Executive Chef, Cameron Garvey, grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and learned to cook at a young age with his Polish grandma, whipping up kruschiki, pierogies, and kielbasa. He attended a vocational high school to further his education in culinary arts, winning a scholarship for the Colonial Williamsburg Apprenticeship Program. Through this program, he learned every kitchen station from prep to lead cook. The year after he graduated he became the lead cook in banquets at the Williamsburg Lodge. But he soon longed for the ocean and set his sights on the Port City, landing a job at PinPoint on Market Street and worked his way up the kitchen ladder to Executive Chef.
What makes PinPoint unique?
PinPoint is unique because we focus on being as local and sustainable as possible. From composting to recycling our fryer oil to recycling our oyster shells to help build oyster reefs, and sourcing as many local ingredients as possible.
How would you describe the type of food you like to cook?
I really love slow cooking. There is something special about spending all day braising or slow roasting a piece of meat or giving a tomato sauce all day to simmer. You can really taste the love in the food.
What motivates and inspires you as a chef?
The spur of the moment motivates me. I find collaborating with my fellow kitchen crew or seeing what our local farmers and oystermen have available keeps me motivated and in synch with the seasons and my cooking.
Current favorite dish on the PinPoint menu.
The kale sopressine. This dish highlights the beginning of spring with the basil we’re using in our pesto. Our freshly made sopressine pasta has perfect sauce pockets to collect all the saucy goodness. Not to mention our house bacon we call baCam, which helps bring it all together.
Favorite local produce, and how do you use it?
I’d have to say it’s the hemp we get from Mike Torbett at Terra Vita Farms. I have found it versatile, from putting it in pasta doughs to the ranch, finishing crudos with hemp oil, to making basil hemp oil gelato. You can use this ingredient in such subtle and robust ways. I feel that it helps add a real earthy herbiness to our dishes. It really makes you rethink about what this ingredient is.
Best foodie city?
Man, that’s a hard one. I’d probably say Richmond, VA. When I was doing my apprenticeship in Williamsburg, VA. I spent a lot of time on my days off or when I was in between classes exploring the city, from the restaurants, to breweries, or just enjoying the scenery. Whenever I go up there, one of my first stops is Kuba Kuba. There is always something new going on up there.
What’s your all-time best comfort food?
I’d have to say fried chicken. I can’t get enough fried chicken in my life!
Describe the best meal you’ve ever eaten.
I’ve had many a great meal in my life. But, I’d have to say my favorite meal was when one of my friends and I were really inspired by Francis Mullman. He is known for his style of open-fire cooking and we probably spent nearly 8-10 hours just cooking whatever we could over our fire pit. It was a very eye-opening experience and completely changed my mind on what cooking over fire could be.
3 Songs on your current playlist?
If there’s one important piece of advice you might have for cooks, what might that be?
I’d say the most important piece of advice I can give is sometimes a situation can only be as bad as you make it. As long as you can keep your cool positive head. A challenging and stressful situation normally ends up not being as bad as it seemed.
Located in Wilmington, NC, PinPoint Restaurant serves food deeply rooted in tradition and foodways. The menu features local seasonal offerings from Wilmington’s farmers, fishermen, oystermen, and crabbers as much as possible.
114 Market St, Wilmington, NC