Marc Murphy Shares Hamptons Favorites, Lobster Pot Recipe
by scott feldman
Boiling your lobsters in seawater enhances the flavor of the meat.
“My wife, Pamela, has been coming out East since she was six years old and it’s always been a second home for her,” says chef Marc Murphy, the cook behind Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy, as well as catering company Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, both of which he runs with his wife. “Needless to say, it didn’t take much for me to fall in love with being out here.” When they’re out East, the Murphys enjoy entertaining at home. “We serve these Surfer Sunday lobster pots every Sunday and Monday at Ditch Plains in New York City, but when I make them out at the beach, I like to use ocean water to boil the lobsters,” he says. “It really enhances the flavor of the lobster meat.”
What are some of your favorite go-to restaurants out East?
MARCH MURPHY: Sam’s Bar & Restaurant in East Hampton for the pizza and baked ziti, and the old-school feel. Clam Bar at Napeague is the perfect spot for a lunch of steamers, lobster rolls, and beer. Cyril’s Fish House in Napeague is great after a long day of surfing at Ditch Plains—it has the best jerk chicken I’ve had outside of Jamaica, plus nothing beats its BBC [Baileys banana colada]. Also Tutto Il Giorno in Sag Harbor for well-done Italian fare in a garden that really makes me feel like I’m in Italy. And The Crow’s Nest Inn & Restaurant in Montauk for the excellent food, ambience, and the fact that my kids can run around on the lawn and roast marshmallows after dinner.
What’s the best burger in the Hamptons?
MM: The Standard at LT Burger in Sag Harbor, hands down.
With some great local ingredients and farm stands, what’s your favorite ingredient to cook with out here?
MM: I’ve been grilling a lot of local zucchini this summer and using it in all kinds of salads. I also love the fresh seafood available out here. I love to take my kids out to Gosman’s Dock in Montauk and see the catch of the day coming in off the boats.
Riding your motorcycle is a big part of who you are—what does a great ride out East look like?
MM: My dream ride out here would be to wake up early on a Sunday and take my bike out to Ditch Plains via Old Montauk Highway. It’s the only road out here where you get views of the ocean, and it’s completely quiet that time of day.
What’s your fondest East End summer memory?
MM: Teaching my kids to boogie board. It’s amazing to see them enjoy the beach so much, and I love watching them learn to respect the ocean.
Who is at the table for a great summer dinner party?
MM: We love to entertain at the beach and are always happy to have close friends and family out here. For me it’s always great to have at least one other chef friend in attendance to help with all of the cooking.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and what would you serve?
MM: Jacques Cousteau—I’d make a nice bouillabaisse for him.
Beyond cooking, what legacy do you hope to leave behind?
MM: My job is to feed people, and if I could do anything at all, it would be to help find a solution for hunger in our country. To that end, I sit on the board of City Harvest and I’m also on the Leadership Council for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, both of which strive to end hunger in our lifetime.
Ditch Plains Lobster Pot
3 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
4 1½-pounds whole live lobsters
2 onions, roughly chopped 3 lemons, halved
2 bay leaves
4-6 ears of corn, cleaned and halved
4 andouille sausage links
Salt, as needed
Place whole potatoes in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Set stove to medium-high heat and cook the potatoes for 1 hour, until tender and soft. Let cool, and set aside.
Place lobsters in a large stockpot, and add enough water (ocean water if you have it) to cover the lobsters (but don’t put them in yet!). Add the salt, onions, and lemon halves (skip this step if you are using seawater). Bring the water to a boil, and add the lobsters. Cook for 10 minutes, and add the corn, sausage, and cooked potatoes to the pot. Cook everything together for another 5 minutes, and remove from heat.
Remove the lobsters from the pot, and divide the corn, sausage, and potatoes evenly into four large bowls. Add the lobsters, and serve with coleslaw and drawn butter or Old Bay aioli.
Old Bay Aioli
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
Thoroughly mix the ingredients together until well blended.
2 sticks unsalted butter
Melt the butter on medium heat in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, allowing butter to separate. Ladle out clarified butter, and serve with lobster.
photography by alexander grablewski/gettyimages.com (lobsters); Eric Stiffler (Murphy)