Friday, February 20, 2009


Back in the middle 1980's when I worked for the Manning family in Dennis Port on the Cape I was in charge of getting group business for their restaurants and motels. One of their restaurants was "The Captain's Clambake Emporium" located on Lower County Road in Dennis Port. The Captain's Clambake Emporium featured the traditional New England Clambake which was cooked in an open kitchen with a custom made stainless steel gas fired steam pit and also a gas radiant char broiler for cooking steaks and chicken.

One of my roles at the restaurant was to welcome each group over our loudspeaker system and give them a brief history of the New England Clambake. From this speech I was given the nickname" Rick pause" by Sue Fregault,one of the waitresses at the restaurant. I will now try to write down the "clambake speech":

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Captain's Clambake Emporium.
My name is Rick....(pause) Shaw and on behalf of the Manning family and everyone that works here we'd like to welcome the West Hartford Seniors to our traditional New England Clambake.

The New England Clambake started around 1620 when the Pilgrims first landed near Province town on the Cape before they continued on to Plymouth where they settled. What the Pilgrims used to to back then is go down to the beach on a nice day and dig a large pit in the sand and fill this pit with large rocks and boulders and then cover these rocks with wood and lumber and start a fire. After the rocks and boulders were hot enough to cook upon they would put the lobsters, clams, and corn on the hot rocks and cover this food with rock weed.

Rock weed is a special type of seaweed with little pods in it. When the rock weed would come in contact with the hot rocks these pods would explode and give off steam and moisture and a lot of the flavoring found in the clambake.

What we have done is brought this process inside as your food is cooking here under this tarp in our custom designed gas steam cooking pit. We still use the rock weed which as I've mentioned provides a lot of the traditional flavoring. For those of you having steak we cook the steaks here on our gas radiant char broiler which gives the steaks the same taste as an outdoor barbecue.

Once again, thanks everyone for joining us and we hope you all have fun.

In a few minutes we will be passing out the clam broth and drawn butter to you at your tables and then after that we will be calling you up table by table for the rest of the clambake once the food is ready."

So...(pause)...That...(pause) how I became to be called...(pause)....Rick...Pause.