Monmouth University Students Spotlight Culinary New Jersey
At the beginning of the semester, the students of Professor John Buzza’s entrepreneurship class at Monmouth University set out to make a difference. Inspired by their love for New Jersey’s cultural explosion of noteworthy restaurants, they decided to put together their own tribute to the state’s culinary best.
This year, the group created eNJoy: A Taste of New Jersey, a restaurant guide featuring popular Garden State restaurants and wineries. The book features more than 50 eateries throughout the state, and includes each one’s signature recipe as well as a brief history and description of each locale’s unique atmosphere.
“Monmouth University is based on the Jersey Shore,” said Marissa Cusanelli, student and CEO of eNJoy. “We wanted to commemorate New Jersey culture, so that when people buy the book on their visit to the Shore, they can bring a piece of New Jersey back home with them.”
To celebrate the book, the students are hosting a Chef’s Night at Branches Catering in Long Branch, where attendees can sample exclusive dishes from top chefs and their respective restaurants along with a tasting of some of New Jersey’s finest wineries. The event will be held on Monday, May 5, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Along with exceptional food tastings, guests will enjoy live entertainment.
It wasn’t just the students’ love of food that inspired them to create a recipe book infused with New Jersey flavor, it was also a way they could honor their fellow students and the University. All profits from the book and the upcoming Chef’s Night will be donated to endowed scholarship funds at Monmouth University in memoriam of Joseph Adelhardt, Chairman of the Leon Hess Business School, and Christopher Mejia, a business student of Monmouth University, who passed away in December 2012.
The mission of the Monmouth University Center for Entrepreneurship (MUCE) is to nurture entrepreneurial thinking through a community of business partners committed to achieving social and economic progress. Past successes from the MUCE include pasta sauce, dog treats, and perfumes that are still on the market today. Students in this current class don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon “We’re hoping to expand into more volumes,” said Cusanelli. “New Jersey has so many different facets such as Italian and dinners. The possibilities are endless!”
Chef’s Night tickets for students and Monmouth University faculty members are $15 and all non-student tickets are $35. For more information on eNJoy: A Taste of New Jersey or to purchase tickets to Chef’s Night, visit www.enjoynjfood.com.
Melissa Beveridge is a freelance journalist and editor, focusing on great food, healthy living, and wellness. Her passion for eating and living well embodies her writing. A lover of all things Jersey, she is also an avid traveler, always looking to discover those hidden culinary gems everywhere she goes. Her musings can be found on her blog mbeewell.wordpress.com.