Somerset County News

Emmy Award Eludes Somerville TV Producer – But She Did Get to Walk Down the Red Carpet

5d012d0f5fafa82680e4_sompixculturekitchenemmypose.jpg
Stephanie Zaita Peterson and her husband Adam on the red carpet at the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards in Philadelphia. Credits: Courtesy Stephanie Zaita Peterson
5d012d0f5fafa82680e4_sompixculturekitchenemmypose.jpg

PHILADELPHIA – The coveted Emmy Award, the epitome of success in the television industry, eluded Somerville, NJ television producer Stephanie Zaita Peterson, but there is some consolation.

It’s not every day that you get to walk down the red carpet of fame.

That’s just one of the memories she and her husband Adam brought back home with them after a whirlwind trip to the city of Brotherly Love for the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards Dinner and Awards Saturday night.

Sign Up for E-News

“We didn't walk away with an Emmy but who could feel bad with all the support from family and friends. I am truly blessed!,” she wrote on Facebook Sunday afternoon.

Zaita Peterson, a veteran of behind-the-camera work on the west coast and New York City, is the executive producer of “Culture Kitchen,” a 30-minute show that celebrates local families’ ethnic dessert recipes along with the culture that produced the recipe. Episodes are filmed in the kitchen and include step-by-step preparation of the dessert, interviews with the family and snippets of information about the culture of the featured country. 

The Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards were presented Saturday night at the Marriott Hotel in Center City. Zaita Peterson, her husband, and others involved with the production, along with hundreds of other nominees and their entourages, sat down at 7 p.m. for dinner, followed by four hours of awards, applause, gushing, tears and thank yous.

There were dozens of award categories, including local news, documentaries, entertainment, sports, business and others;  Zaita Peterson’s “Culture Kitchen” was slotted in the Lifestyle Program/Special category against one other entry, a well-financed, on-site production entitled “Grenada – The Spice Island – A Taste of History.”

“I knew going in it was going to be tough.” Zaita Peterson said. “The other team had already won six Emmys – and they won four more last night - so they were tough to beat. We were the underdogs so I wasn’t shocked that we didn’t win, but of course, we had hoped we would.”

Finally, more than 3 hours after dinner and long after dessert, the winner of Category #46 – Lifestyle Program/Special - was announced. 

“Right before they got to our category my heart started beating faster, I kept going over my speech in my head - just in case, you have to be prepared either way - it was disappointing for just a minute,” she said, “but I was so proud of what we did and that we even got the nomination. I really wasn’t as disappointed as I thought I might be,” she added.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board and come back another year.”

The “Culture Kitchen” episode nominated for the Emmy Award was filmed in Somerville last October with the Meulenberg family in their kitchen.

Zaita Peterson’s production team included James Masi, director of Photography; Craig Casey, senior editor; Jeff Pinedo, camera assistant, Jessica Dale, associate producer and Brittany Linton, lighting assistant.

The show focused on Hayden Meulenberg, now a second-grader at Van Derveer School,  who puts on a chef hat and apron and learns how to prepare Pannekoekenm, a traditional Dutch pancake with guidance from his parents, Michial and Karen.

What we put on our tables at home and eat for dinner is reflective of who we are, how we grew up and where we come from, according to Peterson.

“Culture Kitchen” is a celebration of the diversity within our community,” Peterson said. “We’re trying to get families to share recipes that have been passed down through the generations that are indicative of their native homeland.”

During the episode, the Meulenbergs talk about growing up in Holland and their son looks for answers to trivia questions about Holland from his friends.

The nominated episode was funded by the Somerville Business & Professional Association. It aired in November over several weeks on Verizon FIOS Channel 30 and Cablevision Channel 15.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Found: Green Brook and Warren, Do You Know this Dog?

April 18, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Do you know me? I'm a young, male German Shepherd who appears to be around a year old. Found near Warrenville Road near the Green Brook, Bound Brook border and now at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter. Call  908-725-0308.

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

TAPintoTravels Area Teens Invited to the First Meeting of Aviation Explorer Post 523

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Exploring helps young people make more informed decisions about future careers and learn about different jobs within a particular field. 

