Upstate fans of Chef Hari Cameron’s cuisine soon may not have to drive to the beach to enjoy it.
“We’re scouting locations in northern Delaware and would hope to open something there soon,” says the owner of Grandpa (MAC), an emerging chain of casual, pasta-oriented eateries, as well as the more formal and highly popular a(MUSE.) restaurant, which Cameron opened five years ago in Rehoboth Beach.
A native Delawarean who prepped for ownership with stints at stellar beach-area restaurants The Buttery, Espuma and Nage, Cameron is a great proponent of foraging, which he does almost daily, and of presenting a Mid-Atlantic menu. (Cameron has a collection of 3,000 mostly regional cookbooks.) Whether he finds ingredients from field and forest or sources them from local producers, “we let the products dictate the menu. We don’t impose our will.”
He loves feedback from diners, and believes a well-trained staff is key to success. “As an owner-chef, I feel like a basketball coach, where you are constantly rebuilding with new staff,” he says. “You need to hire people who care and communicate your expectations.”
And after bringing Grandpa to northern Delaware? “From there, we plan to go into Pennsylvania. After that, who knows?”