How to Throw the Perfect End-of-Summer Clambake

As we approach the last few weeks of summer, celebrate the season with the good old-fashioned New England clambake?

A luxury hotel, the Weekapaug Inn, located right on the Rhode Island shoreline shares her cookery secrets as part of The Art of Entertaining Relais & Châteaux.


The classic Rhode Island summer staple is steamed littleneck clams. The Weekapaug Inn combines the salty, savory flavor of clams and mussels with local sweet corn on its curb and spicy sausage.

Ingredients for 7-10 servings:

6 ears of fresh unhusked corn on its cob
5 pounds native littleneck clams, washed
3 pounds Blue Hill Bay mussels, washed, beards removed
Minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
1 pound chorizo, casings removed and crumbled
1 cup diced Spanish onions
1 (12-ounce) bottle Allagash beer
Kosher salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
3/4 to 1 cup (1 1/2 to 2 sticks) Vermont unsalted butter

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the unhusked corn in the oven and roast it for 25 to 30 minutes till the husks are golden brown. (Also, you can roast the corn in a convection oven at medium level fan for about 20 minutes.)
Let cool. Remove and discard husks and all of its silk. Run your knife through each side of the corncobs to remove the kernels. (Keep the cobs for other applications; they make a great corn stock) Set the corn kernels aside.
Heat olive oil in a braising pan over medium heat.
Add the chorizo and allow to render out fat.
Reduce heat, add onions, season with salt and cook until translucent.
Add the garlic and cook until soft and the aroma is extracted from the garlic.
Add the clams and beer. Cover, increase the heat to high, and cook for 10 minutes, until the clams just start to open.
Add the mussels, corn and butter. Cover and cook for an additional 2 -3 minutes, until all the shellfish are fully opened, and the butter is melted. (If any shellfish does not open, do away with it.)
Season with little salt and finish with the parsley and scallions. Serve hot.