5@5 - Bring the beach to your table
August 12th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

August may be quickly dwindling down, but if you can't get your derriere in the sand and a drink in your hand during these last summer weekends, you shouldn't feel salty - just bring the good vibrations to the dinner table with the help of Sam Talbot.

Talbot is the Executive Chef at the Surf Lodge in Montauk and Imperial No. 9 in New York City. He also competed on the second season of Bravo's "Top Chef."

Five Ways to Bring the Beach to Your Table: Sam Talbot

1. Invite friends over for a traditional clambake, or for an even easier beach-style party, serve up some lobster rolls
"There’s nothing like bringing the beach to the table with some fresh seafood. The ocean brings me a certain peace, and that includes cooking up fresh clams and lobster.

For a good ol' clambake, get fresh clams from the market, sausage from a local butcher, throw it all in a pot and invite some friends over for some beer while it cooks.

When it comes to lobster rolls, I like to spice mine up a bit. It’s the perfect beach protein for obvious reasons, and you could simply toss yours with fresh butter or mayo, or try this recipe of mine."

My Favorite Lobster Rolls
Serves 5


  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into chunks (instructions following)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus zest of two lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • Old Bay seasoning to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup melted, clarified butter at room temperature
  • 5 brioche burger buns (or hot dog rolls), toasted
  • lettuce leaves, tomato slices

Cooking Directions

  1. You can use frozen lobster meat, thawed in the refrigerator and cut into chunks. For fresh lobsters (about five 1- to 2-pound lobsters will yield 1 pound of meat): Fill a large pot three-quarters full of salted water (about a tablespoon per quart of water) and bring to a boil.
  2. Submerge lobsters completely - you may have to cook in shifts - and cover.
  3. Cook approximately 18 minutes (more for larger lobsters), until shell is red.
  4. Drain, cool, remove meat from shell and cut into chunks.
  5. Combine the lobster meat with all other ingredients, except the butter. (To clarify butter: Melt in saucepan and skim off white foam; cool to room temperature.)
  6. Brush butter on toasted buns and fill with lobster mix. Serve with lettuce and tomato.

2. Ambiance, ambiance, ambiance
"Beach-y movies, tea lights and paper lanterns can create that beach feel when you’re not able to make it to the ocean. Some of my favorites - my must-watch summer movies - in my collection are The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Point Break, Blue Lagoon, and the obvious but necessary The Beach.

Throw one of these in your DVD player, light some paper lanterns, put on your board shorts and crack open a cold beer from the cooler."

3. Cook with seaweed!
"As a water baby, I incorporate seaweed in my everyday life - I cook with it at Imperial No. Nine, favor products that use it, and even toss it into beach bonfires when firing up some fresh fish.

One of the salads on the menu right now is the seaweed salad that I serve with seared tuna, mushrooms, and a ponzu-sesame vinaigrette. The salinity of the seaweed, mixed with its crunchy texture, easily makes this dish one of my favorites right now.

Also, when I’m on the beach cooking up some freshly caught fish, I lay down some seaweed - plucked right off the sand - on the fire under the fish. It infuses a rich, slightly smoky and ocean-y flavor that’s hard to describe unless you’ve tried it.

Squeeze a little lemon on the fish, and enjoy. Nothing’s better after a long day of surfing."

4. Star-gazing with gooey, warm s’mores
"All you need for this is a roof (or park), a s’mores kit, and a stargazers app for your iPhone. Pick-up a s’mores kit at the store or make your own.

I keep mine simple with a big bag of marshmallows, old-school graham crackers, and milk chocolate bars, but you can get as fancy as you want with it.

Then download a star-watching app (they’re quite cool and I’ve become addicted to them), throw on a pair of Natives (my favorite beach shoes), and have the perfect summer night."

5. Don’t forget your sunscreen
"You may not be on the beach, but that doesn’t mean you can forget the sunscreen. When I’m surfing, I paint my nose with bright yellow SpongeBob SquarePants sunblock, and when I want to being that beach feel to the city, I’ll put some on my face before heading out.

Yes, it’s for kids and it goes on different colors, but it lasts for a quick 20 minutes and always makes me laugh."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Make • Recipes • Think

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Melinda

    #6 Invite Sam Talbot over for a good romp in the hay.

    August 15, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • Multi-Tasking @ Work

      me first...what a dream boat

      August 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Noxious Sunshine

    I'm dying to go to Port Hadlock, Washington with my parents sometime (they often deliver to the army base up there – they're truck drivers).. It's their favorite place – my mom gets fresh caught oysters & crab legs, steaks, & other stuff and has a major cook out with a few if the other drivers who may be up there with them. Not to mention the campsite they park at after unloading is on the beach.. its pure heaven for my mom!

    August 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  3. Mjh

    Thank you for a very interesting food ideas and recepies to go out with the summer of 2011! Ive not had time to stop and catch my breath. Their food ideas i think a lot of us and our family members can relate to.

    August 14, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  4. Erin

    Great ideas! I'm from landlocked Kansas, but am planning a beach-themed Christmas party for friends. (Hey, if people do Christmas in July, why not bring a little July to Christmastime??) Will definitely incorporate some of these thoughts into my party! Thanks!

    August 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  5. Lila

    Never tried a seaweed salad, it sounds so good.

    August 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Lila

      oh and the Star Walk app is great on an ipad, it is really addicting.

      August 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
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