McGrath Clambakes & Catering is celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 29th with a public clambake at The Eisenhower House from 6 to 9 pm. Tickets are $50 per person.
The evening will include a reception hour overlooking Narragansett Bay with Rhode Island clear broth chowder and “stuffies” – both made from a family recipe. Guests will then be invited to view the opening of the clambake. McGrath Clambakes & Catering is one of the few companies that continues to utilize the traditional cooking process passed down from early New England Colonists.
This process begins when crews gather fresh “rockweed” off the local coast. A bonfire is built at the event site with alternating layers of wood and rock. The fire heats the rocks to very high temperatures. Well-tended, the fire settles down to a bed of hot coals and rocks which provide the heat needed to bake the food. The rocks are then covered with mounds of rockweed. The bubbles in the rockweed burst when heated, emitting seawater that steams and seasons the food. The clambake crew then works quickly to nestle racks of food into the rockweed and cover it with layers of canvas. After baking for several hours, the bake master peels back the layers of canvas, a billowing cloud of steam rises, and the perfect summer meal is revealed!
The evening’s menu will be served buffet style and includes a summer salad of baby spinach, roma tomatoes, fresh avocado and roasted red peppers with a strawberry scallion vinaigrette, Spinney Creek Maine soft shelled steamed clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, drawn butter, local sweet corn on the cob, red bliss potato, chourico (Portuguese spicy sausage), barbecued chicken 1 ¼ lb. Rhode Island lobster and watermelon. Ragged Island Brewery will provide beer and DJ Bells will be spinning tunes.
Tickets for the clambake are $50 per person and available on the company’s Facebook page (McGrath’s 50th Anniversary). The deadline to purchase tickets is August 27th.