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At The Nomad Bar, James Kent Makes a Briny Blockbuster

Welcome to The Hot Dish, a behind the scenes look at the making of the dishes of the moment.

[All photos by Nick Solares]

"When I was a kid we had a house in Sag Harbor and we would always go clamming," reminisces The Nomad Hotel's executive chef James Kent. The recent opening of provided him an "opportunity to showcase" a flavor profile he has known all his life. The Manila clams he uses are sourced from Peconic Bay, Long Island, the same waters he waded in as a child. While oysters are the de rigueur menu item at most upscale bars these days, Kent is intent on providing a "focal point" for the clam, and prepares them in three different ways: raw, baked, and in broth. The latter also provides him an opportunity to showcase the season with the use of fresh corn and heirloom tomatoes.

The foundation of the dish begins with Kent cutting what he calls "perfect corn." This requires cutting the cob one row at a time, leaving the kernels completely intact. The corn is both pickled for use as a garnish and also pureed and infused with shallots, lemongrass, clam juice and clarified tomato stock — called tomato water — to make the soup base of the dish. At service, clams are steamed in a mussel pot with the corn soup and more tomato water. The cooking vessel also becomes the serving dish as the finished clams are garnished with pickled corn, bacon, heirloom tomatoes, and toast.

Watch Kent cut perfect corn, steam clams, and garnish the dish:

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NoMad Restaurant

1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 212 796 1500

The Nomad Bar

10 West 28th St., New York, NY