Killing a lobster

Chef Michael Cimarusti, chef at Providence, cuts a lobster in half. (Bret Hartman / For The Times / May 23, 2013)

You can cook live lobsters, but I prefer to kill them first. There are a lot of theories about the best way to do this, but I like the one recommended by Trevor Corson, seafood expert and author of "The Secret Life of Lobsters." He chills the live lobsters in the freezer for 15 minutes or so. Lobsters are coldblooded, and this slows their metabolic rate and dulls their response to pain. Once they're well-chilled, place them belly-up on a cutting board. Thrust a sharp knife into the belly of the lobster between the first pair of legs and pull the knife down toward the head. If you are careful not to cut through the top side of the shell, you can still serve the lobsters whole, and your guests will never know how the crustaceans met their death.

— Michael Cimarusti