Food & Drink

CJ Reycraft of Amuse Wins International "Chef of the Future" Award from Academy of Gastronomy

f3cb15930c67b2772035_6edc2d5252f1e7931319_CJ_making_pea_soup.JPG
Amuse chef C.J. Reycraft, Jr., prepares English pea soup as his first course when his restaurant hosted the Academy of Gastronomy USA on Friday, April 15. Credits: John Mooney
5ad1a4fd85bbca7c9009_892840b879ba5de39809_CJ_and_family.JPG
Dr. Sevi Avigdor, President of the Academy of Gastonomy and chef C.J. Reycraft, Jr., with his mom, Holly Reycraft, and his grandmother, Edythe Smith. Credits: John Mooney
06b06a4e24dd48b66ad8_b0548f58233ae50c3e95_DSC_0662.JPG
C.J. Reycraft, Jr., of Amuse is the first chef from New Jersey to receive the Prix au Chef de L’Avenir ("Chef of the Future") Award. Credits: John Mooney
fb2871eec2437e92e8b8_75d66920e663c0399214_Amuse_dinner.JPG
Members of the Academy of Gastronomy USA await their first course at Amuse in Westfield on April 15. Credits: John Mooney
b4963a2d7b54813d00dc_Australian_lamb_chops.JPG
Australian rack of lamb with hash brown potato and Bordelaise sauce Credits: John Mooney
cb67f77daf53a80b10b1_DSC_0645.JPG
C.J. Reycraft, Jr., dishes out apple sorbet. Credits: John Mooney
c1841f93aa016f5f4aac_Amuse_outside_sign.jpg
78b74687594a2692e5bb_7f9e24a93e1aade7639f_CJ_and_partner.JPG
CJ Reycraft and his business partner, Jim Ford Credits: John Mooney
d44a688d312522fbb797_Carmelized_banana_pudding.JPG
Banana pudding with hazelnut chocolate crumbs and carmelized banana Credits: John Mooney
55b1aac3cb7c339c4db3_DSC_0658.JPG
C.J. Reycraft, Jr., with Dr. Sevi Avigdor, President of the Academy of Gastonomy.
41dd4472fe1b69479fc8_Cappucino.JPG
Cappucino Credits: John Mooney
f244b593a43165e4d3da_Amuse_outside.jpg
f3cb15930c67b2772035_6edc2d5252f1e7931319_CJ_making_pea_soup.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ -- CJ Reycraft, chef and owner of Amuse in Westfield, has become one of three American chefs -- and the first ever from New Jersey -- to be given the prestigious Prix au Chef de L’Avenir (Leading Chef of the Future) Award, by the International Academy of Gastronomy.

Founded in 1983, the International Academy of Gastronomy is an international network of men and women with a keen interest in gastronomy. Dr. Sevi Avigdor, who hosted the evening, called Amuse a "jewel" and explained that Reycraft had been chosen as Chef de L’Avenir over chefs in New York City, across America and the globe.

The celebratory dinner included English pea soup with tarragon pesto and brioche crouton; crepes with crabmeat, shrimp, andouille sausage; and choice of three main courses: duck confit with honshimiji mushrooms, haricot verts, fingerling potatoes, and roasted garlic aioli; Australian rack of lamb with hash brown potatoes with bordelaise sauce, and seared Hokkaido sea scallops with avocado and baby arugula.  Among the desserts were profiteroles (salted caramel ice cream, almond praline, and chocolate ganache); banana pudding with hazelnut-chocolate crumbs and caramelized bananas; and white chocolate mousse with passion fruit sabayon and blackberry.

Sign Up for E-News

The event had a familial touch as Reycraft's mother and grandmother attended.

"He planned on going into accounting," said his proud mom, Holly Reycraft. "I knew that was never going to work. He was always helping me in the kitchen, breading cutlets and making things."

Reycraft, 33, opened Amuse, which serves classic French food with a modern twist, in January 2014. The Freehold, NJ, native trained at French Culinary Institute in New York and later worked at the elegant Chez Catherine in Westfield and at the Huntley Tavern in Summit before opening up his own restaurant. In October, the restaurant was reviewed in The New York Times. On May 2, Reycraft will do a cooking demonstraion on the highly rated Fox 5 "Good Day New York" program.

Amuse is located at 39 Elm Street in downtown Westfield. Hours are: Monday through Thursday, lunch noon to 3 p.m., dinner 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, lunch noon to 3 p.m., dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, lunch noon to 4 p.m., dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. To make a reservation, click here or call 908-317-2640. Visit amusenj.com.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Standing in Newark

May 24, 2018

Newark, NJ—The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site -- the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to the ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 25, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

Studio Playhouse, Upper Montclair

Into the Woods Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, May 30, 6:00 PM

Hackensack Mountainside Medical Center, Montclair

Bladder Control Is No Accident: A Woman’s Guide ...

Health & Wellness

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 16, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Vandalism to Parked Cars, Mysterious Parking Meter Crash, and More

May 23, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was compiled and released by the Montclair Police Department on May 22, 2018:

Arrest:
05-15-2018 (Orange Road) Mr. Danny Josama, 42yoa from West Orange, was arrested and charged with
DWI.
05-21-2018 (Wellmont Theater) Mr. Marcelo Dasilva, 40yoa from Montclair, was arrested and charged
with Burglary and Criminal Mischief for entering the Wellmont ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

Kick Off Grilling Season With Food Safety Tips

May 25, 2018

WASHINGTON, — For many Americans, the summer grilling and travel season begins this upcoming weekend. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) wants to make sure you and your family avoid food poisoning this summer. An estimated 128,000 Americans are hospitalized with food poisoning each year, but foodborne illnesses can be prevented during ...