The Purposeful Plate: Clam Shack Food 2.0

By Korakot Suriya-arporn | Antoinette Bruno


Korakot Suriya-arporn
Antoinette Bruno
Massachusetts Razor Clams, Fried Mussels, Clam Stuffing, Sherry Vinegar Aïoli, and Piquillo Pepper Purée
Massachusetts Razor Clams, Fried Mussels, Clam Stuffing, Sherry Vinegar Aïoli, and Piquillo Pepper Purée

At Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2015 Rising Star Chef Patrick Campbell takes the quintessential New England clam bake and combines it with the salient memory of razor clams he ate at the seafood-centric Clamato in Paris. This idea manifests in his geometric dish of razor clams adorned with mussels, stuffing, Sherry aïoli, and piquillo purée. It’s a dish that transports diners to a beach-side shack or to the heights of contemporary cuisine in La Ville Lumière—whichever way you look at it. “Nothing is really over-thought and everything complements the shellfish,” says Campbell. Highlighting Boston’s ocean bounty, he makes a fun, colorful seafood smorgasbord on the plate, transforming a familiar dish for his guests into a modern composition.


Clam Stuffing
Instead of mounding a mixture of garlicky breadcrumbs and mirepoix into clam shells, Campbell transforms the clam and stuffing into crispy fried croquettes.

Razor Clams
Never let anything overshadow the hero of a dish. Fresh razor clams are lightly dressed with extra virgin olive oil and salt, and charcoal-grilled à la minute, keeping their integrity intact.

Fried Mussels
After Campbell develops aroma and flavor by steaming mussels in white wine and shallots, he coats them in a light batter and fries them.

Sherry Vinegar Aïoli
Creamy aïoli is fried food’s best friend. Sherry vinegar lends a sharp tang, brightness, and depth that lingers on your palate.

Piquillo Pepper Purée
These incandescent red dollops are light and refreshing. The smokiness plays with the smoked Spanish paprika in the stuffing.

Marcona Almond Brown Butter
This beurre noisette adds a layer of unctuous nuttiness and fat that complements the grilled razor clams. For extra crunch, Marcona almonds follow naturally—and with its amigos Sherry vinegar and piquillo pepper, the Spanish trifecta is complete.

Lemon Wedge
Staying true to the clam shacks New Englanders know and love, a wedge of lemon offers a squeeze of pure summer.

A garnish of peppercress leaves add some kick.

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