A Lobster Prayer

This week was our last real cooking week of school, with the next two weeks devoted to final projects and exams. Chef had been promising us lobster all semester, and he brought out the big guns on Tuesday: 3 pound lobsters for everyone.

We had a quick lesson on how to “humanely” kill a lobster with the “quick-cut” method (inserting your chef’s knife into the skull and cutting into the beast’s brain). We also learned how to cut the lobster in half and clean it, and how to remove the meat easily (by dunking it in boiling water for a few seconds to release the fibers holding onto the shell).

20 lobsters were sacrificed that day in our honor, but in the worst possible way. These poor creatures were not humanely killed, but instead suffered slow, painful deaths at the hands of novice cooks, in the name of education. In defense of us all, those suckers had thick shells, 1/4-inch thick in some places, and it seemed impossible at times to cut through. As we struggled to cut the shells in half, the lobsters wriggled and kicked and begged for their lives.

OK, so that part of the process I could forgive because we were all learning, and not purposely hacking these lobsters for sport. But, some of the more “mature” students decided to animate the lobsters, turning them into puppets with funny voices. They’ll go far in the careers, I’m sure.

J, on my cooking team, seems to have developed a social habit this semester, and can be found at every other cooking station but his own. His cooking has suffered this semester because of it, and that drives me crazy because the many times we’ve had to cook together, whatever he cooks comes out like crap. Unfortunately, he was in charge of killing the lobster and removing the meat for our team. I was responsible for cooking it.

All prepped and ready to make the lobster themidor, I patiently waited for the lobster meat. Expecting 4 pieces of tail meat and 4 claws, a disappointing mangled mess of shredded lobster meat arrived. I was livid and called him on it; he didn’t seem to care much. Thankfully we didn’t have to serve our dish to Chef.

So, to those 20 lobsters we butchered and possibly tortured on Tuesday, I send a prayer to you. May your afterlife be better than your last days with us!

P.S. despite, you were very delicious.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Culinary Arts (AS)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Intensive Sommelier Training
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid