The CAM Café, located at Cameron Art Museum, has announced that chef Chip Pridgen is returning as executive chef, and a grand reopening is scheduled for this Friday, July 30.
Pridgen, who held the position of executive chef at the cafe prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, brings his passion for food and a desire to focus on fresh seafood, farm-raised products and seasonal offerings to the CAM.
“The stars have aligned to bring him back to us and we’re really excited,” said Matt Budd, marketing manager for the Cameron Art Museum.
A Wilmington native, Pridgen has worked at the Wrightsville Beach Surf Club, the Maritime Market on Bald Head Island, the Bald Head Island Country Club, and the Haig Point Club in South Carolina.
Some of Pridgen’s fondest memories involve cooking and eating seafood in Wilmington and he plans to highlight the best of coastal Southern cuisine in his CAM Café menus.
While the menus are still being finalized, highlights of the lunch menu include: Carolina black-eyed pea hummus with pickled okra and pita chips; crispy buttermilk calamari tossed with capers, banana peppers, and roasted tomatoes along with Meyer lemon aioli; smoked salmon and tuna poke layered with jasmine rice, avocado, cucumber, pickled ginger, wakame, and edamame; and a Calabash grouper BLT with crispy applewood smoked bacon, baby romaine, vine-ripe tomato and dill remoulade on a warm Brioche bun.
Beginning this Friday, the cafe will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
This weekend’s brunch service will include some specials in addition to the regular menu, and live music from Sarah Brown begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Brown is an American singer songwriter with a passion for storytelling through her blues and R&B music.
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