Food & Drink

Montclair Chefs and Local Business Owner Announced for Garden State Culinary Arts Awards

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MONTCLAIR, NJ - Two Montclair chefs and a local business owner have been named as candidates for the Garden State Culinary Awards. Ryan DePersio, of Fascino, Montclair; Juan Andres Placencia, of Costanera Cocina Peruana, Montclair and Sharon Sevrens, proprietor, of Amanti Vino, Montclair have been placed in the running to win awards. 

These candidates will be voted on by about 100 independent judges from around the state - journalists, food writers, cookbook authors and other culinary experts.

Also in the running, is Ariane Duarte, of Ariane Kitchen & Bar, Verona. DePersio, Placencia and Duarte are in the running for 'Outstanding Chef' and Sevrens is in the running for 'Outstanding Wine Professional'. 

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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. The list of contenders are as follows:

BEST RESTAURANT

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.

Cafe Matisse, Rutherford
Cafe 2825, Atlantic City
Cucharamama, Hoboken
The Frog and the Peach, New Brunswick
Hamilton's Grill Room, Lambertville
Indeblue, Collingswood
Peter Shields Inn, Cape May
Saddle River Inn, Saddle River
Serenade, Chatham
A Toute Heure, Cranford

OUTSTANDING CHEF 
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.

Scott Anderson, Elements and Mistral, Princeton
Andrew “Drew” Araneo, Drew's Bayshore Bistro, Keyport
Joseph Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood
Thomas Ciszak, Chakra Restaurant, Paramus; Blue Morel, Morristown
Ryan DePersio, Fascino, Montclair; Battello, Jersey City; The Kitchen Step, Jersey City
Ariane Duarte, Ariane Kitchen & Bar, Verona
Shigeru Fukuyoshi, Sagami Japanese Restaurant, Collingswood
Lucas Manteca, The Red Store, Cape May Point
Juan Andres Placencia, Costanera Cocina Peruana, Montclair
Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City

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.
Barrio Costero, Asbury Park
Common Lot, Millburn
Cooper House, Pennsauken
Graze, Little Silver
James on Main, Hackettstown
Kimchi Smoke, Westwood
The Kitchen Step, Jersey City
Sanook Thai, Haddonfield
Shamone Bites + Wine, Cape May
Viaggio Ristorante, Wayne

BEST CASUAL RESTAURANT
An informal, moderately priced, independently owned eatery with high-quality food that reflects the character of New Jersey and/or its surrounding community. Must have been in operation for at least five years.
Baguette Delite, Edison
Broad Street Diner, Keyport
Carmen’s Deli, Bellmawr
De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville
El Único, Union City
La Esperanza, Lindenwold
Marhaba, Lambertville
The Pop Shop, Collingswood
Shut Up and Eat!, Toms River
Tops Diner, East Newark

OUTSTANDING FARMER
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.
Matthew Bruckler lll, JAH’s Creation Organic Farm, Egg Harbor Township
Bruce Cobb, ARC Greenhouses, Shiloh
Morris Gbolo, World Crops Farm, Buena Vista Township
Charlie Hallock, Hallock’s U-Pick Farm, New Egypt, Plumsted Township
Cyrus, Louise and David Hyde, Well-Sweep Herb Farm, Port Murray, Mansfield Township
Chong ll Kim, Evergreen Orchard Farm, Hamilton
Janie Lamson and Fernando Villegas, Cross Country Nurseries and ChilePlants.com, Kingwood
The McCormack family, McCormack Farms, Middletown
Peter, John and Rebecca Melick, Melick’s Town Farm, Oldwick, Tewksbury Township
The Viereck Family, Viereck Farms, Woolwich 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.
Biemiller family, McMillan's Bakery, Westmont
Elizabeth Degener, Enfin Farms, Lower Township
Fernandez family, Argentina Bakery, Union City
Theresa Hrivnak, Indulgence Cupcakery, Haddonfield
Debbie Mumford, Mumford's Culinary Center, Tinton Falls
Alyssa O’Dowd, Nicholas Markets Foodtown, North Haledon
Giancarlo Palazzone, Palazzone 1960, Wayne
Deborah Pellegrino, Caesar's Entertainment, Atlantic City
Taskin family, Taskin Bakery, Paterson
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.
John Altmaier, winemaker, Alba Vineyards, Finesville
Louis Caracciolo, president, Amalthea Cellars, Atco
Nicholas Harary, owner, Restaurant Nicholas, Middletown
Brian Hider, sommelier, Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster
Greg and David Moore, owners, Moore Brothers Wine Co., Pennsauken
Nick Pizzonia, vice president, Court Liquors, West End, Long Branch
Chuck Russo, owner, Carlo Russo Wine and Spirit World, Ho-Ho-Kus
Sharon Sevrens, proprietor, Amanti Vino, Montclair
Larry Sharrott, owner, Sharrott Winery, Winslow 
Robby Younes, wine director, Restaurant Latour, Hardyston

