Review: Park Ave B&G; Bittman to Monsanto: Get Lost; Jersey Peach Pie Contest

Park Avenue Bar & Grill in Union City opened in 2007 and got a really good chef in 2009, yet it remains under the radar. I think I’ve discovered why. Here, in the July issue of New Jersey MonthlyNJ Monthly cover july13

Bittman Takes on Monsanto, the World Food Prize, and John Kerry

Did you catch Mark Bittman’s forceful blog post in response to John Kerry’s ringing endorsement of GMOs and Monsanto’s winning the World Food Prize (which, btw, it sponsors)? Here’s the closing paragraph:

“In this day hunger comes not because there is not enough food; it comes because some are unable to either buy it or produce it. Hunger represents inequality: there are no hungry people with money. Alleviating hunger, in part, is recognizing that the right to eat is equivalent to the right to breathe, which trumps the right to make profits. The real heroes in the world of food are those who recognize this, and who work to improve the kind of low-input agriculture upon which the majority of the world’s people — and the vast majority of farmers — rely. There are hundreds of people deserving of “prizes” for this kind of work. The bigwigs at Monsanto are not among them.”

Here’s the NY Times link to this must-read piece.

Your Peach Pie (or Cobbler) Can Win You an Overnight to Cape May or Atlantic City

English: White peach and its cross section iso...

English: White peach and its cross section isolated on a white background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is expected to be a banner year for Jersey peaches, and the NJ Peach Promotion Council is sponsoring its first baking contest, with the above as grand prize for 2 talented amateur bakers, one from (basically) North Jersey and one from (basically) South. Here’s how it works:

– 9 farmers markets throughout the state are participating. To enter, you contact the market of your choice (see email addresses & info below).

– On the designated day in July or August (also see below) take your pie or cobbler to the market, where professional chefs will judge the entries. Some markets, like Margate’s, are offering additional prizes – in this case, the top 3 winners will receive gift certificates to Steve & Cookies by the Bay – not bad!

– 1 finalist from each market will go on to compete in the finals, with 2 grand prize winners crowned (specifics on this part are lacking, so ask).

Unfortunately, not all the websites listed below (including the Peach Council’s)  have contest info posted yet, so my advice is to email the contacts directly. Provide your name, city or town, phone # or email, & what you will be baking. Good luck!

South Jersey July
North Jersey July 21Riverview Farmers Market, Jersey City Heights
Mory Thomas, director of Culinary Development at the Food Network, judge
South Jersey July 28Gloucester 4-H Fair,Mullica Hill Chef Jim Malaby, blueplate restaurant, judge;
South Jersey: August 3-CollingswoodChef Mark Smith,Tortilla Press, judge
Central Jersey Aug 4Terhune Orchard,
Central Jersey Aug 7Woodbridge
Central Jersey Aug 11Hunterdon Land Trust, Flemington Chef/owner Leslie McEachem, Angelica Kitchen, NYC, judge
North Jersey  Aug 11RamseyPastry Chef Michael Volpe, chef/owner L’Arte della Pasticceria, Ramsey’s new authentic Italian café and bakery, judge;
South Jersey Aug 14Westmont

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