Don’t fall on your behind while serving Lobster Croquettes

Nelson Lewis shares his life experiences as well as his favoured recipes

Last week I talked about the Royal Yacht and the fact that I spent six weeks on that grand ship, working with the ships from Buckingham Palace.

I flew to England and join Britannia in Portsmouth. We spent a week on board before we set sail for Canada. The Queen was supposed to join the yacht in Portsmouth as well, but unknown to all but a very select few, she was pregnant and decided to fly instead.

This turned out to be a very wise decision. On our first day out from Portsmouth, we struck bad weather. The yacht had originally been built as a hospital ship, and she did not take rough seas worth a hoot.

She was top heavy and even though she has stabilizers installed she pitched like a rowboat. On the second day out, all most all the crew were sick except a few lucky hands like me. I never got sick at sea and the British sailors were duly impressed. We arrived in Canada on July 14. But it was another six days until the Queen and all her staff (including her kitchen staff) came on board.

I was on the Queens verandah deck when she arrived and I made a bit of a scene by falling on my behind on the slippery deck. The little incident was written up in Readers Digest a few years later.

Up until the Queens head chef—Mr. Paul Aubrey—came on board, I did not realize that no Naval personnel  were allowed in the Royal galley.

When I found out I put in a request to see the captain: Vice Admiral P. Dawney. When he heard my tale, how hard I had worked and studied so I could cook for the Queen, he called and asked him if he would take me on for a cruise.

Mr. Aubrey agreed and I guess he took his job of looking out for me seriously.

He took me under his wing and I learned a lot from him. He was very patient and a true perfectionist. Everything had to be just so, and he often balled the other chefs out for taking short cuts. But he was very nice to me.

Fortunately he took me under his wing and I got to make an array of meals. A dish that was very popular with the entire Royal party was Lobster Croquettes. A very succulent and somewhat difficult  dish. This is my version.


3 tbsp butter, 3 scant tbsp AP flour and  1 tsp corn starch, A few grains of cayenne pepper, 1/4 minced onionPinch of white pepper, 1/4 cup of cream and 1/4 cup good sherry, 1 or 2 egg yolks, 1-2 cups diced lobster meat, Dash of yell food colouring (optional)

Method; Melt the butter and blend in the flour and starch. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the egg yolks and cook for about three minutes, or until the sauce is full of bubbles.

Mix a little of the sauce with the egg yolks and return to the liquid. Do not let this get too hot. Keep it at a simmer for a minute or so, then add the lobster, correct the seasoning, let heat up and ladle into individual choux pastry shells (available in the frozen food section of most grocery stores) or even toast cups. Enjoy.

See Ya Next Week!