Chef Ben Robinson and the Clambake Guys Bring New England Tastes to Hospice Regatta May 16

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Thinking about heading to Esplanade Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale this weekend to watch sailboats race for the fifth-annual Hospice Regatta?

Once you’ve had your fun ogling a bunch of sailboats from all over South Florida, don’t just walk into one of your favorite restaurants along the river. Why? Because chef Ben Robinson, of Bravo TV’s Below Deck, has teamed up with the Clambake Guys to bring you an exclusive and traditional New England-style lobster/clambake.

Growing up on the shores of Cape Cod, Robinson holds lobster/clambakes close to his heart. With no disrespect to the abundance of wonderful seafood found in the waters of South Florida, there is a difference between an ordinary lobster/clambake and its New England counterpart. Robinson and the Clambake Guys will unleash their method to help you taste the difference this Saturday.

“The trick is to hard-boil the potatoes and corn until they’re al dente,” says Robinson. “You need to grab a net bag filled with mussels and clams and throw them in after you’re done boiling the potatoes and corn on the cob. The shellfish needs to cook for about 20 minutes, and during the last ten minutes, that’s when you throw in the lobster. If you’re using a New England lobster, you have to cook them for three minutes per pound, while spiny lobsters, the ones found here in South Florida, require you to double or triple the cooking time because they’re denser lobsters.”

Though there will be enough to feed everyone, it’s definitely recommended to get there right after the regatta concludes. For $50 per person, you can enjoy as much seafood as you want, with Landlubber Meals (to include a hot dog or hamburger, potato chips, and corn on the cob) priced at $15 per person.

On the off-chance that seafood isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty else to do, for free. Chow down at one of your favorite food trucks, guzzle some craft beer in the beer garden, groove to some live music, and participate in numerous prize raffles and a silent auction. If you make it to the main event, be sure to support your favorite skipper and crew in the Hospice Fundraising Challenge. The team/skipper that raises the most funds during the postrace ceremony will walk away with an honorary award, known as the Diana Stephenson Fundraising Challenge Trophy.

This is an afterparty you can feel really good about attending, as all proceeds will directly benefit Hospice by the Sea’s and Hospice of Palm Beach County’s programs and services for patients and families in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

The fifth-annual Hospice Regatta, 11 a.m., Saturday, May 16, to benefit Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation and Hospice by the Sea Foundation; presented by Holman Automotive, the Hospice Regatta will take place off the shores of Fort Lauderdale Beach, to be followed by an awards celebration/block party at Esplanade Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale, from 4 to 9 p.m. The public is invited and can enjoy food trucks, live music, a silent auction, and raffles. Call 561-494-6888, or by visit hpbcf.org/regatta.

Gillian Speiser is a contributing writer for About.com’s Cookbooks & Food Writing page. Follow her on Twitter. 

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