Island Chefs Dish on Local Lobster

Original Article from Welcome PEI

In Prince Edward Island, the lobster is revered. It’s not just a dish simply served, the lobster is a cultural icon, keeping families of fishers together, supporting communities, and building industry. Our seas are also home to a changing culinary landscape, and Island chefs are becoming more and more creative in their presentations and their processes, making lobster part of the Island’s most unique and creative dishes.

We tracked down a few of PEI’s most revered chefs to ask them to dish their histories, their faves, and their menus —juice and all— so get your bibs out. Here were their replies.

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Chef Michael Smith, FireWorks

When Chef Michael Smith is at home, he prefers “a good old-fashioned feed of lobster, straight from the wharf boiled in saltwater and served cold with melted butter.” He loves not only the flavour of lobster, but the ceremony of it, which there is plenty of in PEI! Chef Michael says, ” It’s an intensely local way to create an instant occasion,” and we couldn’t agree more!

A memory he’ll never forget: “The first time I steamed out of the harbour at 4 am with a fisherman friend and spent the day pulling traps. We had a ‘lunch’ at 9am of freshly caught lobster and it was the best I’ve ever eaten!” When at FireWorks: lobster is served every evening in their award-winning chowder during the month of May and June as their daily fish course. Chef Michael gives credit to pairing lobster with the creativity of the FireWorks chefs, the hard work of their farmers and the sea vegetables he forages from their beaches. Forage on, Chef Michael!

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Chef Kyle Panton, Sims Corner

Chef Kyle’s memories of lobster begin with the steam bellowing up from a big lobster pot at home, always served with new PEI potato salad. He loves lobster because it adds a “rich, bold flavour” to every dish. When I asked him how he eats it at home, he says he likes a barbequed lobster tail, with grilled asparagus and spiced potatoes. Yum, Chef Kyle! And what about at Sims? Try their lobster ravioli dish — Chef Kyle divulges it is a guest favourite.

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Chef Chris Colburn, Dalvay By the Sea

 “Lobster is one of Prince Edward Islands most luxurious treats and a true chef’s ingredient,” says Chef Chris. “It pairs well and highlights a vast array of flavour profiles.” With a hometown of Denver, Chef Chris’ first memory of the crustacean was “a lobster bisque at the legendary Left Bank restaurant in Vail, Colorado. It was delicious and decadent.” When Chef Chris is at home, he keeps it simple: butter poached lobster with softly scrambled eggs, crème fraiche, snipped chives, and lemon zest.

At Dalvay this summer, however, they’re running a fun dish called a “Native Lobster Okonomiyaki”.  “An okonomiyaki is a Japanese style savory pancake and we flavor ours with PEI Lobster, Black Truffle Aioli, Pickled Ginger, Katsuobushi, and Nori Cracklings.” Looking forward to visiting you out at Dalvay, Chef Chris!

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