By Terry Rogers
Chef Kevin Reading of Abbott’s Grill says that he was pleased to partner in the kitchen with his good friend, Hari Cameron, for a guest chef event at Abbott’s Grill. Mr. Reading said that when they decided to do a series of guest chefs, it seemed fitting to choose Mr. Cameron, a James Beard Award finalist, to kick off the series.
“He is not only extraordinarily talented, but a genuinely wonderful person,” Mr. Reading said. “In my humble opinion, he is the best in the state.” The first of the guest chef series was held on Thursday, February 2, 2017.
Mr. Cameron is the owner of A(Muse) as well as grandpa(MAC) in Rehoboth Beach. A(Muse), located on Baltimore Avenue, was the first restaurant owned by Mr. Cameron, although he worked at many well-known establishments in the area prior to opening A(Muse), including Nage. The restaurant focuses on modern culinary techniques blended with traditional techniques to create unique dishes using sustainable Atlantic seafood along with local meat and produce. His latest endeavor, grandpa(Mac), also located on Baltimore Avenue along with a second location on Coastal Highway, is named for Mr. Cameron’s great-grandfather, Cameron McCurdy. The restaurant focuses on freshly made pasta dishes.
“I absolutely love Milford as I spent much of my childhood there,” Mr. Cameron said. “My grandmother was a lunch lady in Milford School District and I find that Milford is very welcoming when it comes to new faces. This was not so much a guest chef event but a collaboration between me and Kevin. I was extremely honored to work with him on this menu and in the kitchen as we brought the dream to life.”
The event included a five course menu with dishes created using Mr. Cameron’s unique flair. The first course was skate wing with peanut and chickweed paired with sangria. Mr. Cameron said that he has local fisherman who source the skate for him, helping him offer guests the freshest possible seafood. The second course was Knobbed Whelk with turnip and roasted meat bouillon paired with a Bloody Mary. The whelk, which is a local version of conch, was also sourced by the young fisherman who provided Mr. Cameron with skate.
The third course consisted of Littleneck Clams, also locally sourced, with hybrid rice, semolina koji noodle, orange, pickled chili pepper and parsley paired with Mannequin White wine. The fourth course was slow-cooked boneless short ribs with oats, shallot and cabbage paired with Evolution Lucky 7 porter. The short ribs were from the local area as well. The final course was popcorn with caramel and peanuts paired with Abbott’s Boardwalk Milkshake. All pasta served during the meal was made fresh using Mr. Cameron’s unique pasta machine.
“This was a menu focused in Delaware,” Mr. Cameron said. “At all times, I try to use local, fresh ingredients as I know that will create the most outstanding dish possible for my guests.”
Mr. Reading said that the event was a huge success and that Abbott’s Grill is looking forward to the next guest chef event featuring Kenny Blessing, owner of Mule Run Meats in Milford.
“We love Hari,” Laura Burton of Abbott’s Grill said. “We consider him family and the event went beautifully. Bringing people to Milford is what we do here at Abbott’s.”
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