Feisty Chef shucks open a shack on the waterfront 

Halifax’s firebrand of a chef, Renée Lavallée is embarking on a new project. No, it’s not more cooking classes, or more meals at TIBS. This time it’s all about the briny ocean’s bounty.

The Shack is a new project by Lavallée, opening soon on the Halifax Waterfront. The Shack will serve oysters, seafood chowders and seafood-based goodies. I chatted with Renée via email.

So tell me about The Shack. How did it come to be?

 The Shack Oyster Bar is the  idea of my friend, Nick. We’ve been working together for 8 years, and it was just a natural progression of our work/friendship. His product, my kitchen knowledge.

It’s a pretty simple set-up: raw clams & oysters, steamed mussels/clams/bay scallops, a chowder and a crab & lobster roll. Add some Covered Bridge chips, a delicious non-alcoholic drink by Jeff van Horne and add the Halifax waterfront and sunshine. Where else in Halifax can you get fresh, perfectly prepared oysters & clams? Where you can then take and sit on the waterfront and people watch? It’s a no-frills way to bring some of our best shellfish to the general public and have fun doing it too.

 Who will be your clientele? 

During the off-season (May & Oct) we are hoping to grab the attention of the locals for lunch. Summer  months, we hope to attract tourists, but ultimately we are doing this for Halifax/Dartmouth.

 It’s funny, ’cause you left the insanity of a kitchen, but now have another insanity. At least in one kitchen, it’s all contained. How will you handle it?

I’m lucky to have an amazing husband and amazing friends. I live in a community where I can call on a number of people to help out when I’m working. Plus, my daughter Zoe goes to Kindergarten next year so once that happens, who knows what will happen in Dartmouth