How Chef Lucas Manteca Is Shifting Gears During the Pandemic

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More than two decades ago, lifelong surfer Lucas Manteca had no plans to trade the thundering breakers of his native Argentine coast for the mild swells of Cape May County, NJ, but he met his wife, Deanna Ebner, and the couple moved to the Cape, where the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay lock together like a dovetail joint. Both are still avid surfers but are better known as the operators of the highest quality hospitality group at this end of the shore, where they own three restaurants, including seafood tavern Quahog’s in Stone Harbor and the upscale-country Red Store in Cape May Point, and manage a fourth.

“We’ve been in business in the area for 18 years,” says Manteca. “We work our asses off, and this was the year we were going to start harvesting all the sweat [equity].”

Over last winter, when most restaurants in these seasonal beach…

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