The helpless lobster lay still on the damp paper towel in front of 20-plus eyeballs staring hungrily, and excitedly over their upcoming feast.
While the diners and food enthusiasts anxiously awaited the sacrifice, a nearby pot of water continued to spit bubbles from the boil.
The lobster’s intended method of termination was the shiny, metal blade placed within inches of his antennae.
Oblivious to his pending doom, the bold orange and black speckled crustacean remained idle in front of his five, similarly colored friends who crawled playfully over one another in the adjacent gray bin: In minutes, one would become the chopping board’s next victim.
The Spiny Lobsters were part of the day’s menu for participants in the Guest Chef Program at Peter Island Resort. The tasty program was conceptualized and created by Lisa Sellers, the resort’s executive chef, and Wilbert Mason, the resort’s general manager in May 2010.
Spurred by the idea of introducing their guests to the intricacies of preparing haute cuisines under the tutelage of fine international chefs, the four-day program became an instant success by those in attendance and an immediate draw for those soon visiting.
As populations throughout the world become versed in living a sustainable life, Peter Island Resort steadfastly works to infuse local grown food onto the plates of their diners.
To introduce their concept, the resort held a seven-course wine dinner for their special guests, members of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board and representatives from Government.
Christopher Ivens-Brown, a British Chef turned North Carolina food star, was the resort’s first guest chef. He introduced participants to the idea of sustainable food. Beyond cooking, he shared his insight into the health and environmental benefits of using sustainable food.
Another component of the program involved the guest chef and participants accompanying Ms Sellers to the Department of Agriculture in Paraquita Bay where they walked the farms, and had an in-depth opportunity to meet and watch farmers at hand.
The encounter provided them with a view of the nursery, the banana crops, the rabbit coops, the pigsties, the chicken coops, and tropical fruit trees.
After two hours, they walked away carrying local eggplant; lemongrass, cabbage and cucumbers to the luxurious tables of Falcon’s Nest Villa.
Once they returned to Peter Island, they were treated to a wide spread of fresh fruits, sandwiches, salads and drinks while the chef presented them with culinary goody bags and a brief presentation into his world of food.
Thirty minutes after lunch, the participants gathered around the outdoor bar for their interactive three-hour cooking lesson. Seated before uncooked lobster, mussels, chicken, rabbit, fish rice, onions, garlic, lemon, thyme, and other hearty goods, the chef began his preparation for the four dishes he was about to teach.
The menu included seafood paella, steamed lobster, sautéed rabbit, lemon and herb pasta, grilled vegetables and mahi-mahi.
Those interested in assisting the chef were directed to chop, split, stir, roll and peel the array of ingredients.
Two men acquired their first lesson in killing fresh lobsters. They were instructed on how to hold the crustacean and how to use the knife for an instant kill.
Most of the diners had their introduction to rabbit meat through this program.
In between eating and nibbling off the multiple plates laid within a stone’s throw from the property’s breathtaking waterfall, guests indulged in the still waters of the nearby infinity pool.
In order to keep the guest chef program small and interactive, the resort is keeping reservations to a maximum of 20 people. The guest chef program costs $600 per person and an extra $200 is charged for the wine dinner.
In July, another guest chef will travel to Peter Island for the property’s second program of the year, followed by a third in October and they’re already planning guest chefs for 2011.