The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative is introducing its Chef Ambassador Program. Created to inspire and educate chefs and home cooks across the country about the unique qualities of lobster from Maine, the program showcases how it can be incorporated into a range of inspired culinary dishes.
Joining the Chef Ambassador Program are executive chefs George Mendes of Aldea Restaurant in New York City, Ben Pollinger of Oceana Restaurant in New York City, Michael Cimarusti of Providence Restaurant in Los Angeles, Guiseppe Tentori of GT Fish and Oyster in Chicago, and Barbara Lynch, of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which operates eight concepts in the Boston area. The Chef Ambassador program has been created in advance of a marketing program for 2015 that Maine lobstermen, dealers and processors are financing.
Chef Ambassadors will learn more about Maine lobster at its source when they visit the Pine Tree State for an in-depth look at lobster harvesting practices. All ambassadors are passionate about serving Maine lobster-based dishes at their restaurants, the collaborative says.
“With its delicate texture and depth of flavor, there’s no mystery as to why Maine lobster has become a prized ingredient the world over,” says Cimarusti, whose dishes include Maine lobster basted in brown butter with juniper, rosemary and matsutake mushrooms.
“It’s very versatile, and a top seller across all my menus — breakfast, lunch, dinner, private dining and catering,” Pollinger says. “My guests love lobster and appreciate the difference.” Maine Lobster Benedict is a popular brunch option at Oceana, and Pollinger’s upcoming book “School of Fish” includes other culinary delights featuring lobster.
Upcoming culinary events will showcase Maine lobster, and why chefs prefer its sweet, succulent claw and tail meat over other varieties. At the Claws and Cru Brunch at the New York Food and Wine Festival on Oct. 19, Executive Chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill will pair Maine lobster with top-of-the-line champagnes.