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Blago Chorev
Rob Greig

Quit your job, become a... lobster tank manager

By Time Out London contributor
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Rob Greig

Blago Chorev, 35, Burger & Lobster

Wow. Do jobs get any more niche than this?

'There aren't many of us! I look after the lobsters by checking on them in their tank every day to make sure they're healthy.'

How did you get into such a specific thing?

'I was working as a sous chef, then a lead chef, then I moved to Burger & Lobster and they needed someone to look after the lobsters. I had no previous experience, so I just picked it up day by day.'

Let's talk tanks.

'We have one big tank, which can hold 20 tonnes of lobster. The whole system creates the feeling of nature for the lobsters by keeping the temperature at ocean level.'

Where do the lobsters come from?

'Canada, on an eight-hour flight. When they arrive at the restaurant, the first thing I do is give them a quick shower to get rid of the debris. Then I'll store them in the tank, where they'll stay for four to six days.'

Is all this TLC for their own sake or is it because happy lobsters taste better?

'The best lobsters taste fresh, and the only way to keep them fresh is by keeping them in the holding system.'

And then what?

'I'll take lobsters to each restaurant, check the stock, then go into the office to see how many orders have been placed for the next day. And I'll check on the lobsters - if one is beginning to look weak or slow, it'll need to go to the restaurant asap. Some lobsters die in the tank, unfortunately. It's the same as in the wild: some are stronger than others.'

What's the best part of your job?

'Working with such a massive holding system - to my knowledge it's the biggest in Europe. I enjoy explaining how it works to visitors. It makes for a quite sociable job.'

Ever suffered any pincer-related injuries?

'A few weeks ago I was pinched for the first time. I wanted to show the lobster to someone, and didn't realise one of the tapes they have around their claws had come undone. I'm usually more careful!'

Hours: 50 hours p/w

Starting salary: around £40k

Qualifications: kitchen experience

Interview by Jessica Brown

Or why not become a cat groomer?

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