Like/Dislike with Greg J. Hinkleman, Ryleigh's Oyster

Aw shucks attitude: Hinkleman.
Aw shucks attitude: Hinkleman. (Handout, Baltimore Sun)

When Greg J. Hinkleman was 13, a friend's father taught him how to shuck oysters with a flat-head screwdriver. He has been shucking ever since.

The 28-year-old Annapolis native now lives in Federal Hill, where he works as a manager at Ryleigh's Oyster. This year he will represent Ryleigh's in their third annual Oyster Shucking Championship on Saturday (noon-9 p.m.; 36 E. Cross St.; free), part of the restaurant's annual OysterFest event.


Despite being an Oyster Shucking Championship newbie, Hinkleman has high hopes for his debut performance. "Shucking requires a certain skill … [and] as with anything, practice makes perfect," Hinkleman explained.

Hinkleman intends to bring glory back to Ryleigh's with the help of his "oyster knife … not a screwdriver." Before Hinkleman shucks his heart out, he talked to us about grandma's advice, "World War Z" and more.

Worst pet peeve? People who don't say "please" and "thank you."

Songs you're loving/hating right now? Loving every track on the new Jay Z album ["Magna Carta Holy Grail"]. I have every CD that he has released, and I got this one the day it came out." The song "Royals" [by Lorde] gets on my nerves because, to me, it sounds like a hundred songs I have heard before.

Your worst habit? Not sleeping. There is too much I want to do.

Last concert/gig you went to? Jay Z and Justin Timberlake at M&T Bank Stadium. [The concert] was amazing because I was able to get sky box seats with a friend for his birthday.

Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Uggs. They gotta go!!

Your favorite oyster? Lucky Limes, from Prince Edward Island. The water coming in from the Gulf of St. Lawrence allows them to develop a unique, organic flavor and a bright green shell.

Last movie you liked? I thought "World War Z" was a good movie because it was the first zombie movie that I thought was actually interesting and suspenseful.

Favorite fashion statement? Plaid is my favorite clothing pattern. I like how different designers have managed to incorporate this timeless pattern into hats, pants, T-shirts, and the coveted three-piece suit.

TV show(s) you can't get enough of? "Breaking Bad." I can't believe it's over.

Favorite dish at Ryleigh's Oyster? Lately, I cannot get enough of our chef's oyster stew. He tells me it's a very simple recipe: shucked bay oysters, garlic, thyme, celery, onion, cream. But I think he is holding out on me. When I try to make it at home, it is never as good.

Best advice you ever got? My grandmother told me a long time ago just to always be myself. It has worked wonders.

Favorite thing about Baltimore? The Ravens. Enough said.