OUTSTANDING BEER PROFESSIONAL
A beer professional working in New Jersey who has proven skills and talent and has had a significant positive effect on the industry.
Augie Carton, co-founder, Carton Brewing Co., Atlantic Highlands
Dave Hoffman, founder, Climax Brewing Co., Roselle Park
John Holl, editor, All About Beer magazine
Michael Kane, president/founder, Kane Brewing Co., Ocean Township
Mike Kivowitz, founder, New Jersey Craft Beer website
Gene Muller, founder, Flying Fish Brewing Co., Somerdale
Jamie Queli, owner, Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Co., Cherry Hill
Chris Rakow, head brewer, River Horse Brewing Co., Ewing
Eric Ruta, president/founder, Magnify Brewing, Fairfield
Chris Schiavo and Joe Schiavo, co-owners, The Shepherd and the Knucklehead, Haledon

OUTSTANDING SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL
A spirits professional working in New Jersey who has proven skills and talent and has had a significant positive effect on the industry.
Brant Braue, owner and master distiller, Jersey Artisan Distilling, Fairfield
Bob and Zack Brinley, owners, Shipwreck Rum, Atlantic Highlands
Jamie Dodge, chief beverage craftsman and partner, Barrio Costero, Asbury Park
John Granata and Susan Lord, owners, Jersey Spirits Distilling Company, Fairfield
Russell Lewis, owner, and Michael Johannesen, head bartender, Watermark, Asbury Park
N. Bryan Mack, bartender, Verve, Somerville**
Mark Pascal and Francis Schott, owners, Catherine Lombardi Restaurant, New Brunswick
Joseph San Phillip, owner, and Anthony Ruiz, manager, The Stewed Cow, Hoboken
James Yoakum, founder/chief distiller, and Ben Donia, distillery manager, Cooper River Distillers, Camden

**Mack was placed on the ballot before his death in January. The committee decided to keep his name there to honor his work and memory.

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.

Christopher Atamian, chef/owner, Porcini, Highlands
Ryan Anderson, executive chef, INC American Bar & Kitchen, New Brunswick
A.J. Capella, chef de cuisine, The Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station, Readington Township
Joseph Cuccia, executive chef/co-owner, 17 Summer, Lodi
Elie Kahlon, executive chef/partner, Novo, Ridgewood
Martyna Krowicka, chef de cuisine, Restaurant Latour, Hardyston
Charles Lesbirel, executive chef, Ama Ristorante, Sea Bright
Jacqueline Platzer, assistant culinary director, PJW Restaurant Group, Haddonfield
Nivardo Sanchez, chef, Hamilton Pork, Jersey City

OUTSTANDING FOOD MARKET
An established independently owned retail food market that demonstrates a high level of quality in goods offered, service to its customers and devotion to its community. Must have been in operation for at least five years.
The Amish Farmers Market at Mullica Hill, Mullica Hill
The Cheese Cave, Red Bank
Chowpatty Sweets and Snacks, Iselin, Woodbridge Township
Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck
Fattal’s Syrian Bakery, Paterson
Forked River German Butcher Shop, Lacey 
The Greek Store, Kenilworth
Market Basket, Franklin Lakes
Pulaski Meat Products, Linden
Severino Pasta Co., Westmont

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.
Aunt Charlotte’s Candies, Merchantville; Oakford-Trost family
The Bent Spoon, Princeton; Gabrielle Carbone and Matthew Errico
Blair’s Sauces and Snacks, Highlands; Blair Lazar
Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse, Alexandria; Jonathan and Nina White
Busy Bees NJ, Middle Township: Gary and Erin Schempp
DiCosmo’s Water Ice, Elizabeth; DiCosmo family
Lopes Sausage, Newark; Herminio Lopes
Milk Sugar Love, Jersey City; Emma Taylor
Stella's Empanadas, Kearny; Barulich family
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
D’Artagnan, Union
Del Buono’s Bakery, Haddon Heights
Fiore’s, Hoboken
Knife & Fork Inn, Atlantic City
Kevin Kohler, chef and owner, Café Panache, Ramsey
Aldo Lamberti, owner, Caffe Aldo Lamberti, Cherry Hill
Chris Mumford, co-owner, Mumford’s Culinary Center, Tinton Falls
Mustache Bill’s Diner, Barnegat Light
Nasto’s “Old World Desserts,” Newark
Adam Rechnitz, owner, Triumph Brewing Company, Princeton
Rutt's Hut, Clifton
Summit Diner, Summit
Lucille Thompson, chef, The Magnolia Room, The Chalfonte Hotel, Cape May
White Manna, Hackensack

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