Female lobsters are not so concerned with unplanned pregnancy–they can store the male lobster sperm for up to two years. When they are good and ready they pop out 5000 eggs, of which only four to ﬁve will reach maturity.
Alain Bossé, ʻThe Kilted Chefʼ, enlightened the crowd with these facts sixteen ﬂoors above downtown Miami at his recent shellﬁsh cooking demonstration. The event also featured the equally accomplished Chef E. Michael Reidt.
Serenely overlooking Brickellʼs business district in the chic bayside Epic hotel, we sat at a cluster of neat tables staged in front of the demonstration kitchen. Inconveniently, a high countertop partially blocked our view of the culinary preparations. We were each presented with a breakdown of the ﬁve seafood tastings. In spite of the rather awkward setting, the humorous and informative dialogue from both chefs covered tips and tricks and made for a splendid Cordon Bleu experience.
The ﬁrst dish to appear was mussels in blueberry maple vinaigrette. As promised they were plump and juicy, infused with a subtly sweet berry essence that still honored the clean ﬂavor of the sea. Steamed mussels with Thai chili were served next. This uncomplicated yet impressive dish was gratifying and worth tackling at home. The mild, nectarous broth sweetly enhanced the original and dominant savor of the mussel.
The audience may have been comprised of industry professionals, but the chefs appealed to the home cook in every one of us. A stream of useful facts ﬂowed from the mouths of these masters; for instance, mussels can chill for a week in the refrigerator before they need to be cooked and should never be overcooked. Removing them from your ﬁre as soon as steam rolls over the lid leaves the rich natural fat intact.
The third dish was the apogee of our tastings: A lobster and mussel bruschetta. Tender chunks of meat spiked with salty feta crumbs covered thick cuts of baked, buttery bread. Dish four, a photogenic pink lobster claw, sat poised on a satiny bed of mashed potato. The ﬁnal dish was the most artistic, an Asian lobster roll with daikon pickled in blueberry juice. This small, sweet and savory present was nestled against vermicelli rice noodles blanketed in a ginger sauce. The ginger and scallions added a sharp, spicy note to the well-balanced ﬂavors, all of which were easily detected because of the perfectly chilled temperature of the ingredients.
The Epic event led the audience on a chefʼs odyssey of seafood creations while unmasking the amusing personalities of two masters who are normally concealed behind the closed doors of a restaurant kitchen. This theatrical and informative performance from the two stars of the show made for an idyllic Sunday in Miami.
by Contributor Writer Leilani Teresa