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Luke’s Lobster Teams Up with José Andrés and More Chefs to Create Limited-Edition Lobster Rolls

Bridget Hallinan

Since opening its doors in the East Village in 2009, Luke’s Lobster has made a name for itself on sustainably sourced seafood and a Maine-style menu, including tasty, affordable lobster rolls—said rolls are loaded with tender claw and knuckle meat in a buttered bun, and we’ve recognized them as some of the best in America. Over the past several years, those famous rolls have expanded with Luke’s to reach cities all across the country, from San Francisco and Las Vegas to Miami, totaling 38 brick and mortar locations. (Including a few outposts across Japan and Taiwan, too.) Now, as the brand's 10th anniversary and National Lobster Day approaches, Luke’s is partnering with celebrated local chefs to create specialty “anniversary rolls,” which will vary depending on the Luke’s location. Washington, D.C. will feature a lobster roll spin from José Andrés; in Portland, Primo chef Melissa Kelly has a special roll on Luke’s menu, too. $1 from each sale will be donated to a charity of the chef’s choice.

“Our mission has always been to share the world’s best seafood with our guests, and we’re so proud that these chefs recognize the best in class quality we’ve achieved by owning our lobster supply chain from the dock to the plate,” Luke Holden, Luke’s Lobster CEO and founder, said in a statement. “Each city that we’ve reached has really embraced our story, and we’re looking forward to giving back through these collaborations and charitable partnerships.”

Andrés, who’s behind Jaleo, Bazaar Meat, and D.C.’s minibar, made his lobster roll with pimenton aioli and piparra peppers from Spanish Basque country—in addition to Washington, D.C., the roll will be served at Luke’s locations in Las Vegas, Japan, and Taiwan, with sales benefitting World Central Kitchen. Food & Wine Best New Chef Paul Kahan, on the other hand, prepared his lobster roll with butter pudding and shaved black lime, which can be found at the Luke’s outpost in Chicago. (Proceeds will be donated to Pilot Light.) And in New York City, head to one of many Luke’s locations to try Matt Hyland’s spin, made with banana peppers, green olives, and Portuguese Allspice—the Emmy Squared chef chose Slice Out Hunger as the benefiting charity. Chefs Suzette Gresham, Jennifer Carroll and Billy Riddle, Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, and Danny Figueredo and Rosa Romero also created special lobster rolls for the anniversary. You can learn more about them on Luke's website.

If you’re interested in trying any of the sandwiches, they’ll become available on National Lobster Day (September 25) and run through October 31. However, if you’re not based near a Luke’s Lobster location, we also have a recipe for dynamite Maine-style lobster rolls that you can make at home, dressed simply with mayo and served in a hot, buttered bun. It’s certainly a labor of love—but the flavor, in the end, is more than worth it.