God Save the Clam is a four-day foodie bender on a Hackney rooftop. As you might expect from the Pitt Cue Co. and Rock Lobsta boys, it’s simple, punky and cool as shuck. Book tickets here.
Carl Clarke, AKA Disco Bistro, is one of the most creative chefs in London. A self-confessed ad-hoc addict, Carl has played a massive role in London’s thriving pop-up restaurant scene. Last year he was crowned UK Chilli Champ, championed the lobster roll in Shoreditch and gave Dot Cotton a run for her money with The English Launderette. This year he’s smashed the Cornish Grill and Burger Monday, making sure he’s always a tough act to follow. Tom Adams opened Pitt Cue Co. in Soho just a few months ago and is working night and day to get the original food truck that started it all back on the road this summer. And that’s not to mention opening a second BBQ joint in east London later this year. Together, with help from long-term collaborators Adam Van den Bussche, Simon Anderson (Pitt Cue, The Albion) and David Wolanski (The Recipe), these culinary kings dreamt up the ultimate alternative Jubilee celebration: a four-day clam bake with sunshine, DJs and bucketloads of fantastic food.
“It’s gonna be a f—ing party on the roof. With food. It’s punk rock. We’re doing a clam bake on a roof, in Hackney, because we f—ing can.” – Carl Clarke
Carl worked in Savanna, Georgia, for a while, where clam bakes were common. “On Fridays they’d do an oyster and clam bake. It was always a good place to just hang out and have a few tinnies. I just want to recreate that, to bring people together to eat shellfish and get drunk.” A ticket for God Save the Clam gets you a starter of Pitt Cue smoked sausage links (served with burnt lettuce, smoked anchovy salad cream and dry rub fried toast), a huge bucket of baked clams, cockles, mussels, devilled crayfish and crab claws with a wide array of sides, followed by a choice of two dessert sundaes.
The Emigre Studios rooftop looms over London Fields
pastry chef Glyn Gordon will be dishing out the decadent desserts, including the Fat Elvis screwball sundae, consisting of peanut butter, bacon butterscotch, bacon lardons and bacon fat croutons. “I tasted one yesterday”
, beams a wide-eyed Carl, “it is f—ing off the radar.”
Diners will not only leave full but also with a souvenir mug and a set of temporary tattoos, inspired by the art of punk icon Jamie Reid, to commemorate the alternative Jubilee celebration.
“It’s gonna be a feast. Everything comes to share between two. It’s about getting stuck in and getting messy. That’s why we’re providing bibs!”
Aside from the clam bake, there will be a snack bar serving Pitt Cue pulled pork and fried shrimp po’ boys
, blue lobster and pigskin popcorn (smurf n’ turf!) and lobster corn dogs — a concept which has taken 28 versions to perfect.
In its current incarnation it’s a lobster sausage on a stick, dipped in corn batter and deep-fried and served in a soft white bun with gooseberry ketchup, lobster thousand island dressing and pickled samphire. “We’ve created a monster”
, Carl grins.
Revellers can take shelter from the sun in the specially erected beach huts, while a flight of top DJs keep the party banging. Playing the tunes on the opening night is punk and reggae legend Don Letts, whose DJ sets at The Roxy
are credited with bringing the two cultures together.
“Our food is a f—ing culture clash. This is the best time ever for food. Chefs that have worked in Michelin starred restaurants are starting to appreciate good, simple food. Really good things are happening in the industry. It really is the same ethic as punk rock. We’re not conforming, we’re doing things for the love of what we do.”
For my money, God Save the Clam is going to be the foodie event of the summer. Make sure you’re on that Hackney rooftop next weekend — get your ticket here now.