Back in Our Shells: Caterers and Clambakes

Happy August, all! Here at Catersource, we’re all recovered from the Art of Catering Food in Denver and on to our next projects. I’m writing our content for our September issue, which we’ll be shipping out by the end of the month. In the meantime, I want to get away from all of the lovely meaty mountain food we ate in Denver (and it was delicious) and switch to something a little more my steam… I mean, my speed:

A Clambake!

Steamed seafood, corn and a beach party go together to make the ultimate nautical occasion. The New York Times had a great story about Clambake caterers in Long Island this week, and it piqued my tastebuds for lobster, mussels, crabs and clams. It’s hot here in the Twin Cities, so I’m itching to fly out east and get some sand in between my toes and seafood in my gullet.

Although clambake technically refers to a very traditional method of steaming seafood and corn on the beach…

Lobsters in Seaweed

Cracking the lobster

Cracking the lobster

…I think it’s acceptable to call any party with steamed seafood and a nautical theme a clambake. (But if you are a clambake purist and I’m totally wrong, let me know.) Here’s one quote from the NYT story about how one catering company manages it:

Instead of steaming all the ingredients in one traditional bake box as Long Island Chowda Company does, East End Clambakes sets up a row of large propane-heated pots, each dedicated to a different ingredient: Lobsters steam in one pot, corn boils in another. This allows for a high volume, he said.

“I’ve done parties for 400 people where the string of pots and burners literally go for 25 feet,” Mr. Gay [owner of East End Clambakes] said. He said he expected to provide about 100 clambakes this summer at private beach clubs, in homes and on public beaches.

Good Gracious! Events in Los Angeles also posted some amazing photos from a recent West Coast clambake wedding they hosted:

Clambake wedding from Good Gracious! Events

Clambake wedding from Good Gracious! Events

Clambake cocktails from Good Gracious! Events

Clambake Cocktails from Good Gracious! Events

For the full set of photos and story behind the wedding, click here.

I’ve never been to a real clambake, but an editor can dream… especially while she’s working hard on deadline. 😉

Abundance of seafood

Abundance of seafood

New England Style Clam Bake

New England Style Clam Bake

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