Tag Archives: Mark Bittman

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 18Margateinfo@steveandcookies.com    www.steveandcookies.com
North Jersey July 21Riverview Farmers Market, Jersey City Heights
Mory Thomas, director of Culinary Development at the Food Network, judge farmsintheheights@gmail.com
South Jersey July 28Gloucester 4-H Fair,Mullica Hill Chef Jim Malaby, blueplate restaurant, judge jls017@hotmail.com;jerseypeaches@verizon.net   http://gloucester.njaes.rutgers.edu/fairfest
South Jersey: August 3-CollingswoodChef Mark Smith,Tortilla Press, judge
lecipriani@aol.com http://www.Collingswoodmarket.com
Central Jersey Aug 4Terhune Orchard, Princetoninfo@terhuneorchards.com   http://www.terhuneorchards.com
Central Jersey Aug 7Woodbridge kelly.reidy@twp.woodbridge.nj.us   http://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us
Central Jersey Aug 11Hunterdon Land Trust, Flemington Chef/owner Leslie McEachem, Angelica Kitchen, NYC, judge
catherine@hunterdonlandtrust.org   http://www.cpcchester.org
North Jersey  Aug 11RamseyPastry Chef Michael Volpe, chef/owner L’Arte della Pasticceria, Ramsey’s new authentic Italian café and bakery, judge
amorfeti@aol.com;lorraine372002@yahoo.com   http://www.ramseyfarmersmarket.org
South Jersey Aug 14Westmont bluecuts@comcast.net   www.westmontfarmersmarket.com

Zagat NJ Needs You; Jack Morrison on 30 Years in Seafood Biz; A Better Food Label?; More

Are You One of Those People Who Bemoan the Ratings in the Zagat Survey?

Then here’s your opportunity to eviscerate that stale has-been that gets sterling ratings year in and year out, and to speak up on behalf of that hole-in-the-wall or cool new spot that has been unjustly overlooked by those (ahem) jaded restaurant critics. The voting on NJ restaurants for the 2013/14 guide is going on now through December 2. Just sign up here and have at it – and you’ll get freebies to boot.

Are you a fan of Princeton’s Blue Point Grill or Witherspoon Grill? It all Started 30 Years ago with a little fish market that could…

Jack Morrison
photo courtesy of princetoninfo.com

These days Jack Morrison is a restaurateur, real estate developer, shopkeeper, farmers market founder, and Princeton mover-and-shaker. He got his start three decades ago with a modest seafood market at the “dead” end of town in the middle of a recession. On the occasion of Nassau Street Seafood‘s 30th anniversary, Morrison explains how and why it worked then – and now – in my report in the current issue of US 1.


Speaking of Princeton: Congrats to Jammin’ Crepes

This signature 20-layer crepe cake filled with lemon blossom mousse took The People’s Choice award at the recent dessert competition sponsored by Corner House, the counseling agency for Princeton area young people and their families confronting substance abuse and other emotional issues. Jammin Crepe‘s owners Kim Rizk’s and Kathy Klockenbrink’s crepes are wildly popular at area farmers markets.

Is the US Ready for an Improved Food Label?

How to understand and use the US Nutritional F...

In case you missed it in last Sunday’s NY Times, here’s Mark Bittman’s proposal on how to develop a food label that is quick and easy to read (unlike the current sample above) and provides actual useful information. I like that the one he promotes incorporates the Slow Food ideal of food that is good (tasting), clean (of harmful chemicals, pesticides, etc.), and fair (to animals and to the humans who raise and process them.)

Marsilio’s Review; Getting Kids to Eat Right; Your Cookie Recipe = $1000?; More


This erstwhile Chambersburg Italian stalwart has resurfaced in Ewing. The incomparable chicken cacciatore is back – but how does the rest of it measure up? Here’s my review from the October issue of New Jersey Monthly.


Since 2005 Stacey Antine’s HealthBarn USA in Wyckoff (and now Westchester NY) has been getting real results teaching kids and their parents how to eat well and happily. You may have seen her on Rachael Ray and CNN. Here’s my Princeton Packet profile – with recipes – of her first book, just out. The book’s title: Appetite for Life: The Thumbs-Up, No-Yucks Guide to Getting Your Kid to be a Great Eater.


Like to bake? The founder of Tate’s Bake Shop – you’re probably familiar with her Southampton (NY) company’s high-end packaged cookies – recently published a cookbook titled Baking for Friends, and you can win $1000 by downloading from the website, adapting, and personalizing 1 of 5 cookie recipes. Check out the details on the Tate’s website.


Recently I was interviewed on radio station WDVR, based in Sergeantsville. Host Walt Haake and I had a lively discussion on everything from Mayor Bloomberg’s big-soda ban to what I look for when I review restaurants. Listen to it here.


How is it possible I haven’t mentioned Rancho Gordo heirloom beans here before? I’ve been a fan and customer of Steve Sando’s Napa-based enterprise for years. His October newsletter (You like beans? Sign up – you won’t regret it) includes a recipe for cannellini beans cooked in the oven with a head of garlic, left whole. It’s from the blog of his pal Judy Witts Francini , a talented American woman who has lived in Tuscany for years, where she runs a well-respected cooking school and culinary tour biz, Divina Cucina. I was hooked on her bean recipe as soon as I read this:

an oven-baked version which also creates a cassoulet style crust on top of the beans

I have used other of Ms. Francini’s recipes before and they are uniformly great. Check out her oven-roasted bean recipe here.



Did you catch Mark Bittman’s piece about Alzheimer’s as Type 3 Diabetes? Makes a lot of sense to me. What do you think?