Hotels were called “America’s Palaces” by epic writer Charles Dickens when he visited the U.S. in 1843. And surely no hotel is more worthy of that title than San Francisco’s esteemed Palace Hotel.

The cuisine offered to guests there is equally royal, including a San Francisco favorite, Oyster Kirkpatrick. Created by Chef Ernest Arbogast of the Palm Court (later called the Garden Court), the dish honors Colonel John C. Kirkpatrick, who managed the Hotel from 1894 to 1914.

When the Great San Francisco Earthquake struck early in the morning on April 18, 1906, it was Colonel Kirkpatrick as GM who dealt with the flames and famed Italian tenor Enrico Caruso who flee the Hotel in his nightshirt, demanding (but of course) special treatment despite the falling bricks and broken glass.

Surely such patient professionalism to deal with a guest even during an earthquake deserves to be remembered. Oysters Kirkpatrick has done just that for over a century whether the ground shakes or not.

Oysters Kirkpatrick


  • 24 Taylor Pacific Oysters in the half shell
  • 2 cups rock salt for lining serving dishes
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped.
  • 2 Tsps butter
  • 1/2 cup each minced green onion& minced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup Heinz Organic Catsup
  • 1/4 cup Assiago or Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste 


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Fill plates or pans with 1-2 inches of rock salt.
  3. Heat 15 minutes.
  4. Saute bacon until limp.
  5. Drain all but 2 Tbsp fat and remove bacon.
  6. Add butter, green onion and pepper.
  7. Saute until soft.
  8. Add catsup and remove from heat.
  9. Place oysters in shells on rock salt.
  10. Top with a tablespoon of catsup mixture, chopped bacon and cheese.
  11. Bake 12 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
  12. Enjoy!
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