A sense of community and culture can always be found when gathering for a meal. And some experiences stand out to those who partake in them, which was the case for Sean O’Reilly, who spent time in New Orleans and fell in love with the style of cooking seafood boils.
He wanted to bring that experience home, to Philadelphia.
“I grew up in Philadelphia a few blocks from Kensington High School. As the years went by, we lived in multiple neighborhoods throughout Philly such as Port Richmond, Bridesburg/Frankford and Northeast Philadelphia,” says O’Reilly.
After attending Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical School with emphasis on Residential and Commercial Electricity, he started to work for the Railroad at 18 years old in the signals department for close to ten years. And when an opportunity came to head down to The Big Easy, O’Reilly jumped on it.
“The culture in New Orleans is very vibrant. My experience was very meaningful, and the people took me in as one of their own. I appreciate that to this day. Not having any family there, my co-workers invited me and my wife to their homes for the holidays so we would not have to be alone. That says a lot,” he explains about his time in New Orleans.
O’Reilly continued: “They invited us to our first Crawfish Boil and showed me the ropes on the steps and process as a whole. In Philly we have backyard BBQs, so this blew my mind… To see everyone gather around a table filled with food poured all over it was definitely unique to say the least.”
And when an opportunity to come back to Philly was brought to O’Reilly, he migrated up north, but took with him the seafood boil culture. That evolved into a business opportunity with Rolling Boil Seafood Company.
“We did a few boils for the family and realized we could bring this culture to Philadelphia on a larger scale,” O’Reilly explains. “I would say I provide an experience. I provide a seafood boil service that is at your location for events, parties, tailgates, etc. You can be a part of the process if you want to learn how it’s done, or kick back and relax. We discuss what you want to boil and I send an itemized list that we go over.”
O’Reilly comes to cook on site and the contents of the pot get poured right onto the table for all to enjoy, just like he experienced in New Orleans.
He adds about the experience: “People love to help stir the pot! This is not typical for Philadelphia, so to have some of that New Orleans culture in your backyard is really something special.”
And although it’s not exactly a holiday promotion, O’Reilly has said he’s willing to suit up as Santa to cook—per request, if you’re looking to do something a little different for a holiday party. Overall however, the experience works for any type of celebration or occasion.
“You can go to any seafood chain and get a seafood boil in a bowl or a bag. Sure. What sets this apart is the authentic process at your location,” O’Reilly explains. “You can see the whole process and gain an experience that can be remembered. It is definitely a conversation piece that is not your typical get-together. We have provided this service anywhere from a backyard to a rooftop and everywhere in between.”
And, as O’Reilly says, there are some variations to help cater to different needs as well, and Rolling Boil Seafood Co. will consult with each client to alter what is needed.
“We are cognizant of foods that are being used that may impact religious beliefs such as pork. We also provide an all Vegan Boil so you can still get the experience with all veggies, and Rolling Boil Seafood Company offers discounts to all frontline and Military workers [as well.] “
Those interested can can reach out to O’Reilly via email at [email protected] or send him a message on Instagram @Rollingboilseafoodco. The company can also be reached on the Neighborhood platform at Rolling Boil Seafood Co. – 1 Connection (nextdoor.com).