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Garden State Culinary Arts Awards 2017 Finalists


This just in: The finalists for the inaugural Garden State Culinary Arts Awards (GSCAA)! The GSCAA will consist of a ceremony and reception on Sunday, May 7, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at HerSpace Breast-Imaging and Women’s Wellness Center in Eatontown. Amy Niles, president and CEO of WBGO public radio in Newark, will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening. During the past year, the seven-member GSCAA committee and a statewide body of judges mined New Jersey for candidates for consideration for the awards. After winnowing down the names in each category to 10 nominees, the committee and judges voted in the first round of balloting. The top three nominees that received the most votes in each category were deemed finalists. After the second round of voting, the winners will be selected and announced at the ceremony on May 7. Finalists will be given two complimentary tickets to the awards ceremony. Reservations for these complimentary tickets, and any additional tickets for purchase at $50 each, will be required by April 22.

FINALISTS FOR THE GARDEN STATE CULINARY ARTS AWARDS

BEST RESTAURANT

A Toute Heure, Cranford

Cucharamama, Hoboken
The Frog and the Peach, New Brunswick

BEST CHEF

Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, and Mistral, Princeton
Andrew “Drew’’ Araneo, Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, Keyport
Ryan DePersio, Fascino, Montclair; Battello, Jersey City; The Kitchen Step, Jersey City

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Barrio Costero, Asbury Park
Common Lot, Millburn
Graze, Little Silver

BEST CASUAL RESTAURANT

Broad Street Diner, Keyport
DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville
The Pop Shop, Collingswood

OUTSTANDING FARMER

Matthew Bruckler III, JAH’s Creation Organic, Egg Harbor Township
McCormack Family, McCormack Farms, Middletown
Peter, John and Rebecca Melick, Melick’s Town Farm, Oldwick, Tewksbury Township

OUTSTANDING WINE PROFESSIONAL

Nicholas Harary, owner, Restaurant Nicholas, Middletown
Nick Pizzonia, vice president, Court Liquors, West End, Long Branch
Chuck Russo, owner, Carlo Russo Wine and Spirit World, Ho-Ho-Kus

OUTSTANDING BEER PROFESSIONAL

Augie Carton, co-founder, Carton Brewing Company, Atlantic Highlands
Michael Kane, president/founder, Kane Brewing Company, Ocean Township
Gene Muller, founder, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Somerdale

OUTSTANDING SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL

Brant Braue, owner and master distiller, Jersey Artisan Distilling, Fairfield
Russell Lewis, owner, Michael Johannsen, head bartender, Watermark, Asbury Park
Bryan Mack, bartender, Verve, Somerville**

**Mack was placed on the ballot before his passing in January. The committee has chosen to keep his name there to honor his work and memory.

RISING STAR CHEF

Christopher Atamian, chef/owner, Porcini, Highlands
A.J. Capella, chef de cuisine, The Ryland Inn, Whitehouse, Readington Township
Jacqueline Platzer, assistant culinary director, PJW Restaurant Group, Haddonfield

OUTSTANDING FOOD MARKET

The Cheese Cave, Red Bank
Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck
Market Basket, Franklin Lakes

OUTSTANDING FOOD ARTISAN

Gabrielle Carbone and Matthew Errico, The Bent Spoon, Princeton
Eran Wajswol, Valley Shepherd Creamery, Long Valley
Jonathan and Nina White, Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse, Alexandria Township

GARDEN STATE CULINARY LEGEND

D’Artagnan, Union
Knife & Fork Inn, Atlantic City
Chris Mumford, co-owner, Mumford’s Culinary Center, Tinton Falls

Executive Committee:
Chairman Peter Genovese, food/features writer, NJ Advance Media and NJ.com
Anthony Ewing, founder of EthnicNJ.com
John Howard-Fusco, food writer and founder of Eating in South Jersey
Marie Jackson, an Atlantic Highlands-based, James Beard-recognized pastry chef
Shannon Mullen, staff writer for The Asbury Park Press
Tammy Paolino, regional features content strategist for The Courier Post/USA Today Network
Elisa Ung, writer and editor and the former restaurant reviewer and dining columnist for The Record and NorthJersey.com

Andy Clurfeld is the founder of the GSCAA and the awards administrator. Clurfeld did not participate in the voting.

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