The Cook

The long awaited return to my native state of Ohio in 2010, influenced by the trending Cleveland food scene, was the very inspiration for my enrollment at the International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute (ICASI). And, little did I know at the time, the seeds of, "Clam Jam Cleveland", would be sowed.

During those days, I invited my closest "foodie" friends over to numerous formal dinners, holiday parties & "test kitchen" Clam Jam events. Following their respected feedback & my numerous recipe upgrades, it was a wrap. Then, out of nowhere, I was suddenly feeding a substantial crowd that sat themselves far beyond my own dining room table. That table was set at the two-year anniversary celebration party at Porco Lounge & Tiki Bar in Ohio City.

On that sunny September day, I had the privelege to share my culinary creation with 100+ loyal Porco customers. Nine, "All-You-Can-Eat," 16-quart pots of the "Gulf" pot were prepared & steamed within hours. 

The guests were overly impressed and made several trips back to the food station to fill up their bowls. Honestly? I couldn't believe what I was seeing! They couldn't get enough!

When the afternoon finally wound down to a close, Clam Jam Cleveland was validated & branded!

-Michael Tortora-