The Crustastun Reaches Its Brilliant Best
When a top chef gets hold of a top piece of kit that’s when the magic happens. To make his famous lobster bisque, Chef Simon Wood didn’t just need top quality lobster – he sourced that from Flying Fish in Cornwall – he needed to find the best way to prepare it before cooking. That meant he had to dispatch it ethically by using the Crustastun. But, and here’s the brilliant bit, the result was the most delicately-flavoured lobster he’d ever tasted.
“It was ridiculously good,” he told The Chefs’ Knowledge. “I’d heard the stories but tasting it for real was something else. The lobster was perfect. Not only was it delicate but it was tender and as it should be.”
The bisque was being prepared for a live kitchen equipment review hosted by Mitchell and Cooper to put the Crustastun through its paces. The machine uses salt water and an electrical current to humanely stun and dispatch lobsters without pain and to keep the meat in perfect condition.
The Crustastun was joined by its French Mitchell & Cooper stablemate, the Dynamic 160 stick blender. Both pieces of market-leading catering equipment are available from the family-run manufacturer and distributor based in Ukfield in East Sussex.
“It’s ethical,” explained Kat Cooper. “With new laws being introduced to govern the sentience of shellfish, chefs have to find new ways to dispatch shellfish and the Crustastun does an excellent job with lobster and crab. And with chefs like Simon Wood using the technology the benefits are evident in the colour of the lobster, its taste and texture. We are proud to manufacture Crustastun in our factory and are really excited that Simon has joined the crusade to champion high-welfare kitchens and humane dispatch of crustaceans.”
“I made a bisque from the shells and the bodies of the lobsters and reserved the flesh for the garnish,” said Wood. “The result was an amazing soup that had incredible depth of flavour.”
“I used the Dynamic 160 stick blender to foam the bisque when I plated it – I achieved the perfect cover to give the guests the surprise of deliciously tender tail meat, cooked in smoked butter, surrounded by sea herbs, pickled tomatoes and fennel as soon as they remove the perfectly-aerated foamy lid – This dish is one of my absolute favourites and the quality of the Cornish lobster from Flying Fish is absolutely sublime.
I believe an animal should be treated with the utmost respect from the moment it is harvested. Sourcing from Flying Fish, then dispatching humanely with the Crustastun means I can confidently tell the provenance story to my guests – Gone are the days when chefs would throw live lobster into boiling water – We all have to do our bit to make positive change in our kitchens.”
“It really was a triumph,” said Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum. “This is a piece of equipment that chefs can use with certainty. Not only will their shellfish dishes be ethical which is what customers want, but the product actually tastes better. Everyone wins.”