Sunday, March 1, 2009


While working at The Captain's Clambake Emporium in Dennis Port on Cape Cod as Director of Group Sales during the early 1980's; I would meet and greet the groups at the restaurant as they enjoyed their New England Clambake.

The clambake included a choice of lobster or steak, steamed clams, clam chowder, baked potato, coleslaw, corn on the cob,knockwurst, barbecued half chicken, a glass of wine or beer,rolls, and a slice of watermelon. For some reason some people didn't eat all of these food items so that there would usually be some extra food left after the group had been served.

One of my "duties" was quality control. I would sample the various parts of the meal such as the clam chowder and the watermelon. We used to call the watermelon "watermemon" as watermelon was misspelled on our printed restaurant menus.

Our clam chowder was chock full of baby clams, diced potato, onions, and was a thin chowder not a thick creamy type of chowder. I personally like the clambake type of chowder as some thick chowder is similar in texture to wallpaper paste. Rich Coutu, the Burrell brothers, and the other clambake chefs used to call my evaluation of the " watermemon and chowdah" the "Ricker scale" as a take off on the Richter scale which is used to evaluate the strength of earthquakes.

So, I would evaluate the chowder for taste, temperature, etc.. and usually say;" that's a mighty fine chowder," and then usually give a rating of between 8 and 10 for the chowder with 10 being the ultimate score in chowder perfection.

I would rate the watermelon ("watermemon") as well based on color of the watermelon, coldness, consistency, and how many seeds in the slice on the "Ricker" scale.

Rating "watermemon and chowdah" was a tough job but someone had to do it. Quality control is important as we needed consistantly high marks on the "Ricker" scale to insure a memorable meal for our clambake guests.