Extra! Cat’s Clam Chowder

Wanna know food writers’ best kept secret? We all have BFFs with the best evah recipes — often better than ours — that can put us to shame. Not only am I the only food writer in my circle of friends, I’m also the only one with a blog. So I decided, from time to time, that I would introduce you to my foodie bests, rocking girls more attached to their banged-up pots than any fancy wear.

I’m starting things off with my friend Catherine Sicotte, an advertising executive of the kind that can whittle any Don Draper down to size. Strangely, most of my girlfriends come from the management side of advertising as opposed to the fartsy-artsies (art directors, writers & sundry creative talents) like me. I appreciate, maybe even need, their rational take that brings together the left and right hemisphere of the advertising brain thrust.

If I’m the food writer here, truth is Catherine, unlike me, can whip up a sushi supper that would make any Japanese restaurant proud. Let’s face it, I don’t have the patience! When she accepted my offer to guest blog, she explained her choice of recipe this way:

“I looked for a clam chowder recipe all last year. While I found several, none was exactly right. I wanted something with that true East Coast taste! So I created this one, which ranks up there tastewise, at least for me. Not the best looking bowl of soup, but the best tasting one for sure!”

Cat, I would never doubt you…


Guest blogger: Catherine Sicotte

The weather has turned grey and chilly, but comfort can still be found at the bottom of a pot. Goodbye barbecued meats and summer-fresh salads, fall beckons with its pot roasts, stews and all-comforting foods that warm the soul plain and simple. For me, nothing beats good ol’ clam chowder that tastes like the sea and carries you over until your next holiday.

After searching left and right for THE recipe—everybody seems to have their opinion on the subject—, I gave up and created my own. The kind of soup that screams comfort with every big big spoonful, brimming with flavour and pure happiness.

The choice of clam is key: if you can’t use fresh, then I suggest canned Stimpson’s surfclam sold at the fishmonger. They’re top for taste and texture. Add their juice to your chowder for even more flavour!

Small tip: Prepare this soup well in advance, it will be even better warmed up 2, even 3 days later!


  • 1. In a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat, fry bacon in a little water (TIP: By adding water, bacon fat will be released gradually without burning, producing perfect crispy bacon).
  • 2. Add celery and onion, then sauté 2-3 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, scraping bottom to release all the flavours.
  • 3. Add cream, milk, clam juice, potatotes and bay leaves. Simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until potatoes are done (approx. 20 minutes). Add flour diluted in milk to thicken.
  • 4. Add clams and corn, then season to taste.
  • 5. Note: To serve, you can garnish with fresh parsley or a pinch of paprika (I use Spanish paprika). Don’t go fancy on me: saltine crackers are a must!