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:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested and Charged with DWI

May 24, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 24

Theft of Bicycle - A South Orange resident reported that sometime between 5:45 a.m. and 1:20 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, actor(s) unknown stole his black & white Gary Fisher mountain bike, which had been locked and secured to the bicycle rack under the main train station.

Commercial Burglaries - Two adjacent West South Orange ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.

 

May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

Maplewood and South Orange Events for Memorial Day Weekend - and What's Closed

May 24, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There is a lot going on in the two towns this Memorial Day weekend, as well as some closures on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

SATURDAY, MAY 26

The Maplewood Community Pool opens at noon for the 2018 season. (The South Orange Community Pool is opening June 2, details here.)

Downtown After Sundown presents "Jazz on ...

Maplewood Community Pool Scheduled to Open on Saturday, May 26

MAPLEWOOD, NJ -- The Maplewood Community Pool is scheduled to open this Saturday, May 26, and be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Memorial Day) from noon to 6 p.m., according to an update from the Maplewood Recreation Department.

For those who wish to join the pool, registration can be done in person at the Recreation Department (574 Valley St.) on weekdays from 9 a.m. to ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, May 24, 6:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Steve Sandberg and Zach Brock to Perform at ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sun, May 27, 11:00 AM

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Memorial Day Colloquy: What We Honor and How We ...

Other

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Domestic Violence Prevention Advocates SOFIA Honors Local Leaders During Annual Gala

May 24, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - More than 200 supporters gathered at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange on Sunday to celebrate 9 years since the founding of S.O.F.I.A (Start out Fresh Intervention Advocates).

Founder Cynthia Walker and the gala committee of Chaz Moore, Kelly Moore, Lisa Boyd and Ida Walker pulled out all stops incorporating the color of purple throughout the venue for ...

Millburn Parents and Students Come Out to Board of Education Meeting to Push for Teacher Contract Resolution

MILLBURN, NJ -- Millburn school district parents and student representatives urged the Board of Education on Monday to quickly settle ongoing contract negotiations with the Millburn Education Association.

The prolonged deadlock between the board and the teachers’ union has lasted nearly a year has been bad for teacher morale and was beginning to take a toll on students, particularly at ...

A.J. Perri Helping Veterans in Need - Again

May 24, 2018

TINTON FALLS, NJ – A.J. Perri is back helping veterans in need – this time launching a search for veterans and their families through a partnership with ABC-TV.

As part of the A.J. Perri Cares Program, a lucky New Jersey veteran and their family will receive air conditioning/heating relief this summer.

"They fought for our country, and their families sacrificed," said ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

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 ...

Rocky Marciano, Jr. Unveils Rocky Marciano Wine at Par 440 on May 31

May 24, 2018

A Champion’s Commitment. The Taste of Excellence.

The wine will be unveiled at an invitation only event at PAR 440 Restaurant and Lounge in Short Hills, NJ, attended by Rocky Marciano, Jr.   

PAR 440 is the perfect venue for hosting the unveiling of the wine. The restaurant built by Mario LaVecchia, is decidedly modern with old school charm, and features amazing ...

Township of Maplewood: Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss Proposals for Pedestrian Safety Improvements and Traffic Flow Changes

A public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, in the Great Hall, to present and discuss proposals for pedestrian safety improvements and traffic flow changes, including making Maplewood Avenue one-way from Baker Street to Lenox Place and reversing the direction of the NJT lot. Your presence is encouraged to apprise you of ...

Porchlight Post - Shedding Light On These Old Homes

You bought a new house (congratulations!) and its your first night in the new house. You get cozy and settle in for the night. Your husband wakes up early for work and then so do the kids. Its 5:30 a.m., and your hardwood floors creak so loudly it sounds like someone was trying to break-in. How did you not notice this before you moved in?

Or maybe you’ve been in your house for years and ...