Stuffed with merguez, a single calamari body bathes in a pool of claret-red sauce, which achieves its remarkable depth of flavor from a purée of roasted tomatoes, garlic, and brulée onions, charred until they are caramelized and sweet. On another plate, mussels have been cooked in wine and aromatics, removed from their shells, then breaded and fried. Their crispy texture complements the silky potato purée that’s served alongside—a clever reversal of the Belgian standard moules frites.
This is how Executive Chef Drew Erickson reimagines and elevates familiar dishes at CAMP, which opened in one of the “jewel box” spaces on Camperdown Plaza in late May. He calls his menu “modern American,” acknowledging that he sees America as a medley of people from around the globe. Small plates wander from pork tostadas—a recipe that sous-chef Diego Campos learned from his Mexican mother, and made with tortillas that are hand-pressed in-house—to croque monsieur croquettes, which reflect the classic French technique Drew learned while working with Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Napa Valley for four years.
My priority was to create an environment where everyone has the creative freedom to bring what they want to the table.
Erickson is adamant about not pigeon-holing himself or his staff into cooking one particular type of cuisine. “My priority was to create an environment where everyone has the creative freedom to bring what they want to the table. We could have an amazing pasta dish one day and a tuna tartare the next. The food doesn’t fall under one category, but it’s all cohesive and works together. The menu is really expressive of our backgrounds as a team.” It’s also an expression of fresh, seasonal produce, much of which Upstate farmer Nathan Vannette at Growing Green Family Farms raises specifically for the restaurant.
A light, mid-century-modern décor decks out the buzzing dining room, with its bamboo-dowl-lined walls, white-oak tables, leaf-green upholstered chairs, and a constellation of bubble-shaped light fixtures suspended overhead like full moons. On one side of the restaurant is the open kitchen and chef’s counter, while across the room, the long bar is backed by a window that can be opened like a garage door, weather permitting, to invite walk-up orders. Upstairs, the rooftop bar mixes cocktails with a city view.
But it’s the chef’s counter that Drew is fired up about. “A lot of kitchens are hidden away, and you’re in a hot, steamy space and it’s thankless,” the chef explains. “[At CAMP,] the kitchen is in the dining room, so there’s that instant gratification. I’m most excited about having this platform where I can interact with and feed people and make them feel special and nurtured.”
So unwind, explore, and let your taste buds roam. It’s all part of the culinary journey at CAMP.
CAMP, 2 E Broad St, Greenville. (864) 514-2267, campgvl.com
A taste of Chef Drew Erickson’s favorites from CAMP’s menu.
Roasted pork belly and shrimp are blended together to form the filling of these delicious dumplings, accompanied by cashews, ponzu dressing, micro cilantro, and Mexican chile oil.
Break off pieces of the free-form puffed-rice crisp to scoop up the cool, chunky mix of raw tuna and avocado, garnished with crunchy watermelon radish “flowers,” stamped out with a mini biscuit cutter.
Roasted Lamb Chop
Two elegant Frenched lamb chops crown this entrée, alongside salt-baked beets and pomegranate seeds. Use the pita triangles to sop up the scrumptious Middle Eastern muhammara sauce, a purée of toasted bread, walnuts, and roasted red peppers.