The Delaware Restaurant Association has named Hari Cameron of a(MUSE.) as the 2013 Restaurateur of the Year and The Back Porch Café as the Cornerstone Award recipient. The Delaware awards honor those restaurateurs that stand as benchmarks for innovation, creativity, excellence in service and commitment to the community. They will be presented during an event at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11.
Restaurateur of the Year
Hari Cameron opened a(MUSE.) in Rehoboth Beach in May 2012, after years spent as executive chef at Nage Restaurant and earning a degree from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Pennsylvania. Cameron has earned top honors from Delaware Today Magazine (Best Chef for Nage and a(MUSE.), landed a spot on the Open Table’s Best U.S. Restaurants for Foodies - 2013 and was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2013.
The critically acclaimed cuisine at a(MUSE.) is described at New American, blending progressive and modern technology with local Mid-Atlantic ingredients. Cameron is also actively involved in community charitable organizations as a founding member of Slow Food Delmarva and Rehoboth Inspired Chefs Initiative and is a member of the local Meals on Wheels chapter and Share Our Strength.
Cornerstone Award winner
The Back Porch Café celebrated its 39th season of continuous operation in 2013 and remains one of the most beloved and award-winning restaurants in Delaware. It has received numerous Best of Delaware Awards from Delaware Today magazine, including Best New Café, Best Desserts, Best Romantic Atmosphere, Best Chef, Best Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach and Best French Dining. The restaurant is credited as being the first fine dining restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, spawning a wave of innovative and creative restaurants and paving the way for others to join in the culinary revamping of beach cuisine.
The restaurant is open seasonally from May to October, featuring cuisine based in French technique but influenced by global flavors and seasonal local produce. The Back Porch Café has used its unique restaurant space to be a home for local artists’ showings and is very involved in supporting events for the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. The Cornerstone Award will be presented to co-owners Keith Fitzgerald and Marilyn Spitz, along with a special tribute to the late chef/co-owner Leo Medisch.
The Nov. 11 reception will feature food and drink tastings from Delaware’s top restaurants and live music from Joe Baione. Tickets for the awards ceremony can be purchased at delawarerestaurant.org/events or by calling 302-738-2545.
The Delaware Restaurant Association’s is the state trade association dedicated to promoting, protecting, and educating Delaware’s foodservice industry. Delaware’s 2,000 restaurants employ more than 40,000 people with an economic impact of more than $1.3 billion in annual sales. Delaware restaurants are the largest small business employer in the state and the largest component of Delaware’s tourism industry.