ROXBURY, NJ - There's nothing like good food to go with good beer.
Event promotoer Allison Stella-Kohler, of Succasunna, is confident there will be plenty of both at her upcoming Beer BBQ and Bacon Showdown at the Waterloo Village concert field. One of the highlights of the Nov. 7 event will be the man judging the barbeque competition: former Morristown restaurateur Tim Schafer.
Tim Schafer's Restaurant which opened in 1995 in Morristown, was one of Morristown's first eateries to offer unusual gourmet dishes, such as buffalo and ostrich. Although Tim Schafer's Restaurant is still on the Morristown dining circuit, Schafer moved to North Carolina in 2004.
Kohler got him to come back to host the VIP event at The Beer BBQ and Bacon Showdown and judge the barbeque competition, and Schafer seems excited.
Schafer, born in Somerville, is the son of a Welsh immigrant mother and a New Jersey native father. When he was 3, Schafer was put in an orphanage in Berkeley Heights. After some time he was released to a foster home, but he then bounced around a half dozen other foster homes before landing in Morristown when he was 12.
"As a ward of the state until 18, I found life to be very discouraging and challenging", said Schafer. "While basically homeless, I continued to face life as best as I could while always trying to find the brighter side."
He said he found himself "steering in the wrong direction" at times. "But through the support of people who cared about me, I attained a job at the old Epstein’s department store where I was a stock boy, said Schafer. "I found my first place to live in a boarding house in Morristown and got off the streets."
He said his next job was at a local super market, "essentially filling the duties of a janitor and all around helper." His foray into food service happened about a year later, when Schafer took a meat cutter apprenticeship. "And so my true passion for cooking began," he said.
Schafer descripes himself by ingredients: "Take one generous helping of culinary experience. Add a large dose of hard knocks. Stir in a giant portion of enthusiasm, a passion for food, a heart full of compassion and several spoonfuls of entertainment. Blend well.
Schafer currentlyowns a catering business at Lake Norman, N.C. and hs is “The Brew Chef,” a nationally recognized beer personality and a leading authority on cooking with beer.
The Beer, BBQ Bacon Showdown features only New Jersey beer as well as restaurants and gourmet food trucks featuring barbeque and bacon creations. The competiton will end with "the best of the best" being chosen along with People's Choice awards for Best Dish & Best Beer.
The New Jersey breweries expected to attend the event include: Angry Erik Brewing (Lafayette Township), Beach Haus Brewery (Belmar), Bolero Snort (Ridgefield Park), Carton Brewing (Atlantic Highlands), Cricket Hill (Fairfield), Flying Fish (Somerdale), Magnify Brewing (Fairfield), Ramstein Brewery (Butler), Tuckahoe Brewing Company (Ocean View), Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant (South Orange), 902 Brewing Company (Hoboken), River Horse (Ewing Township), Climax Brewing Co (Roselle Park), Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing (Cherry Hill), Demented Brewing (Middlesex)
Some of the event's proceeds will go toward renovating the Newton Fire Museum.
To purchase tickets visit www.njbeerbbqfest.com