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This week Rosie tells us about the Summit Wine and Food Festival in Summit; executive chef Mitchell Altholz from The Manor and Highlawn Pavilion, both in West Orange; our dinner at the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville; and much more.
SUMMIT WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, SUMMIT
The Fourth Summit Wine and Food Festival 2012 will be held at the Grand Summit Hotel, 417 Springfield Ave, Summit, Sept 21–23. In attendance will be Daisy Martinez, star of Food Network’s Daisy Cooks!, and Chopped winner Wade Burch of New Providence.
The following events are planned:
Friday: International Gala Wine & Food Tasting
Saturday: Seminars, Sommelier Showdown Luncheon, a Latin Night Gala Wine and Food Tasting, and a VIP Gala dinner
Sunday: Seminars, cooking demonstrations, and Flavors of India Lunch
For information or tickets visit, summitwineandfood.com or call 908-277 -6565.
Chilled lobster with heirloom tomatoes, basil aioli, and baby romaine lettuce prepared by chef David Drake and paired with Quincy, Philippe Portier 2010, Loire, France, which was served at the Summit Wine and Food Festival 2011 VIP Gala dinner.
EXECUTIVE CHEF MITCHELL ALTHOLZ
Executive chef Mitchell Altholz from The Manor and the Highlawn Pavilion, both in West Orange, is no stranger to French kitchens. He previously worked at Maxim’s in Paris, Paul Bocuse in Lyon, Le Saprien in Sauternes, and L’Iboga in Bordeaux. Now he has another plume a son chapeau as on a recent vacation to France, he was invited to be a guest chef at Michelin-star chef Michel Guerard’s restaurant, La Bastide, where he presented a five-course menu. Dinner prep for chef Altholz and the 28 cooks he was supervising started at 6:30 AM. Now back in New Jersey, diners can look forward to seeing some new items on the menu at Highlawn that reflect his recent experiences.
La Bastide dining room
Photo courtesy of Mitchell Altholz
THE BERNARDS INN, BERNARDSVILLE
Executive chef Corey Heyer and sommelier Terri Baldwin from the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville presented a Garden State Bounty dinner at the James Beard House in New York City on August 9. However, the night before we were at the Bernards Inn for a special pre-Beard dinner for the press. What a great job we have!
Here’s a rundown of our dinner highlighting Jersey fish along with a few pics. Many of the vegetables and herbs were also from the Bernards Inn garden, which was expanded this year and produces over 75 different varieties of herbs and vegetables.
Hors d’oeuvres: smoked bluefish with Gruyère on thyme crackers; Cape May salt oysters with cucumber relish; clam shooters with horseradish–tomato water; blue crab–zucchini tarts; and lobster summer rolls with glass noodles, mint, and yuzu mayonnaise.
(Zardetto Brut Prosecco NV)
This was a delicious sampler and an indication of the well-planned dinner to come.
Fluke crudo with charred cantaloupe, crispy prosciutto, red-pepper marmalade, and balsamic reduction.
(Domaines Ott Château de Selle Côtes de Provence Rosé 2011)
We loved the contrast of textures and flavors on the crispy prosciutto, mild fluke and charred cantaloupe.
Barnegat Inlet scallops with baby arugula, garden vegetables, radishes, fried shallots, and citrus–basil emulsion.
(Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2011)
This was a perfect example of eating with your eyes first.
Seared skate with cauliflower purée, honshimeji mushrooms, fava beans, summer squash, and brown butter–caper sauce.
(Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2010)
One of our favorite fishes, skate pairs beautifully with the brown butter caper sauce, and we love the ribbed texture.
Striped bass was served at the Beard dinner, but we had tilefish with potato galette, sweet corn, melted leeks, oven-roasted tomatoes, and lemon thyme.
(Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2010)
The lean, mildly flavored tilefish was enhanced with the rich buttery-crusted potato galette and lemon thyme.
Peach tarte tatin with local honey and lavender ice cream.
(Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2010)
Local peaches from Harmony, NJ paired with local honey and creamy ice cream was a perfect ending to our dinner.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
The Bernards Inn
27 Mine Brook Road
MISS NICKY’S GOURMET TOFFEE
We always thought that Miss Nicky’s gourmet toffee was the best we ever had. It’s made to order, has no corn syrup, preservatives or additives, is gluten free, and sinfully good. But now we are in a quandary as to the best toffee as we tried Mazel Toffee—don’t you love the name?—made with cinnamon, dried cherries, raisins and chocolate. Guess we will have to keep tasting to pick a favorite. But it’s not only toffee that makes Miss Nicky so special. She offers a variety of cookies, cakes, and brownies. Her Vegan Bobbi cookie was created for Bobbi Brown, founder and CEO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and is flourless, butter-less, and eggless. Who is Miss Nicky? She is Nicolette Mesiah owner of Mesiah Event Planners and graduate of Peter Kump’s Cooking School in NY. Check her out online at missnickys.com and let me know which is your favorite toffee.
CAN YOUR TOMATO WIN THE BIGGEST TOMATO CONTEST?
Sickles Market, One Harrison Ave, Little Silver is holding a Biggest Tomato Contest. The winner will receive a $100 Sickles gift card. This is how it works. Bring the biggest tomato from your garden on September 8 to Sickles Market at 1 PM to be weighed. One tomato entry per person, and tomato must be presented by the person who grew it. Get gardening now, and good luck to all. Information: 732-741-9563.
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