I was titled with this made up word while, oh, cooking lobster! And then the cleaning and harvesting of the meat; all 600 lobsters, or almost 200 lb of lobster! That is a ton of lobster, but don’t worry my vegetarian friends, they fought back. I am now covered in little cuts and small puncture wounds from the little spines they have on the claws. This is besides the fact that I still smell like lobster even after taking a shower. Having been the one person to cook all the lobster in the first place, I got asked a funny question. “What are you going to do if when you die god is a lobster?” My response was simply “I’ll say to him, “You sir are delicious!””
As for what we ended up using all that lobster for, a salad for the new year’s plated dinner we did for 484 people. I thought it was crazy getting 50+ plates out the door for the Mod dinner, but this was a whole different kind of beast. We cleaned all of that lobster and on to the salad went a full claw and half a tail. Then we put together the main item which consisted of two lines of 6 people each, all plating one item and passing the plate down to the next person. As soon as the last main item went out the door we cleaned the table and started putting out plates for dessert.
Really I have gotten ahead of myself because this is talking about the dinner and plating itself, let me go back the two days before New Year’s Eve… I got called in to the kitchen early and I’m told that I have to take the rubber bands off and cook all the lobsters to start out. After they are cooked I pull the claws and tails off, but saved the rest to make stock and lobster bisque with. Later that night and the night after we cleaned the tails and claws in preparation for the salad itself.
So now that you are caught up let me take you to earlier that day, and I want you to imagine every person in a kitchen, dishwashers included, working at 150% of everything they have. The kitchen is strangely quiet, except for the clinking of tools or the random “Hey are you done with ____”. Then we hit 3pm and all hell breaks loose. Everyone is shouting about where this or that is, or I needed this done an hour ago! We have 4 speed racks and 3 push carts loaded with food that is being loaded in to the van and golf carts we are using to move all the par cooked or cold food to the Beach Club (the kitchen/ restaurant the dinner is going to take place at). Once we have moved everything over and put it away we fire up the equipment, and then everything stops.
It just stopped, like the calm before a massive storm hits. So there you have 15 people, not including front of house and dish staff, just standing around the kitchen craking jokes and all in all having a good time. Everything was set to start at 7:30 with light apps and cocktails for the members, with salads not going out until 8:30. We got all set up and ready 2 hours before we had to be so waiting for the plating to start was almost agonizing. Most of us had already worked 10 if not more hours at this point that day, and the break only served to let our bodies realize “Oh, hey, we are tired and we are not working *shut down mode engaged*”
This brings us back up to speed with the mass plating that we left off from before. By far the largest single plating that I have ever done, and while it was a ton of hard work the time in between was some of the most fun I have had down here so far. After all was said and done and cleaned up and put away we still had time to make it to a New Years Eve party in time for the ball to drop.
This is my first post of 2011 and I want to thank you my readers for your support the last few months as I started this blog out. I have big adventures in store for myself in 2011 and I plan to happily share them with you. For now Chef Fans, Happy New Year!