At Club Piranha in Hollywood, California, Chef Jorge Rodriguez found himself in a dire predicament last week when he received a load of shrimp believed to be contaminated by the BP Oil Spill. With only minutes to go until his dinner crowd was set to arrive, Jorge had to make a decision. He decided that a little crude oil on the shrimp probably wouldn't hurt anyone, so he put the load into the deep fryer.
After frying, then serving the crude-oil covered shrimp to his patrons, Jorge had a long moment of nagging doubt. "I was so nervous about serving contaminated shrimp to my customers," said Jorge. "I went back to the kitchen and took three shots of Tequila, then I washed it down with a beer."
What happened next was a surprise to everyone involved in the operation. "My customers absolutely loved the shrimp," said Jorge. "I was very surprised, I thought for sure I might have to deal with a lot of food poisoning cases. But everything worked out and now here we are with more business than ever before."
Trouble began when he received a load of un-contaminated shrimp from the West Coast. "My customers had become so used to the shrimps with the crude oil on them, that to them, the fresh shrimp tasted bad. At this point I knew I had to do something, or I could end up losing all my new business."
A former Chef in the United States Navy, Jorge Rodriguez is a man who can think on his feet in a pressure situation. "I told Natalie, my best waitress to go get in her car and drive as fast as she could to the nearest gas station and to pick up a case of 10W30 Motor Oil."
Natalie made it back with the case of Motor Oil just in time. "When she got back," said Jorge, "I poured that oil into the load of shrimps that were in the deep fryer right away. Next thing I know, my customers are telling me that this is the best shrimp they've ever had in their lives. From that point on I was a believer. I won't serve any shrimps without 10W30 on them to my customers."
The trend is now starting to take hold across the nation as trendy restaurants clamor to get in on the craze.
John Smith, owner of The Salty Clam, in Boston Massachusetts, is another restaurateur who believes in the Motor Oil trend. "Out here, in the freezing temperatures of Boston, I like to use 5W50 on my fish and chips. It gives my customers a greater range of protection, and that's important because I get a lot of drunk Sox fans coming in here that already might have a Fenway Frank or two that's not sitting right with them."