Lobster rolls are fairly forgiving, as long as the star ingredient is treated properly. On the other end of the spectrum, fried clams are incredibly challenging to do right. Not all restaurants can support a dedicated fry station, and good frying is more of an art than folks often give it credit for.
Cape Ann native Keith Pooler (chef/owner of Bergamot in Somerville and BISq in Cambridge) learned this lesson during a stint in his youth as a seafood fry cook. Having worked his way through a number of world-class kitchens, including those of Boston's legendary Lydia Shire, Pooler has never lost his respect for the fry cook: "The most terrifying words you can to say to a cook are 'fisherman's platter,'" he says, only half-joking. The skill it takes to juggle the appropriate fry times and temperatures for the different items, including the delicate Ipswich clams, takes time to acquire. But there's no time like the present to learn: Check out Pooler's how-to video for frying clams at home.