Food & Drink

Sparta High School Students and Staff Compete in a Culinary Throwdown


SPARTA, NJ – Three teams of Sparta High School students and staff members competed in the annual Culinary Throwdown last week in the cafeteria of the school.  The community was invited to watch, enjoy a buffet dinner and even sample the competion food.  The $5 admission fee went to support the Sodexo scholarship for students going on to study culinary arts after high school according to Sodexo's Denise Liptak.

Each team had one hour to create an appetizer, main course and dessert using the same ingredients.  The three judges were Lisa Tarfuri, Andrea Langan and Nancy Rapisardi.

Rispardi said they evaluated the teams’ creations “considering techniques, cleanliness, skill level, team work, plating design and creativity.”

Sign Up for E-News

“We walk around, watch and ask questions,” Langan said.

“It’s nice because they all bring different talents,” Tarfuri said.

Culinary teacher Jenevieve D’Amico, on the Cinque Amici, enjoyed participating in the competion.  She said she appreciated the way they worked together, “with no arguments,” added a student on the team.

“I’m enjoying spending time working with you," Peyton Martini said to D'Amico, "and working together as a team."

“It’s fun hanging out with the students and seeing them use their cooking skills under pressure,” D’Amico said. “I am impressed by their plating skills.  This does not look like work done by high school students.”

Team Cinque Amici was comprised of D’Amico, Amanda Scully, Sam Wolstenholme, Brandon Lagasca and Martini.  Their menu was Boomin Bruschetta, Sassy Strawberry Salad, Sweet Chili Chicken, Crazy Banana Crepes and Boardwalk Surprise.

The Procrastinators team members were Athletic Director Steve Stoner, Emma Rennie, Jamie Rennie, Dan Baker, Jolen Stoner and Quinn Stoner.  They made Bruschetta, Fiesta Chicken Tacos and Strawberry Shortcake.

The Cheese Weasels! team was made up of Sodexo’s Tina Johnson, Daniel Minesinger, Michael Smuda, Julian Mindeinger and Rocco Gigantelli.  They created Sparta Spring Salad with Mandarin oranges, bacon, cheese and olives, Chicken Marsala with Green Beans and Bread Pudding.

The winners were Cinque Amici.  All teams got gifts but the Cinque Amici’s took home the medals.

Liptak said approximately $250 was raised for the scholarship fund.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police Pick Up Franklin Woman Driving While Suspended

March 18, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A traffic stop yielded an arrest for driving with a suspended license for a Franklin woman.  On March 13 around 11:30 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Timothy Lynott stopped Christina Bradford on Route 15 for having a broken tail light on her gray GMC pickup, police report.

When the officer checked her credentials, he found Bradford’s license had been suspended and she ...

Sparta Police: Bronx Man Delivering Car Finds Himself in Trouble

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Bronx, New York was arrested on a myriad of charges stemming from his attempt to deliver a used car to Montague.  Jorge Villanueva caught the attention of Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley on Route 15 because his Nissan Pathfinder had a cracked taillight, police say.

On March 13 around 7:22 p.m. the officer found the license plate on the Pathfinder was ...

Sparta Police Arrest Newton Man on DWI, Hit and Run with Baby on Board

SPARTA, NJ –  A Newton man driving drunk with is infant child in the back seat is facing charges after a hit and run accident on Route 15.  On March 10, around 7:05 p.m. Sparta Cpl. Smith went to Limecrest Road to investigate the accident, police report.

The officer was met by the driver of one of the vehicles involved.  That driver said he was on Route 15 South when a VW ...

5 Tips for elected officials

March 9, 2018

Dear Editor,

Wayne Levante, a self-described moderate, business-friendly mayor of Newton since his appointment 8 months ago, has been mired by one misstep and controversy after another.  From peddling debunked conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” in the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting on social media, attacking residents and calling them ...


March 11, 2018



Republican Freeholder Candidates, Dawn Fantasia and Josh Hertzberg commended the District 24 Legislators for taking action in the wake of the horrific school shooting that took the lives of 17 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.   


Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, March 20, 6:30 PM

Sparta United Methodist Church, Sparta

Girl Scout STEAM Program

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Sparta Recreation Department, Sparta

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

McKenna Hall, Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Sparta

Night with NJ Giants #53 Harry Carson Beefsteak


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

Perona Farms, Sparta

Trout Unlimited Annual Fund Raising Banquet

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Sat, April 14, 9:00 AM


Jr Lions Football - Meet & Greet

Education Sports

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Sun, May 13, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Byram Intermediate School Receives High Honors

March 7, 2018

BYRAM, NJ - The Byram Intermediate School has been recognized as a School to Watch.  The school is one of eight middle schools in New Jersey to receive the designation.

"We are so proud of this group of educators who have created one of the most dynamic schools in the state of New Jersey," Principal John Fritzky said.  

New Jersey Schools to Watch are ...

6 Easy Ways to Increase Zzzz’s During National Sleep Awareness Month and Beyond!

Team Nest Builder knows sleep deprivation leads to a myriad of problems, so we’re here to help you make your New Jersey home bedrooms the havens you deserve! Take a look at these simple ideas for increasing your zzzzz’s:

Soften Up

Employ a large area rug that covers the entire room to help absorb sound and enhance comfort.

Feeling Blue

According to a study by Travelodge, ...

4 Top Reasons NOW Is A Great Time To Buy A New Jersey Home

Team Nest Builder offers four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting:

Prices Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.  The bottom in home prices came and left. Home values will ...

Does YOUR School District Rank For 2018 Best Teachers? compiled a 2018 list of the top 100 New Jersey school districts who possess the best teachers, based on student and parent ratings of teachers, teacher tenure, teacher salaries, student-teacher ratio, teacher absenteeism, and the Niche Academics Grade for the district.  Team Nest Builder understands the importance of owning a home in an area with a strong school district, so ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Free Legal Advice offered at Project Self-Sufficiency

March 18, 2018

Private meetings with an attorney are available at Project Self-Sufficiency for those who want advice about divorce, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant issues, mortgage modifications, or other topics.  Individual consultations will be offered on Thursdays, March 1st – 29th, between the hours of 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  The sessions are free and open to area residents who meet income ...