A Green Feast Inaugurates Greener NJ Productions

Now that New Jersey has lost its dedicated PBS station – I know, I know, NJTV has taken the place of NJN, but it’s not quite the same now, is it? – a newcomer hopes to fill the gap, at least in part, with TV and web shows dedicated solely to “the greener side of the Garden State.”

That nonprofit entity is Greener New Jersey Productions, spearheaded by JoAnne Ruscio, formerly of NJN. Last week saw the taping of a half-hour pilot for their upcoming series, Fresh!, which will premier in November. A portion of the show was being taped at the West Windsor Farmers Market, and part of it at a dinner at Tre Piani in Princeton’s Forrestal Village. There, chef/owner Jim Weaver created a feast from the bounty of the market’s vendors, including cheese from Cherry Grove, Asian vegetables from Chia Sin, and fruits and vegetables from Stults Farm and Terhune Orchards.

I was fortunate to sit in on the dinner  – while gingerly ducking the cameras – which was enjoyed by about 50 of Greener NJ’s friends and supporters.  Below are a few photos. I’ll report on the air date of the pilot when it is announced.

Centerpiece created by Kim Clearwater

Among the guests: daughters of WW Farmers Market manager Chris Cirkus

Local salumi was one of the cocktail hour hors d’oeuvre, which also featured Cherry Grove brie with warm Asian pear relish, Stults Farm potato tartare, and Mangalitsa pork  lardo bruschetta

Chef/owner Jim Weaver of Tre Piani

A familiar face to Tre Piani regulars: Maitre d’ Giancarlo Squitieri

Colorful salad course of Chia Sin roasted Japanese eggplant, tomato, roasted peppers, pickled cabbage, and cilantro with red beet vinaigrette

The guests a tavola

3 responses to “A Green Feast Inaugurates Greener NJ Productions

  1. Brava, JoAnne Ruscio, and kudos to Pat Tanner, too, for giving her work the attention it merits. As 12 years of writing the “In Season” column for The Star-Ledger taught me, there is plenty that is fresh (in the best sense of the word) and good in the Garden State. Our farmers are among our most precious resources!

  2. Just spoke to Joanne yesterday and I am so happy to hear about her series. New Jersey is a very fertile ground for her Fresh series.

  3. Pat, agree, what passes for NJ TV has curious effect of stirring without satisfying hunger for true treatments of our richly endowed state. Makes me think of light beers and cigarettes – getting something, but not what we expect and need, and certainly not what NJ deserves. Great pictures of the festivity — of Jim and Giancarlo also — and Jim is losing weight – pleasing to note, for his sake. Glad of this new show, and thanks for alerting.

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