Blue Morel, Cafe Chameleon have new chefs


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Restaurants come and go. The chefs too. Or at least they move – from restaurant to restaurant.

Here are some of the latest chef moves in North Jersey.

Bryan Gregg runs Blue Morel’s kitchen in Morristown

Bryan Gregg, who ran the kitchen of Café Chameleon in Bloomfield for a year and a half, is now the Executive Chef of Blue Morel Restaurant & Bar in Morristown. The restaurant, located in the Westin Governor Morris Hotel, opened earlier this month after being closed due to COVID-19.

Gregg had worked at Orama, the chic riverside restaurant in Edgewater until it closed in 2018. He had also owned and operated Escape, his much-vaunted fine-dining restaurant in Montclair.

“We changed the menu to Blue Morel,” said Gregg. “The emphasis will be more on the feeling of comfort, the southern style food. We keep things clean and simple.”

Gregg has served as a Featured Chef at the James Beard House several times and was named Jersey’s Best Seafood Chef at the 2015 Jersey Seafood Challenge. In 2015, he represented New Jersey at the 2015 Great American Seafood Cook Off in New Orleans. , where he won the Seafood Showdown.

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It’s famous for its way of making scallops and, unsurprisingly, the menu at Blue Morel lists a scallop dish with cauliflower and porcini mushrooms. Gregg also brought his beloved burger baked with two-year-old cheddar cheese, served on a brioche bun topped with bacon and onion jam. At Blue Morel, you can get it with foie gras if you want.

Blue Morel also has a new CEO: Justin Guthrie, who worked with the late chef Michel Richard at Citronelle in Los Angeles and James Beard’s award-winning restaurant, Central, also owned by Richard.

Dennis Mathews, who was the executive chef of Blue Morel, is now head of celebrity chef David Burke’s latest business, 1776 by David Burke in Morristown, which is located on Morristown Green. The executive chef is Brian Webber.

Blue Morel, currently open for dinner only, is located at 2 Whippany Road, Morristown; 973-451-2619, bluemorel.com.

Fourth Chef at Café Chameleon, Bloomingdale

Café Chameleon, which opened in 2019, had two chefs before hiring Bryan Gregg to run its kitchen. Now that Gregg is gone, Alfredo Gonzalez, a self-taught cook, is the executive chef of the award-winning gourmet restaurant owned by Trey Civitano and his father.

Gonzalez, 29, started working in restaurants at the age of 16. He has worked for a few well-respected restaurants including French fine dining Serenade in Chatham as a line cook and at Lorena’s in Maplewood as a sous chef. He also worked at the Maidstone Country Club in East Hampton.

What happened to Orama in Edgewater?

Remember Orama, the exaggerated two-story “villa” that opened its wrought-iron gates on December 31, 2014, and then closed them on September 3, 2018? It took a while, but the space opened with a Japanese-style fondue restaurant, Hudson Pot, in February 2020. This restaurant, however, is closed. On January 2 on Facebook, Hudson Pot said it was shutting down “until further notice.” However, the first floor houses a bubble tea cafe called Umacha, which still works. You can get bubble tea at a multi-million dollar villa overlooking the water.

Umacha is at 595 River Road, Edgewater; 201-941-4500, umachaus.com.

Esther Davidowitz is the Food Editor for NorthJersey.com. To learn more about where to dine and drink, please register today and subscribe to our North Jersey Eats Newsletter.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @estherdavido



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