What's a few clams between friends? Chefs Clayton Wells (Automata) and Morgan McGlone (Belles Hot Chicken) are coming together for a New Zealand-style clambake at Wells' all-day Sydney diner A1 Canteen on Monday 26 August.
The star of the set menu is the "Kiwi clambake" – an all-in-one package of Cloudy Bay clams, sweet corn and chorizo, anointed with dashi butter. Other dishes on the mollusc-heavy menu include clam chowder, clam po' boys and steamed tua tua clams with anchovy butter and preserved lemon. Plus, there will be beers by New Zealand's Garage Project.
"I grew up in New Zealand eating pippis gathered with my grandfather in the Coromandel,"' says McGlone. "Cloudy Bay clams are a level above – I'm stoked and honoured to pay homage to my friends from Cloudy Bay at one of my favourite restaurants in Australia."
The event is the third event of the A1 & Friends, a collaborative dinner series to celebrate A1 Canteen's first birthday. In June, it held a kebab party with Oxford Street haunt Indian Home Diner; while Lee Ho Fook's Victor Liong served up a six-course menu, with dishes inspired from his now-closed Melbourne restaurant Lawyers, Guns and Money in July.
The last time McGlone and Wells were spotted in the kitchen together was at Automata's Boon Luck Club lunch in October, along with 10 Williams St's Trish Greentree. Then, the trio served an Asian-style banquet using produce from Palisa Anderson's Boon Luck Farm. "But this time, we wanted to create food that Morgan grew up eating and making in New Zealand - with produce that we both love," says Wells.
Beers, clams and friends. Sounds like a good evening.
The Kiwi Clambake is on Monday 26 August at A1Canteen, 2-10 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW. Tickets are $55 for the set menu, with drinks available for an additional cost. For more information, visit a1canteen.com.au