Upcoming Culinary Events

A James Beard dinner with a Jersey chef, holiday markets and more.

There’s no turning back now: The holiday season is upon us and all things culinary are peaking. Special events are truly special at this time of year.

We start with a honor bestowed on one of New Jersey’s finest chefs: an invitation by the James Beard Foundation to David Viana, chef-partner at Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, to headline a special “Holiday Decadence in the Garden State” multi-course dinner on Wednesday, December 20, starting at 7 pm at the Beard House, 167 West 12th Street in New York.

Here’s a look at Viana’s Beard House menu, released yesterday:

Heirloom Kitchen’s Greatest Hits

Hors d‘oeuvres

* “Everything” pancakes with smoked trout

* Caramelized white chocolate and foie gras truffle

* Scallop dumpling with coconut beurre blanc and caviar

First course

Tuna Tartare: jalapeño, shallot, scallion, nouc cham vinaigrette, pickled ginger sorbet

Second course

Pork and Smoked Apple Raviolo: bacon pine nut crumble, delicata squash, sweet potato, truffle mustard jus

Third course

Scallops: fingerling potatoes, roast carrots, chestnut puree, almond-mint pesto, lemon-brown butter emulsion

Fourth course

Duck Breast: herbed rye berries, granola, parsnip, date puree, coffee, pecans, maitakea, duck jus


Lemongrass mousse: roasted white chocolate, Asian pear, gingerbread, bourbon, mint

The cost to members of the James Beard Foundation is $135 per person and, for the general public, $175. Prices include complimentary wines, tax and tip. Heirloom Kitchen’s owner, Neilly Robinson, tells us that wines for “Holiday Decadence in the Garden State” will be donated by the importer-distributor David Bowler and introduced by Nick Pizzonia, of Court Liquors/Court Wine Club, West End section of Long Branch.

Reservations are required. To reserve, call 212-627-2308 during regular business hours or visit jamesbeard.org.

Another something very special:
Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten, 527 Lake Avenue in Asbury Park, is presenting its now-annual Weihnachtsmarkt on its rooftop starting this weekend, Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26, from noon to 7 pm. This winter market continues on succeeding weekends: December 2 and 3, December 9 and 10, December 16 and 17, and concludes on Saturday, December 23. On tap will be specialty foods and drinks, plus toys and ornaments for sale that Asbury Festhalle owner Jennifer Lampert found on her recent trip to Europe. For more information, call 732-997-8767 or visitasburybiergarten.com.


Duckhorn Wine dinner: Salt Creek Grille, 4 Bingham Avenue, Rumson, is hosting a holiday season food-wine pairing dinner, featuring selections from the California winery on Wednesday, December 6 starting at 6:30 pm. Cost: $99 per person, not including tax and tip. For information on the menu and wines, and to reserve, call 732-933-9272 or vist saltcreekgrille.com.


Edible Jersey Holiday Market: The Willow School, 1150 Pottersville Road in Gladstone, will host a one-day food-centric market on Sunday, December 3 from 11 am to 4 pm. Proceeds from this partnership between Edible Jersey and the Pickals Foundation will benefit the foundation, which is dedicated to funding research into ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). Suggested donation for those 17 and older is $5. For more information and a complete list of vendors, visit ediblejersey.com.

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