SUMMIT, NJ - The first-ever Culinary Arts Day, part of the week-long Discover Summit Arts festival, featured celebrity chefs, food tastings, live art demonstrations and soothing music at Twin Maples Monday.

Chef Jesse Jones, who calls his food style "New Carolina Cuisine," mixed a blend of Spanish, Creole and Italian influences as he created a pulled-pork strudel with an apricot barbecue sauce.  Nearby, James Laird, Head Chef and co-proprietor at Serenade restaurant in Chatham, was cooking just-caught striper, and said his "contemporary French cuisine is influenced by fresh, local products--really what Mother Nature and God give you."
May Fridel demonstrated her Passion for Spices as she promoted the holistic prevention and healing powers of natural spices. Showcasing foods, including chicken tikka masala, prepared using these spices, she extolled the virtues of a fresh, non-processed food diet. Fridel, a Summit resident and former financial services executive, has developed a line spices soon to be available at The Meat House and and other locations.
 
Local artist Joni Rose was busy painting a water color setting of fresh flowers. Rose began a 40-year career as an artist by "drawing stuff - nothing else made sense to me."  After starting out selling paintings to her friends upon returning from art study in London, Rose now has local gallery presence as well as a comprehensive online site. Although she was using water colors on this day, oils are her preferred medium. She is a self-described "colorist", and says she "loves colors and watching them blend together."
 
Discover Summit Arts continues through June 29. For further information and a schedule of upcoming events, visit Facebook.com/Discover SummitArts.