In the Gulf: a Robust Cuisine

"If we run out of Tabasco, this rig shuts down," Faye Cleckler tells a luncheon guest who is being shown through her well-stocked pantry aboard the Key Manhattan. No, Cleckler has not found a way to use the fiery Louisiana hot sauce to keep heavy drilling equipment functioning--only the men who handle the gear. She was just pointing out that for those who work on offshore oil rigs, few things are more important than food-as-they-like-it.

Home to a crew of about 60, the Key Manhattan operates in the blue-gray waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The crew members are latter-day lake...

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