The Cameron brothers are two of the smiliest, friendliest guys you’ll meet in town. Their passion and their zen are enviable and infectious. Their passion (and their zen) is comfort food.
Ginger-haired (and often ginger-whiskered) Hari runs the kitchen at a(muse); his younger brother Orion, with nearly-waist-length brown dreadlocks, is usually found bouncing around one of the two Grandpa (MAC) locations. Both Cameron brothers greet anyone with a beaming smile, like an old friend they haven’t seen in years, but with whom they pick right back up again as if no time at all has passed.
Hari will regale you with stories of picking up these tomatoes, the ones on the plate in front of you, at the farmer’s market, and how the plate as a whole reflects DelMarVa’s farm soul for that season. Orion will tell you about his friend who provides the old skate decks that are repurposed into the new countertops.
The Cameron boys’ passion is comfort food, using locally-sourced, seasonably appropriate ingredients to create plates inspired by the area around them. Although Hari has a few stalwarts on his menu (egg in a hole, foie gras, potted chicken), his plates vary by season and ingredient availability. Even his special event menus reflect the season – and tradition. On his New Year’s Eve tasting menu, he might have choices of duck with persimmon and chestnut, alongside grass fed short rib with coffee and black-eyed peas.
A few years after Hari opened a(muse), Orion called him with another comfort food idea: Pasta. They opened a tiny shop, across the street from a(muse), named for the eponymous Grandpa Mac, their great-grandfather Cameron McCurdy. They serve up a variety of hilariously-named pastas (or you can build your own). They make their own pasta in house – hundreds of pounds daily – and like a(muse)’s menu, Grandpa (MAC) uses locally-sourced ingredients to round out aptly-named pastas such as the Delmarva Dog and Eastern Shore. Grandpa (MAC) has recently expanded out to Route 1, where they offer more seating and additional menu items like panini, salads, and beer.
For the Cameron brothers, good food is a family affair (their love of pasta and togetherness came handed down from Grandpa Mac himself). Their food is worth lingering over with good friends and family – and Hari and Orion themselves make sure you feel like good friends, and lingersome, as soon as you set foot in the door. (Granted, when he’s at a(muse), Hari is usually in the kitchen – but he makes a point of coming out and making the rounds several times a night.)
But why take my word for it? Let Hari tell you in his own words.