Anthony Lipot, previously of Braddock’s Tavern and The Black Swan, will open his Continental American eatery April 1. Dave Murray will keep the Denim manufacturer but promote Cluckwerks to Lipot as he techniques away for wellbeing motives.

By Matt Skoufalos | March 22, 2021

Chef Dave Murray at Denim BYOB in Haddonfield. Credit rating: Matt Skoufalos.

Supporters of Denim BYOB in Haddonfield have 1 very last week to say goodbye to the cafe ahead of it closes its doorways in the borough.

Chef-proprietor Dave Murray, who, in 2019, brought his present day American bistro from the previous site of La Campagne in Cherry Hill into the Haddonfield Shopping mall, is stepping away from the company.

Murray, whose mantra, “Hustle,” translated into extensive hrs in the kitchen area and a constant eye on high-quality advancement, cited private well being issues as a crucial variable in his conclusion.

His household is also in the system of relocating to the Princeton location, and without having an running associate to continue to keep Denim likely, it made more feeling to fold the procedure for the time being, and flip the place in excess of to a new tenant.

For Murray, whose small business had been flourishing prior to the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s a bittersweet parting. The chef had absolutely immersed himself in the community dining scene, lending his skills as a longtime marketing consultant to his fellow restaurateurs, and building a range of strategic variations to Denim as an different to dine-in services although waiting for the regulatory dust to settle.

In the past couple months, Murray was starting to come across daylight with the development of Cluckwerks, his hen sandwich takeout design, which was created as a ghost kitchen area within the footprint of the cafe. Its meteoric results and the growth of statewide indoor eating to 50 % of capacity past Friday had Denim positioned for a rebound. As an alternative, wellness considerations and a drive to refocus on his spouse and children have Murray stepping away.

“People are closing everywhere,” the chef stated. “I stayed open and I worked via it.

“I do not want to be leaving,” he said. “However, it is what is finest for myself and my family members at this time.”

Alternatively, Murray will return to the cafe consulting career that was his comprehensive-time gig prior to opening Denim, and he’ll hand over a refurbished, expanded eating room to Chef Anthony Lipot, a preference about which Murray stated he “couldn’t be happier.

“If I could choose somebody to take around this wonderful space in this incredible town, he’s who I would opt for,” Murray mentioned of Lipot. “I’m offering a organization in Cluckwerks, and I’m bringing in a tenant.”

Chef Anthony Lipot will debut Wanda BYOB in Haddonfield in April 2021. Credit rating: Matt Skoufalos.

From Princeton to Haddonfield, and almost everywhere in concerning

Lipot, a 1991 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), traces his cafe roots to the Scanticon Princeton (now Marriott) resort, where by he flourished under the advice of numerous mentors, none a lot more influential than Jean Francois Lassance.

Lassance headed up The Black Swan, a gourmand cafe on the premises of the resort, and although his operate there drew recognize from diners, Lassance’s notice to Lipot’s progress helped the aspiring chef to find his way.

“Jean Francois to this working day is like a father to me,” Lipot said. “I was just a poor child from Jersey. He sent me on my way, actually focused me.”

As his vocation progressed, Lipot parlayed a 2nd-position complete in the 1992 Best Younger Chef in The usa level of competition into a chef de delicacies place at Bogarde’s in Trenton. He was only 23. From there, he bounced between a quantity of kitchens in New Hope, Pennsylvania, right before using up with hotelier Howard Wurzak, for whom Lipot functioned as a little something of a fixer at places to eat on Wurzak’s homes.

When he became a father, Lipot shifted gears for a although, operating in foodstuff revenue in get to shell out more time with his increasing family members. Sooner or later, nevertheless, Lipot donned his chef’s whites again at Braddock’s Tavern in Medford, where by he put in two decades reviving the menu at the historic pub.

“We introduced Braddock’s back to its prominence,” Lipot mentioned. “I like to honor the previous to make a future I was bringing back again the dishes it was regarded for.”

After a few many years, Lipot moved on again, having a posture at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the place he loved the privilege of cooking for troopers and sharing stories.

“I was in my glory remaining in that element and amongst all those heroes for me, there’s almost nothing improved,” he claimed. “It was just a good deal of exciting, and the appreciation was gratifying.”

But a seller changeover at the base amid the pandemic built Lipot re-assess his circumstances, and he concluded that he could possibly be completely ready to open his have eatery. When Lipot related with Murray, the two struck up a offer for the Haddonfield Shopping mall storefront in which Denim is situated.

“This town has normally reminded me of Princeton, without the university and with superior retailers,” Lipot mentioned. “It’s a major city but it is got a real compact-city experience. It would seem like all people appreciates each and every other.”

Anthony Lipot’s ahi tuna dish. Credit: Anthony Lipot.

‘An homage to my mom and all moms’

Murray’s retention of the Denim brand cleared the way for Lipot to generate his to start with chef-owned cafe: Wanda BYOB.

Named for his late mom, whom Lipot credits for his function ethic and interest in the culinary arts, Wanda will be “an homage to my mother and all moms,” he said.

“It’s so critical to figure out the women in our life, and to be appreciative of what they’ve specified us: pathways to a profession and a satisfying daily life,” Lipot claimed. “Without them, we really do not exist.

“My mother came from Trinidad and Tobago, and she created magic each individual evening,” he explained.

“We had been dust poor, but that girl could cook. She encouraged me to do what I do.”

Lipot describes his intended menu for Wanda as a fruits of the wide range of designs he’s picked up by the several years, from his classical French roots to Center Jap and Asian flavors, in a milieu he describes as “Continental American.”

An early seem at a prepared menu showcases the breadth of Lipot’s years of practical experience.

Small plates involve lobster bisque and puree of parsnip soups a basket of seasonal, wild mushrooms in an aged sherry glace de veau, topped with crème fraiche and a beet dish that amplifies the sweet, starchy taste of the root veggies with sweet purple onions, radicchio, gorgonzola, grape tomatoes, balsamic figs, and maldon salt.

Entrees span grilled filets, absolutely free-assortment rooster, magret duck breast, and pork tenderloin to Scottish salmon, seared Ahi tuna, and lobster cannelloni with shrimp, ricotta, and basil. Household-designed desserts will consist of an outsized crème brulee, grilled Stock’s vanilla pound cake, and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

Lipot’s seasonal pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon Anglaise and pepitas sweet. Credit score: Anthony Lipot.

Lipot also guarantees to revisit some of Murray’s dishes from Denim, like the goat cheese croquettes and loaded Brussels sprouts as nicely as other individuals that he has planned in celebration of his predecessor’s flavors.

He also praised Murray for his initiatives to retain Denim flourishing all through the problems of 2020, together with his retaining a comprehensive enhance of staff even when the cafe experienced sizeable reductions in revenues.

(To wit: Denim Chef de Delicacies Bruce Santino will continue to be on to help Lipot at Wanda.)

“That, to me, exhibits the heart of this person,” Lipot claimed of Murray. “What you sacrifice as a chef—family, your health—it’s caught up to him.”

Wanda BYOB is aiming for an April 7 opening in downtown Haddonfield. The cafe will be open up for evening meal Wednesday by way of Sunday, with brunch company Saturday and Sunday.

Cluckwerks will continue to be open 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday via Sunday Lipot will honor all Denim gift certification holders at both of those Cluckwerks and Wanda BYOB as a situation of the changeover.

For more data, pay a visit to Wanda’s Bistro on Facebook.