Cooking Like a Chef

A peek inside “The Plymouth Cookbook, Recipes from America’s Hometown,” 2020 Edition

Written by Maria Allen
Photography and Restaurant Profiles by Louisa Clerici


While dining out for breakfast one morning in early 2018, two friends from Plymouth hatched a delicious plan to create a cookbook filled with recipes from their favorite local restaurants. Vanessa Moore, owner of Moore Media, Inc., already had experience in book production and graphic design. Louisa Clerici, co-director of the corporate sleep wellness business Clear Mind Systems, was a passionate foodie with a skill for writing. Together, the two women set out to create a cookbook celebrating America’s hometown.

Moore and Clerici worked with local restaurant owners and chefs to compile recipes and write restaurant profiles for the cookbook. This was not a simple task, given that few of the chefs used written recipes and many were accustomed to preparing portions to feed a crowd. Seven months later, in October, 2018, the first edition of “The Plymouth Cookbook” was published.

Encouraged by the cookbook’s popularity in the local community, the two friends recently set out to create a 2020 edition. The new version of “The Plymouth Cookbook, Recipes from America’s Hometown,” will feature close to 40 restaurants and is due to be released in the fall, just in time for Thanksgiving.

“We wanted to celebrate each restaurant by giving readers an inside look at the exciting dishes on their menus,” says Clerici. “We have restaurants in Plymouth that not only create delicious food but have delightful histories. It was a pleasure to write their stories and I feel proud of what Vanessa and I have created.”

For Moore, the most enjoyable part of producing the cookbooks has been getting to know all the restaurant owners, chefs, and staff, and being able to provide them with a product that recognizes their hard work. “And, of course, getting to work with Louisa, who has become a very close friend.” says Moore.

To learn more about The Plymouth Cookbook and for details purchasing a cookbook, follow Foodie Federation on Facebook.

The following is a sampling of recipes from “The Plymouth Cookbook: Recipes from America’s Hometown” with restaurant bios by Louisa Clerici.

CabbyShack Crab Cakes


1 pound jumbo lump crab

8 ounces panko bread crumbs

3 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup capers

1 cup Dijon mustard (French’s® brand, if possible)

1 ounce fresh parsley, chopped

2 eggs

1 tablespoon McCormick’s Old Bay® Seasoning

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


1 Preheat the oven to 400°.

2 In a bowl, mix all ingredients except the crab.

3 Add crab to the mixture, and gently mix so as to not break up the crab chunks too much.

4 With a #10-size scooper or a large spoon, scoop out about 1/2 cup each per crab cake, and

set aside on a large plate.

5 Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, quickly sear the crab cakes on

one side, then flip and sear on the other, in order to achieve a golden brown. Place seared

cakes on a cooking sheet and bake at 400° for 9 minutes.

Enjoy with your favorite tartar sauce, hot sauce, or tropical chutney.


Of all the dining options right on Plymouth Harbor, you can’t beat the phenomenal views from the outdoor decks at CabbyShack. This local favorite is something special. Locals and tourists alike enjoy seaside specialties like the heaping “Big Shack” lobster roll. The menu is filled with delicious and interesting choices, like CabbyShack tuna sliders—seasoned yellow-fin tuna topped with pickled vegetables on a toasted brioche roll, accompanied with hand-battered onion rings.

And then there is the clam chowdah! Considered to be one of the best in all of New England, you can’t talk about restaurant specialties without mentioning this legendary dish. Featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Guilty Pleasures,” the chowder is thick, creamy, and chock-full of clams. Order it in a fresh-baked bread bowl. CabbyShack’s crab cakes are another customer favorite.

Be sure to save room for one of the blackboard specials, like lobster Parmesan a la vodka—Parmesan-encrusted lobster tail simmered in a creamy vodka sauce, set over crab raviolis, garnished with burrata cheese and lobster arugula salad in truffle vinaigrette. Or perhaps the salmon caponata—a peppercorn salmon filet set over braised eggplant in a pasta fagioli with shaved Romano and prosciutto. And don’t forget the mouth-watering, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, smothered with a mushroom Marsala butter. The CabbyShack is definitely one of Plymouth’s legendary restaurants. One visit, and you’ll keep coming back for more.

30 Town Wharf, Plymouth

Dillon’s Local - Portuguese Cod


2 teaspoons olive oil

1/8 cup onion

1/8 cup celery

8 littleneck clams

4 ounces linguiça, sliced on bias

2 ounces white wine, plus more for deglazing

1 ear cooked corn, kernels removed

1/2 cup cream

6 ounces clam juice

2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 (6-oz) cod fillets

2 tablespoons butter

1 loaf crusty bread


1 Preheat the oven to 400°.

2 Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and celery and cook for about 4 minutes.

3 Add the littlenecks to the pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes more, stirring gently.

4 Add the linguiça and cook for 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with a bit of white wine.

5 Add the corn, cream, clam juice and potatoes to the pan, cover loosely, and simmer on low for 10–12 minutes.

6 Place cod in a baking pan, dot with pieces of the butter and pour the remainder of the white wine into the pan. Bake for 10–12 minutes.

7 Take the cod out of the oven, and place each fillet in a shallow bowl. Place four littlenecks around each piece of cod, then spoon some chowder over it all. Serve with a loaf of your favorite crusty bread to sop up the wonderful rustic chowder.

At Dillon’s Local they say you’re only a stranger once, and they really mean it. After working in the restaurant industry for decades, Colin and Samantha Dillon decided to open the kind of pub where they would like to hang out. They’ve put their experience to work and created a casual, relaxing restaurant with delicious, creative food that continues to surprise and delight. Whenever possible, ingredients are locally sourced. Buzzards Bay littlenecks are just one of the ingredients that make their seafood dishes special. The menu changes seasonally and Chef Jeff Chevalier (Chevy) has a special talent for innovative, mouth-watering fare. It’s not surprising that this restaurant continues to win awards.

It’s hard to choose just one appealing dish. The crab cakes—two pan-seared lump crab cakes over a bed of arugula with a side of Cajun remoulade--are simple and luscious. The baked ricotta dip—whipped ricotta cheese, Parmesan crust, white truffle oil and served with crostini, is a dish you’ll crave again and again. Even the sandwiches are elevated. The Reubens are perfect—cured brisket, braised red cabbage, Gruyère cheese, Russian dressing on grilled marble rye. Or how about a Cape Cod Reuben—flash-fried local cod, Gruyère cheese, house slaw, Russian dressing on grilled rye—a tempting twist on a traditional dish.

The Portuguese Cod, made with oven-roasted cod, littlenecks, linguiça, corn and potatoes in a white wine clam broth, would sparkle in Lisbon. Don’t miss trying the panko and herb-crusted salmon with roasted beet coulis. The bourbon steak tips are amazing and the swordfish, served with a limoncello butter, is just right. The comfort food vibe continues with excellent pizzas and a yummy shepherd’s pie. Complete your meal with a specialty cocktail and homemade dessert. Deana Leary bakes a wonderful Deana’s Key Lime Pie and Irish crème tiramisu.

Dillon’s Local
21 So. Park Avenue