A Well-Known Pastry Chef Strikes Out On His Own & More

A soon-to-come Cape May bakery is on the horizon.

One of New Jersey’s most celebrated pastry chefs is stepping out on his own with a new eponymously named bakery.

Chez Michel will be the name Michel Gras will give his bakery, to be located on Park Boulevard in West Cape May.

I just signed the lease,” said the chef who has lived in Cape May for 35 years. “I’m going to focus on wedding cakes—that’s been a specialty for me for a while now.”

Gras, who worked in recent years for chef Lucas Manteca at The Red Store in Cape May Point and The Little Store Bakery in Cape May, is currently doing custom wedding cakes that can be ordered through his website, michelgras.com.

The Red Store is closed for the season, though Manteca said earlier this week that he’s planning a series of Supper Club dinners prior to re-opening before Easter Sunday. The Little Store has closed.

I was working out of Little Store,” Gras said, “doing work for the restaurant (Red Store) from there. But we had to close up; it’s very small, and the retail wasn’t making it.”

At Chez Michel, the chef who was born and trained in France will have the space to focus on the wedding cakes that brought him acclaim, including his trademark beach-themed cakes, custom cakes and multi-tiered cakes decked in flowers and bows.

We might do a little retail, perhaps sticky buns and croissants, but that’s about all,” Gras said. “I would like to do some desserts for the Red Store, but I’m not sure how much is possible. My focus will be wedding cakes.”

Gras doesn’t have an opening day set yet. We’ll keep you posted.

*

The Broadmoor is back.

If you remember the original Broadmoor, a landmark restaurant in Lambertville in the 1970s and 1980s, and one of the first places anywhere to serve the seminal dessert, chocolate silk pie, you’ll be interested in knowing a kind of revival of the place is open.

Or, if you’re a fan of the old Rick’s in the small city on the Delaware in southernmost Hunterdon County, you might also want to read on.

Alex Cormier, who ran Rick’s for years, and his restaurant partner in Donna Painter, are the forces behind the new Broadmoor, located at 8 North Union Street.

They’re serving a mashup of comfort fare, classics and inventive specials, touching on dishes French and Italian, for the most part. It’s a BYO, dinner only starting at 5 pm. The Broadmoor is closed on Tuesdays.

For reservations and information, call 609-397-1400.

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Table Hopping articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.