Get a Taste of Historic Blueberries at Whitesbog Village

Plus: Other food events in Princeton, Asbury and beyond.

Fresh blueberries. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Whitesbog Historic Blueberry Tasting
Sunday, July 7, 11am – 1pm

What better follow up to 4th of July fireworks than a relaxing afternoon at an historic preservation with some berries and a little American history? In case you don’t know the whole story, in 1916, the wife of Whitesbog founder Joseph White, Elizabeth White collaborated with Dr. Frederick Coville of the Department of Agriculture to develop the first-ever cultivated blueberry plant (the rest, more or less, is delicious history). This Sunday, staff at the Whitesbog Preservation Trust—which dedicates itself to year-round interpretation and preservation of the historic village—will guide you through a tasting of some of the blueberry varieties that have come about since, as well as some heritage and historic plants, and even take you through Mrs. White’s original demo blueberry garden. Not entirely a food-centric event (don’t count on it for lunch), but a nice—and color appropriate—way to highlight a Jersey-born contribution to the national culinary conversation. Tickets are $20. Elizabeth White House and Garden, Whitesbog Village, 120 Whites Bogs Road, #34, Browns Mills; 609-893-4646

 Summer Cookout at Salt Creek Grille
Wednesday July 17, 5–8pm

The trick to a tasty summer is access to a grill. If you don’t have your own, or just want to enjoy the outdoors without any prep or cleanup, try the Salt Creek Grille in Princeton. On Wednesday, July 17, they’re hosting a summer cookout in conjunction with Sourland Mountain Spirits. It’s family friendly—there will be music and yard games throughout—and ticket prices are pretty reasonable: $55 for adults and $15 for kids buys access to chef Wally Weaver’s cookout menu (think ribs, sliders, corn on the cob, “kaleslaw”) plus custom cocktails made just for the day with Sourland Mountain Spirits (the “Vodka Palmer” will have Sourland Mountain vodka, fresh lemonade, and tea). The rain date is Thursday, July 18. Salt Creek Grille, 1 Rockingham Row, Princeton; 609-419-4200

Cocktail Club at Modine
Thursday Nights, Summer

Just think of it as a way to kick of Summer Friday extra, extra early. On Thursday nights this summer, Modine in Asbury Park is offering unofficial cocktail classes as part of its Thursday “Cocktail Club.” Don’t worry—the club’s fairly laid back and unofficial, no specific attire or badge-earning required. Just come thirsty and Modine bartenders will be sharing, showcasing, and variously shaking their way through two craft cocktails per night, teaching guests a little about history, ingredients, and, of course, assembly. There are no set hours for the club, as of now anyway, with the “class” being sort of a continuous demonstration as bar customers come and go (though we think more are likely to stay as long as possible). No word yet as to whether Thursday, July 4 has a special Americana theme, but just in case come prepared to shake, stir, and drink something red, white, and/or blue. Modine, 601 Mattison Avenue, Asbury Park; 732-893-5300

Chef’s Table at Ironbound Farm
Thursday, August 8, 5–9pm

All of Ironbound Cider’s “Chef Table” dinners are bound to be good—it’s a festive night of open-air eating and drinking centered around the output of a 26-foot tall, 9,000 pound cooking station nicknamed “Mother Fire.” But if you can make it on August 8, you might get something a little extra special with chef Negro Piattoni at the helm. A native Argentinian, Piattoni came up under none other than open flame cooking maestro Francis Mallman himself (the Patagonian chef is now so associated with his primal skillset, this is the cover of his most recent cookbook ). Piattoni first came stateside to cook at Mallman’s Bar Tartine, but he’s since graduated to the helm of his own, incredibly-buzzed-about Brooklyn restaurant Metta. That’s all well and good for Brooklyn, but Thursday, August 8, Piattoni will be making a cameo appearance in Jersey, cooking over the fires of Ironbound’s outdoor kitchen. The menu is still TBD, but based on Piattoni’s food in Brooklyn, we’re guessing hyper seasonal, painstakingly local, creative, inspired, and yes, even fun. Chances are food people in the know will snatch up these tickets—even at $200 per person—so don’t dally if you’re up for the splurge. Ironbound Farm, 360 County Road 579, Asbury; 908-940-4115

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