Summer Clambake in the City

So excited to share with you this Summer Clambake that is featured today on Style Me Pretty! This shoot is dear to my heart and I couldn't be happier to see it published on SMP's Living site, which is just full of amazing entertaining and home décor ideas. It all took place on a recent summer day on the backyard terrace of the Greenwich Village apartment I share with my husband. After moving in earlier this year, I was eager to make use of our outdoor space as well as do something summery. And since there's nothing I love better than entertaining, I decided to host a group of dear friends and wedding colleagues for an unforgettable night. Each woman in attendance contributed to the meal in her own special way, and our combined talents resulted in a beautiful feast. Not only was it creatively exhilarating to curate and design such a dinner, but spending time together, talking, laughing, and encouraging each of these fearless entrepreneurs was a priceless experience that warmed my heart!

You may think that putting together a clambake is a near-impossible task in New York City, but with a few adjustments to classic recipes, it's totally possible in an urban environment.













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Summer Clambake in the City from Courtney Arcese on Vimeo.

I just could not get enough of the wonderful clam chowder that Chandara whipped up for us. Unlike a typical chowder, this one does not use flour as a thickening agent, which means the broth is nice and light–perfect for summer! I'm sharing the recipe from Hog Island Oyster Co. because it's just that good! And here's a secret about the lobster prep–living in the city meant there was no chance of baking them in a fire pit on the beach as it's done for a traditional clambake. Instead, we went to our local fish market and bought fresh lobsters, pre-steamed, ready-to-eat. Easy!

Hope this inspires you to find time this summer to create your own little gathering full of summer's best! And don't forget to head on over to Style Me Pretty for more of these bright, happy images!

Indebted to the wonderful women who made this night a success:

Photography: Amber Gress Photography  | Cinematography: Love + Brain Films | Food Production and Styling: Chandara Creative | Creative Director + Paper Goods: Fourteen-Forty | Hair and Fashion accessories, Drink Stirs, Napkin Rings: HushedCommotion | Desserts: Lael Cakes