Chefs and restaurants, farmers and food artisans, professionals in wine, beer and spirits, specialty food markets and legends in all things culinary in New Jersey have been named finalists for the awards which will be presented by the Garden State Culinary Arts Foundation.
The gala will feature dishes with New Jersey grown ingredients by the 2017 Outstanding Chef winner Drew Araneo, of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport, and 2017 Rising Star honoree AJ Capella, formerly of the Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station. Students from New Jersey culinary schools will assist the chefs and their culinary captains with prep work, cooking, plating and serving the dishes.
The Garden State Culinary Arts Foundation is a New Jersey non-profit corp (501 C 3 status pending) led by the well know food critic Andrea Clurfeld, award winning baker Marie Jackson, founder and former owner of The Flaky Tart in Atlantic Highlands, and businessman Brent Sonnek-Schmelz.
The independent juried culinary awards program is the only one of its kind in New Jersey to honor achievement and excellence in a variety of culinary arts enterprises in the Garden State. During the past year, the nine-member GSCA Awards Committee and a statewide body of some 150 judges mined New Jersey for candidates for consideration for the awards. After winnowing down the names in each category to 10 nominees, the committee and judges voted in a first round of independently tabulated balloting.
Tickets to the event are $100 and must be bought online here by Wednesday, April 25. Advance ticket sales only so Drew and AJ know how much food to prepare and to ensure there is enough New Jersey wine and beer for all in attendance. The event starts at 5:30 pm and goes till 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 29.