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David Lissner
for restaurants

Eat this! Lobster thermidor, a theatrical dish

Lobster thermidor at Fulton's on the River.

Lobster thermidor at Fulton's on the River.

What it is: Lobster thermidor, a luxurious dish, features grilled lobster meat served in the shell with a rich sauce. The sauce varies, ranging from bechamel to cream sauce to brandy sauce to hollandaise. It is sometimes topped with grated cheese and broiled.

Kevin Schulz

Kevin Schulz

Where it comes from: Marie’s, a Parisian restaurant near the Comedie Francaise theater, created lobster thermidor in 1894 to honor the opening of the play “Thermidor” by Victorien Sardou. “Thermidor” was a summer month in the French Republican calendar instituted during the French Revolution.

What to do with it: Chef Kevin Schulz at Fulton’s on the River in River North serves a “clam bake thermidor,” accompanying hollandaise-topped lobster with clams, mussels and sausage links.

Lobster thermidor
Chef Kevin Schulz

1 2- to 3-pound live lobster
1 tablespoon melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Hollandaise sauce

Pierce the head of the lobster with a skewer or a knife to humanely kill the lobster.

Remove claws from lobster and reserve for another use (such as a lobster BLT). Split the lobster in half lengthwise starting at the head down to the tail. Remove tomalley and egg sac (if female) and reserve for another use. (Saute the tomalley and egg sac in butter and then whip into room temperature whole butter, for a delicious steak topper.)

Rinse the lobster body with cold water to clean any remaining debris.

Brush the lobster with butter and season with salt and pepper. Grill shell side down until the meat is nearly cooked then turn over to finish. Top with hollandaise sauce. 2 servings.


4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 pound butter, melted
Salt, pepper and red hot sauce to taste

Beat yolks and vinegar with a whisk( or immersion blender) until frothy. Slowly add butter while continuously whisking until the sauce is thick. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.

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