Chef James Wayman’s Clam Chowder at The Oyster Club in Mystic, CT is the perfect version and we snagged the recipe for The E List. I made it and it turned out just as delicious as at the restaurant. Serves 6 – 8 5 lbs Quahogs 4 Spanish onions, diced 1/2 inch 1 bunch celery, diced 1/2 slab bacon 1/4 cup unsalted butter 4 large idaho potatoes 2tbsp Italian parsley 4 bay leaves 1 cup white wine 1 cup heavy cream (Optional) Salt and pepper Cut the slab bacon into small pieces 1/4″ wide by 3/4″ long and put them into a soup pot on low heat to render out fat and crisp. Once crisp, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, add butter and sweat 3 of the onions and 2/3 of celery diced to 1/2 inch, slowly in the fat, until onions are transluscent with no color. Season this with salt to taste. While this is cooking, put clams in another pot, roughly chop remaining onion and celery, adding this to the clams along with the white wine, bay leaves and enough water, just to cover the clams. Put on high heat and cook until the clams just open. As soon as they open, shock the clams in ice water to keep them tender and the remove from the shells, dicing them to your liking but removing the tough circular mussel that attaches them to the shell. Put aside. Next, strain the liquid made from steaming the clams onto your sweated onions and celery and put back on the heat. Add diced and peeled potatoes and cook until just tender. If you are making New England chowder, add the cream, or not for Rhode Island style. To finish add the chopped clams, serve in bowls and top with chopped parsley, the reserved crispy bacon and a generous pinch of black pepper.