Foodie Things to Do This Weekend and Beyond

It’s peach picking season at Demarest Farms, Bergen county’s pick your own working farm.  Take a hay ride up into the orchard for $5 per person and purchase a large bag for $6 to stuff with freshly picked Jersey peaches.  Peach picking takes place on Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 4pm.  While at Demarest Farms, be sure to visit the store for freshly made donuts and hubcap sized potato pancakes.  Thursday night BBQs feature live music, al fresco (aka overlooking the parking lot) dining and all you can eat ribs, chicken, hot dogs, baked beans, salad, corn and watermelon with water or soda for $17.95/adults and $9.95/kids.  Demarest Farms  244 Wierimus Road  Hillsdale, NJ 07642  201.666.0472

Another great farm, family-owned like Demarest Farms, is Abma’s Farm Market & Nursery at 700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff, NJ 07481, 201-891-0278  The fields are overflowing with all types of vegetables and tender lettuces, prized by many of northern New Jersey’s chefs.  Another plus is the farm’s fresh eggs.  The store is closed on Sundays.  A small barnyard and petting zoo is sure to delight younger children.

17th Annual Clamfest, Huddy Park, Highlands 732-291-4713 August 4 – 7. Discover the true meaning of “Succulent Seafood” at the Highlands Business Partnership’s 17th Annual Clamfest.  The Clam Festival is a four-day action packed event featuring the freshest seafood, live entertainment, kiddy rides, games, contests, a beer and wine garden and more. Admission and parking is free, and the event takes place rain or shine. The 17th Annual Clam Fest will feature a Beer and Wine Garden on the corner of Waterwitch and Bay Avenues sponsored by Shore Point Distributor. You may also visit the VFW’s own beer garden in the rear of the post on Central and Bay. Click for More Information.

The NJ State Fair starts today thru the 14th at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta. Visitors enjoy the tremendous agricultural exhibits for which the Fair is famous. Animals are everywhere you look – from a bee and honey display to the barns at the livestock exhibitions, in the horticultural exhibits and contests, and in the Horse Show Ring.  You’ll taste food whose recipes hail from the heart of rural New Jersey or from just about anywhere in the world. All of the various waves of immigrations that have built the state of New Jersey bring good things to these tables! Every member of the family will love this remarkable event. Groups and motor coaches are welcome. Parking is free. Adults $11, Children $5, Under 5 free. Reduced advance tickets are available.

The River Walk Wine Festival,August 6-7: Cooper River Park, Pennsauken NJ Admission Tent open each day 11:30 am. Featuring hundreds of award-winning New Jersey wines and great regional bands will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7, from Noon to 5 p.m. at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken. Twenty New Jersey wineries will showcase their wines at the event, sponsored by the Garden State Wine Growers Association.

Annual Peach Festival, Mount Laurel Friends Meetinghouse. The festival will be on August 6 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mount Laurel Friends Meetinghouse, located at Mount Laurel Corner, the intersection of Moorestown-Mt. Laurel Road (Route 603) and Hainesport-Mt. Laurel 
Road (Route 684). The outdoor festival features homemade cakes and pies topped with fresh, locally grown peaches and homemade ice cream churned on premises with an old-fashioned ice cream machine. Guests will also be treated to balloon animals and tricks by Pretzels the Clown and a classic car review. Volunteers will offer informal tours of the historic building to interested visitors. Tickets to the Peach Festival are $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free for children under 4. For information about the Mount Laurel Meeting Peach Festival, contact the Moorestown Monthly Meeting office at 856-235-1561 before August 4.

Ocean Township Italian Festival, August 10 – 14, Joe Palaia Park, Corner of Deal and Whalepond Roads, Ocean Twp. Sample the great tastes of Italy’s food. Also, rides, games, music, and fireworks.

A Mid-Summer Crab Feast August 18th, at the Elan, 111 Rt 46 W, Lodi, to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Lodi. The all-you-can-eat, sit-down, family-style menu includes appetizers, Dungeness crab, roasted potato salad, grilled corn on the cob, coleslaw, jalapeno cornbread, homemade doughnuts, seasonal fruit salad, wine, and beer. 6 to 8 PM; adults $54.95, teenagers $44.95, children ages five to twelve $39.95; plus tax and 20 percent gratuity. For reservations, call 973-777-0503.

STELLEKAYA South African Wine Dinner. Friday, August 19, 2011 – 7:00pm at Branches Catering in West Long Branch. About Stellekaya…Stellekaya means “home of the stars” and is a privately owned boutique wine producer situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The cellar is located in the famous town of Stellenbosch and all grapes are sourced from producers in this appellation. South African cuisine is very diverse with English, Dutch, Indian and other Southern Asian influences not to mention the rich food culture of the indigenous people of Africa. This dinner reflects the diversity of the culture. Click Here to view full Menu.

A five-course dinner, Culinary Classic III: Jersey Fresh Seafood and Produce, will be held at Renault Winery, August 19th.  72 North Bremen Ave, Egg Harbor City. 6:30 PM; $75. For reservations, call 609-965-2111.

The Fifth Annual Crab Cake Festival & Shore Chef Cook-Off August 20th and 21st. Monmouth Park, 175 Oceanport Ave, Oceanport. The event will feature New Jersey crab cakes and seafood from NJ restaurants, with chefs competing for Best Crab Cake and Best of the Rest. Along with thoroughbred racing there will be live entertainment and crafts to buy. Noon to 5 PM; $3 grandstand admission allows admission to the Cook-Off area. Advance tickets are not required, and food prices will range from $5 to $15. Check out the fun on YouTube.

A five-course Farm to Table Dinner sponsored by Slow Food Northern NJ August 21st, will be held at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Rd, Morristown. Chef Andrea Carbine from A Toute Heure in Cranford will prepare a dinner centered on Fosterfields’ heirloom vegetables, grass-fed meat, and poultry. Chef Diane Pinder of Donna & Company Artisan Chocolates will present dessert. Sustainable and organic wines will be paired with each course. Live music will be provided by the Cabin Jazz All-Stars, and farmer Rob Kibbe will conduct a horse-drawn hayride tour. The proceeds from this Sustenance on the Farm Dinner will benefit Fosterfields’ educational farm programs for schoolchildren and the Slow Food Northern NJ School Garden Program. For more information, call 908-451-0051, and for tickets log on to

Grape Stomping Festival at Renault Winery. Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28. Come enjoy the time honored tradition of grape stomping and welcome in the harvest season.This is your chance to make your own wine the old fashion way and take home the fruits of your labor!! Meet Lucy, bring a camera, bring the whole family! Beer and wine garden, wonderful food including our world famous sausage and peppers, Jersey fresh seafood and much, much more…call 609.965.2111 for more information. Noon – 4 PM RAIN or SHINE. FREE admission – FREE Parking.

Rib Rock at PNC Bank Arts Center August 28th. Headliners: The J. Geils Band, B. B. King and Gary Clarke Jr. Action on the Festival Stage starts at 3 p.m., In between acts, emcee Chef James Conroy, from QVC, will be entertaining the crowd with “low and slow” barbecue techniques and cooking demonstrations, interviews with the chefs, and audience participation contests and activities. Among a wide array of crafters and vendors, Jersey Shore-centric attractions in the festival arena include fortune telling by Madame Marie, meet and greet with the team from Weird NJ, and trims by the Shore’s Bikini Barbers, “Where it’s Summer All Year Round.”

Ocean Township Italian Festival, August 10 – 14, Joe Palaia Park, Corner of Deal and Whalepond Roads, Ocean Twp. Sample the great tastes of Italy’s food. Also, rides, games, music, and fireworks.