Chicago retailer celebrates lobster


 Sunset Foods’ annual Labor Day lobster sale for the first time includes a three-course dinner with lobster boat captains as guests.
The five-store Chicago-area chain’s annual Maine lobster sale runs from 29 August to 2 September. “Last year, we sold 6,100 pounds of lobster and this year, our goal is 7,500 pounds,” said Dan Humphrey, seafood director for Sunset Foods.

 This year, Humphrey and Sunset executives decided to add a gourmet, three-course dinner to the event on 31 August. The USD 75-per-person dinner will be prepared by the chain’s chefs to promote its “Thyme in the Kitchen” cooking classes. The 26 guests will learn now to cook lobster, shell it and prepare a lobster salad, and prepare lobster bisque. “We had seven people signed up after one day of marketing the dinner. People go out to eat for lobster, but don’t know what to do with them at home,” said Humphrey.

 The menu includes: a lobster bisque shot, Lobster and Corn Salad with Tropical Lobster Spring Roll, a 1-¾ pound Maine lobster accompanied by Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Beer Dressing and Apple Cherry Slaw, and Coconut Lime Napoleon. Three different wines will be served as well. 
Lobster boat captains from Portland, Maine, will be guests at the dinner and visiting Sunset’s stores, sponsored by the chain’s lobster supplier, Portland-based Ready Seafood Co.

 Meanwhile, Sunset Foods has been advertising the lobster sale for six weeks in its circular, via in-store posters, and on its website and Facebook page. Whole Maine lobsters will be on sale for $10.99 each, steamed or live. “We found it easier to price by ‘each’, rather than putting them on a scale,” said Humphrey.

 While Maine lobster quality has been down this season, the wholesale price is holding steady compared to last year, said Humphrey. “We are not saving much money  on them, probably 45 cents a pound this year,” said Humphrey.


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