Some of Northwest New Jersey’s chefs, restaurants and farmers are candidates in the first ever Garden State Culinary Arts Awards.
The candidates will be voted on by about 100 independent judges from around the state – journalists, food writers, cookbook authors and other culinary experts.
The top three vote-getters in each category will be announced publicly in April. That will be put to another vote, and the final winners will be announced on Saturday, May 6, during a ceremony presented by Buy-Rite Liquors.
The ceremony will be open to the public: watch their Facebook page for the announcement.
A restaurant in operation in New Jersey for at least five years that displays overall excellence and consistency of quality in food, atmosphere and service, and has set high standards in the industry.
Hamilton’s Grill Room, Lambertville
A chef working in a professional capacity in New Jersey for at least five consecutive years whose accomplishments have served to inspire, educate and set standards in both the state and the industry.
Thomas Ciszak, Chakra Restaurant, Paramus; Blue Morel, Morristown
BEST NEW RESTAURANT:
A restaurant opened in the previous calendar year (2016) that displays excellence in food and service, already has established a distinctive voice and promises to set high standards for years to come.
James on Main, Hackettstown
A farmer whose primary income is derived from agricultural pursuits, has demonstrated significant talent and skill in the profession as well as set consistent standards of excellence. Must have been working as a farmer for at least five years.
Cyrus, Louise and David Hyde, Well-Sweep Herb Farm, Port Murray, Mansfield Township
Janie Lamson and Fernando Villegas, Cross Country Nurseries and ChilePlants.com, Kingwood
Peter, John and Rebecca Melick, Melick’s Town Farm, Oldwick, Tewksbury Township
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF/BAKER:
A pastry chef or baker working in a professional capacity in New Jersey for at least three years in a restaurant, cafe, bakery or other public outlet who has displayed overall excellence in pastries, desserts and/or bread-making.
Carol and Norman Todd, Market Roost, Flemington
OUTSTANDING WINE PROFESSIONAL:
A wine professional working in New Jersey who has proven skills and talent and has had a significant positive effect on the industry.
Robby Younes, wine director, Restaurant Latour, Hardyston
RISING STAR CHEF:
A chef age 30 or younger as of the previous calendar year whose accomplishments and talent already have served to inspire and impress and promise to set standards for years to come. Must have worked in a professional capacity as a chef for a minimum of three years, including two years in New Jersey.
A.J. Capella, chef de cuisine, The Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station, Readington Township
Martyna Krowicka, chef de cuisine, Restaurant Latour, Hardyston
OUTSTANDING FOOD ARTISAN:
A food artisan who has demonstrated significant talent and skill in their chosen genre and has set new or consistent standards of achievement and excellence. Must have been working in the genre for at least three years.
Valley Shepherd Creamery, Long Valley: Eran Wajswol
GARDEN STATE CULINARY LEGEND:
A food professional, institution or restaurant with a rich, storied history of high standards, commitment, accomplishment and influence. The contributions of the person, place or institution to the culinary arts in New Jersey must have affected residents in positive ways for at least 10 years.
Mikey Azzara, founder/owner, Zone 7, Ringoes, East Amwell Township
For the complete list of candidates check out the 2017 Garden State Culinary Arts Awards Facebook page.
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(Photo Courtesy: Garden State Culinary Arts Awards)