & Spa is committed to making a difference in the community where our guests and colleagues live, work and play. We work diligently to minimize the impact our property has on the planet by focusing our efforts across three areas of priority— social, economic and environmental. In addition to launching a Green Team and Planet 21 Program, our initiatives continue to grow, to exceed boundaries, and to create new partnerships such as the Wild Oyster Project.

With sustainable hospitality as a core pillar of our business, it was a natural fit to support and collaborate with the Wild Oyster Project. I admire their mission to restore wild oyster populations in the San Francisco Bay and I look forward to growing our partnership. 

Our signature dining outlet, Limewood Bar & Restaurant has partnered with the Wild Oyster Project to eliminate waste and recycle oyster shells. As the only hotel to partner with Wild Oyster Project, we are committed to supporting our local nonprofit organizations and working together to make a positive impact in the community.  

Wild Oysters: What’s something you love about living in the Bay?

Chef Travis: I love the sense of community here. I love the fact that I can source food within a 30 miles. It’s a beautiful area to live in.