SILVERDALE — Oak Table Cafe owner Ross McCurdy makes his living cracking hundreds of eggs per day, but he has a unique way of doing it.
He uses one hand, keeping his other hand free for other tasks so he can keep up with his customers’ orders.
“I’d say we crack about 1,000 on a busy day,” McCurdy said. “Everyone cracks eggs one-handed here.”
This skill has not only benefited McCurdy’s restaurant, but has also brought him a degree of prominence — and with that, a challenge from one of television’s best-known chefs.
McCurdy’s exploits caught the attention of chef Gordon Ramsay, who challenged McCurdy and his daughter, Mira, to a father-daughter competition.
The McCurdys competed against Ramsay and his daughter, a one-handed egg-cracking competition against Ramsay and his youngest daughter, Tilly, for the Father’s Day edition of Ramsay’s hit reality television show, “The F-Word.”
The McCurdys practiced for about 20 minutes each day leading to the competition, assisting the prep cooks at the Oak Table before flying to Los Angeles.
During the show, Ramsay asked McCurdy how many eggs he cracked in a week.
“Maybe 10,000,” McCurdy said.
Though McCurdy was certain his team cracks more eggs than Ramsay’s on a daily basis, he suspected the celebrity chef and his daughter would be a tough match.
“Most likely, it will be a pretty close competition,” McCurdy said before the event. “But I would love to get my daughter into the Guinness Book of World Records.”
The teams got crackin’, fathers and daughters taking turns breaking the eggs into clear cups — no shells allowed.
The McCurdys beat the Ramsays 33 to 29, setting a team egg-cracking world record. (As of press time, the McCurdys were back in California for a rematch.)
It’s Mira’s first world record and her dad’s fourth:
2011: Farthest distance tossing a grape forward and catching it in his mouth (69 feet).
2012: Most pancakes flipped in an hour (1,092).
2016: Most weight lifted with pinkies (198 pounds).
McCurdy is no stranger to publicity. He appeared on the game show “Wheel of Fortune” in 2008; he and his family used the money won from the show to open the Oak Table in Kingston.
But each of his record-setting feats have had a higher purpose — he’s used each as an opportunity to raise roughly $10,000 for uveitis research.
Mira, 12, was diagnosed with uveitis as a young child. It is a rare condition of the uvea, or middle layer of the eye, that causes inflammation and blindness. Uveitis is the leading cause of blindness in children and is the third-leading cause of blindness in developed countries, according to www.uveitis.org.
Mira takes drops daily and gets regular check ups.
McCurdy, a graduate of Whatcom College with a degree in film study, spends most of his days cooking in his Silverdale restaurant, which on July 9 celebrated it second anniversary at its new location. The restaurant was formerly located in Kingston.
The Kingston restaurant was routinely kept busy by flocks of hungry patrons. Because of the challenges of operating in a relatively small space, the McCurdys decided to relocate.
McCurdy’s passion for restaurant work quickly grew as he bused, prepped, line cooked and then managed with Nikki and her family for eight years at the original Oak Table in Sequim.
“I fell in love with restaurant work,” he said. “We love to be a place that people can come to have a great meal. I’m dedicated to it.”
The Oak Table is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Sunday. The restaurant was voted the second best breakfast restaurant in Washington for 2016, by King 5’s “Best of The Northwest.”
On their website, they state: “We at the Oak Table are proud that we make our food from scratch with the freshest ingredients we can get, none of our batters are from packaged mixes, they are all hand crafted, we squeeze our orange juice in house. We appreciate and love our loyal customers who have won over our hearts.”