In that vein, Aviation Explorer Post 523 will hold its first meeting for young men and women, ages 14-20, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., at DM Airports, 8 Airport Road in Morristown. Future meetings will ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Travels Review - Bon Jovi Rocked the Newark Rock and Now They Journey to the Birthplace of Rock and Roll

NEWARK, NJ - If you wanted to define New Jersey, two names come to mind:  Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. 

Travels has had the pleasure of meeting and working with both and can vouch for their love of both the Garden State and greater New York area. This weekend they showed their appreciation to us with a special backstage tour and rock’n concert.

It ...

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Baby Seal Waddles Its Way onto Belmar Beach

BELMAR, NJ — A baby seal waddled its way onto the Fifth Avenue beach earlier today to enjoy one of the warmest days of spring so far.

Around noon on April 12, photographer Nancy Orlowski took these snapshots, which have also been posted on the Belmar Facebook page where it states that the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has been notified.

This is the second known instance ...

Bateman Bill, “ Bijou’s Law”, to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 12, 2018

 

TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 17, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 11:30 AM

Plainfield YMCA, Plainfield

Plainfield YMCA Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness

Sun, April 22, 9:00 AM

White Oak Park, Branchburg

Raritan Valley Habitat Youth Rainbow Run

Giving Back

Sun, April 22, 4:00 PM

Watchung Arts Center, Watchung

Tribute to Earth - The Long Duo in Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, April 30, 7:00 PM

Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough

Auditions for Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, June 2, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy 5K and Family Fun Walk

Health & Wellness

Tue, June 12, 7:00 PM

FairBridge Hotel and Conference Center, Somerset

SPHS Class of 1968 50the Reunion

Education

Watchung Borough Council Recognizes Watchung Hills Senior Julia Cunningham, Proclaims April 19 Julia Cunningham Day

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ - Watchung resident and Watchung Hills Regional High School graduating senior, Julia Cunningham was recognized at a special meeting of the Watchung Borough council Thursday. 

Councilman Bill Nehls praised Cunningham, “ as probably one of the best basketball players in the state,” and “an inspiration for girls in the seventh and eighth grades, ...

WHRHS Softball: Watchung Hills Rolls Over Ridge, 10-1

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Robin McCabe struck out 13 and allowed just one run on five hits to lead the Watchung Hills softball team over Ridge on Wednesday, 10-1. 

“It was a huge win today,” said WHRHS assistant coach Jeff Dealaman. “Our girls were fired up coming into the game as it was our last game before the county seeding meeting tonight and it was against a ...

North Plainfield Baseball: Weyand Shuts Out South Hunterdon, 4-0

LAMBERTVILLE, NJ -Bruce Weyand went 3-for-3 with a solo home run, two RBI, and two runs scored, and he pitched a complete game shutout, to lead North Plainfield over South Hunterdon on Tuesday, 4-0.

Weyand allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out 11. Antwan Barbour went 2-for-3 for North Plainfield. The Canucks improve to 3-2 and next play at Manville on Thursday.

North Plainfield Baseball and Softball: Canucks Shut Out Rutgers Prep, Fall to Gill St. Bernard’s in Eight

SOMERSET, NJ - Ann Joseph went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs and Ayah Elsais went 4-for-4 with an RBI to lead the North Plainfield softball team over Rutgers Prep on Thursday, 10-0. 

The North Plainfield softball team is now 1-2 and next plays Edison on Saturday.

In baseball, AJ Donofrio won the game for Gill St. Bernard's in the bottom of the eighth with a ...

WHRHS Baseball: Watchung Hills Tops Morristown, 6-3

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Senior Joe Blajsa picked up his first win of the season and Kevin Badger went 4-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base and one RBI to lead Watchung Hills over Morristown on Wednesday, 6-3.

Blajsa pitched six and 2/3 innings allowing only six hits, striking out five and walking one. Junior Ben Ant came in for the strikeout save to pick up his ...

Watchung Borough Council Votes to Close Library

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...

Warren Township Considers Outdoor Reading Space

WARREN, NJ - Where is the best place to read on a warm summer day? Warren may get a new place, an outdoor reading space at the Warren Library.

At the last meeting of the Warren Township Committee, Committeewoman Carolann Garafola, who sits on the library advisory board, discussed some possibilities of adding outdoor space to the Warren library. 

Open space funds could be used for ...