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June 23, 2017

‘Maine After Midnight’: Dallas chefs get taste of Maine lobster

Courtesy / Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative Maine lobsterman Frank Gotwals explains the difference between Maine new soft-shell and hard shell lobsters at the “Maine After Midnight” chef industry night at Pink Magnolia in Dallas, Texas, on Monday. The event was held for chefs to learn about the sustainability, heritage and culinary applications of Maine lobster.

In one of Texas’ largest restaurant hubs, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative hosted an event this week to bring the taste and history of Maine’s iconic lobster to both veteran chefs and rising stars in Dallas.

The July 19 event in Dallas is part of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative’s "Maine After Midnight" road show to market Maine lobster with taste-makers in culinary epicenters across the country. Other stops include Chicago, San Francisco and New York City and will be highlighted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and by visiting

In Dallas, in partnership with culinary trendsetter Chef Blythe Beck of the restaurant Pink Magnolia, the MLMC hosted a "Maine After Midnight" celebration for the city's top culinary teams. The event allowed attendees to sample a seasonal delicacy, Maine’s soft shell lobsters, and to experience its culinary versatility and understand the fishery's history and centuries-long commitment to sustainability.

"My style is all about the nostalgic charm of Southern home cooking in an elegant setting, and adding love and unexpected flavors to everything I create," Beck said in a news release. "Maine lobster adds that surprising layer of sophistication and flavor to my dishes, such as my signature deviled eggs and my fried lobster tails. While each Southern dish tells a story, so do its ingredients — and Maine lobster is one of the best stories out there — one that I think diners in Dallas will love."

Marketing Maine’s iconic industry

Event attendees immersed themselves into the rich history of the Maine lobster industry learning straight from the source, as several Maine lobstermen mingled with guests to educate them.

"In Maine, we grow up surrounded by lobster, but we know our industry is a mystery to most," said Maine lobsterman Dustin Delano. "We are excited to be in Dallas to share the story of our industry, our communities, and the product that is our livelihood with chefs and media."

"We are catching more lobster than ever before — last year, the industry landed over 131 million pounds of lobsters — and with advances in shipping technologies, it's no longer a challenge to get product to markets like Dallas," said Matt Jacobson, executive director of the MLMC. "Inspiring and educating chefs here in Dallas lets us share what we as Mainers have enjoyed for centuries."

The MLMC, founded in 2013, is funded by Maine lobsters, harvesters, dealers and processors to grow demand, both for whole live lobster and a variety of value-added products. The MLMC supports that objective by promoting the core values of the Maine Lobster industry, which are sustainability and traceability that's deeply rooted in tradition.

The industry has been self-regulating for more than 150 years and in 2013 achieved the Marine Stewardship Council certification, allowing Maine lobster to officially certify its long-standing sustainable practices.

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