Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Week on the Stephen Taber: Food, Wine and Racing: Lobster Bake

I woke up to the muffled sound of a lobster boat motor.  It wasn't the guy in cabin 3 snoring.  (that's my story and I am sticking to it) what I found when I made my way above deck was fresh hot coffee, and the smiling faces of some other early risers.  Kat and Will were putting away the oil lanterns and swabbing the deck, and I sipped my Rock City Roasters Coffee and watched morning begin at Isle au Haut.

We had adventure ahead of us.  After a delicious breakfast of galley made hot biscuits, local jams, herbed scrambled eggs and locally made sausages, we took a shore trip for a walk to Black Dinah chocolates.  Just as we were boarding Babe, the Tabor's yawl boat, Captain Barnes announced that he was going to make a call out to the local Lobster men and try to buy some lobsters for a lobster bake. (I know, they aren't baked, they are steamed....  Humor me).

Black Dinah Chocolates is a well known artisanal chocolate company run by some Silicon Valley escapees. They fled California for a remote, island off the coast of Maine, and they haven't looked back.  (even though all of the chocolates are made on the island, they did open a retail store on the mainland - but most of their business is mail order thanks making good products and praise from Martha Stewart, they have a firm foothold in the market )

After an hour or so of wandering Isle au Haut, fueled by a delicious breakfast, and some chocolate, we made it back to the dock to wait for our ride back to the Tabor.  But Becky and Andy (two of my favorite guests that week) were already chatting up a local lobsterman.  Some of us rode back in Babe that yawl boat, and Becky, Andy, Will and Lindsay rode back with our luncheon main course on the lobster boat.

As soon as they pulled aside, Kat was hauling out the Tabor's lobster pot, Captain Barnes was talking business and I had the camera at the ready.

Now Chef Anna and Meghann kicked into high gear.  As we set sail, the goal was, ready the picnic lunch, and find the perfect spot to cook it.  We found the perfect spot, a deserted island with a whole lot of history behind it:  Wreck Island.

I was surprised that Captain Barnes didn't salt it up and start telling the story of wreck Island, especially after we found a deserted campsite that looked like it was fled from.  (seriously, who leaves a full case of beer behind?  Well, it was Miller Light) The fact is, Wreck Island is Haunted.  Yes, Haunted with a capital H.  Hey, we were only there for lunch, and I didn't tell the story, but just Google it.  I was thrilled to be there, and even though I left stuffed to the gills, I never felt a chocking sensation (unlike the crew of the ship that mistakenly went ashore there in the 18th century...)

Enough about ghosts, let's talk wine and the food that pairs with it!!

The advance party set up the fire and laid out the appetizers.  Epicurious FRENCH ONION DIP.  No soup mix to be found, chef Anna made this dip from scratch, and I could have licked the bowl clean.  (but someone beat me to it!)


And, they laid out the wine.  Box Head `10 Australian Shiraz in the shade (there were some non seafood eaters in the group.  They got steak, I left the shiraz for them), and the most delicious Vihno Verde that I have had in a long time.  Some bottles of Vera Vinho Verde`10 were chilling in a bucket until I got my hands on it.  It was perfect.  Just a hint of citrus, some minerality, and with the lobster dredged in butter??? On of my top 10 meals EVER.

I'll shut up now and just leave you with pictures of lunch:

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