Behind the Restaurant Scenes

The latest news from Natirar in Peapack-Gladstone, and Orama in Edgewater.

Award-winning sommelier John Jansma is the new wine director at Natirar, a culinary complex that includes the restaurant Ninety Acres, the Natirar Cooking School and The Farm at Natirar.

The culinary destination, located in Peapack-Gladstone, recently opened an event space called The Mansion at Natirar and announced plans to expand its beverage program.

Jansma, certified by the Sommelier Society of America and named the Iron Shaker champion for New Jersey in 2014, joins Natirar, according to founder Bob Wojtowicz, “at a seminal time as we evolve Natirar’s well-regarded wine program to appeal to an ever-broader audience.”

For the past six years, Jansma has been the general manager and sommelier at Serenade in Chatham. Before that, he worked at Ram’s Head Inn, Galloway, and Tavistock Country Club in Haddonfield.

Jansma has overseen wine programs cited by Wine Spectator magazine, DiRoNa, and the AAA Four Diamond Awards. He joins Natirar executive chef David Felton on the management team.

Natirar, a retreat formerly owned by the King of Morocco, is a 500-acre estate in the Somerset Hills. It is a public-private partnership between Wojtowicz and Somerset County.

Natirar is located at 2 Main Street in Peapack-Gladstone. For information, visit


Bryan Gregg, most recently of Escape Montclair, has been named executive chef of Orama in Edgewater.

Located on the Hudson River, Orama’s menu has long featured globally influenced new American cuisine. According to owners Stacey Christakos and Simeon Maximiadis, Gregg will help to expand the restaurant’s a la carte offerings, as well as its private event services, chef’s table tastings and collaborative dinners.

Gregg says he will redefine Orama’s menus based on ingredients straight from New Jersey’s markets, docks and farms. He also plans to offer more wine-pairing dinners at the restaurant.

The chef, who has worked at the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and Michael Anthony’s, is the founder of Think Local Foods, a restaurant consulting firm.

Orama is located at 595 River Road in Edgewater;

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  1. Wendell

    Can’t go wrong by hiring an award-winning chef. Good luck to all involved.