Foodie Things To Do This Weekend And Beyond

Chili & Chowder Cook-Off, Saturday, March 10th from 12pm-4 pm. The Marquis de Lafayette Pub, Cape May, NJ. Some of the best restaurants and home chefs in the area will be spicing things up while preparing their tastiest dishes! All who attend not only have a chance to sample the delicious food, but also to judge the competition in various categories. Admission is $5 and benefits the Cape May Food Bank. For more information or to enter, call 609.884.5508 ext 102. Cook-Off

Atlantic City Restaurant Week, March 4th – March 10th. During the week, fine restaurants throughout Atlantic County will offer value priced three-course lunches and three-course dinners. A full list of participating restaurants, menu items, chef biographies and other details are available online. Restaurant Week hotel packages will also be available through the site, as well as the ability to book reservations online through Open Table at restaurants that use the Open Table reservation service. www.acrestaurantweek.com

Bloomfield Restaurant Week, March 4th – 10th. Participating restaurants are offering a prix-fixe menu for $30 or less (not including drinks, tax, and tip). Restaurants include Bar Cara, Bloomfield Steak & Seafood, Bohemia Latin Cuisine, Brookside Thai Restaurant, Mes Reves, Senorita’s Mexican Grill, Spice Thai Cuisine, and Stamna Greek Taverna. For more information: www.bloomfieldrestaurantweek.com.

The Grape Debate Charity Event, Friday, March 9th from 7pm-10pm. Held at the Basking Ridge Country Club, 185 Madisonville Road, Basking Ridge, to benefit Our House, which provides community housing, jobs, and recreational programs to more than 250 individuals with developmental disabilities. At the event, there will be passed appetizers and four culinary stations (pasta, sushi, prime rib, and desserts), along with a wide variety of wines and vodkas provided by Gary’s Wine and Marketplace. The evening will also include an interactive Tasting Tutorial presentation by advanced sommelier Jonathan Ross. For tickets, click Grape Debate .

19th Annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, Friday-Sunday, March 9th-10th. Fri & Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Held at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ. There will be crafts representing “a sensory celebration,” gourmet food and favorites, live demonstrations and family entertainment. For more information and tickets: Sugarloaf Festival

Chili & Chowder Cook-Off, Saturday, March 10th from 12pm-4 pm. The Marquis de Lafayette Pub, Cape May, NJ. Some of the best restaurants and home chefs in the area will be spicing things up while preparing their tastiest dishes! All who attend not only have a chance to sample the delicious food, but also to judge the competition in various categories. Admission is $5 and benefits the Cape May Food Bank. For more information or to enter, call 609.884.5508 ext 102.

Build a Rain Barrel Workshop, Saturday, March 10th at 9:30am. Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County presents Build a Rain Barrel workshop. Participants will build their own rain barrel and learn how to install it at home. A rain barrel is placed under a gutter’s downspout next to a house, to collect rain water from the roof. The water collected is great for watering your gardens. Register by contacting Jan Carrato at 732-600-1802 or Hybiscus20@yahoo.com no later than March 3rd.

Garden State Cake Show, Saturday & Sunday, March 10th & 11th. The Garden State Cake Show will be held at Burlington Township Middle School at Springside to benefit the Burlington Township Food Pantry. This two-day event will offer classes, cake competitions, vendors, demos and much more. Ages twelve and up: $10 for one day/$15 for both, or $5 plus two canned goods for one day/$10 plus four canned goods for both days. Ages four to eleven: $2 for one day/$3 for both days. Ages three and under are free. For more information, log on to www.gscakeshownj.com.

Belmar Restaurant Tour, Sunday, March 11th from 11am-4pm. Sample chefs creations at many of Belmar’s fine restaurants. Buy tickets early and save. For tickets and more information: Visit Belmar

And Beyond…

An Evening in Ireland, Tuesday, March 13th from 6pm-9pm. Atlantic Cape Community College is hosting an interactive cooking demonstration and tasting. The theme is An Evening in Ireland and participants will explore traditional Celtic foods, including Irish Oyster Soup with Boxty, Cashel Bleu Cheese and Baked Pear Salad, Beef and Guinness Pie, and Donegal Oatmeal Cream. For more information, visit www.atlantic.edu.

Forum on the Green – Farm to Table Dinner, Friday, March 16th at 6 pm. Go “green” this St. Patrick’s Day weekend as Cape May Forum partners with Slow Food South Jersey Shore in Congress Hall’s Ballroom. Acclaimed farm-to-table Executive Chef Lucas Manteca of The Virginia Hotel’s Ebbitt Room will craft this five course dinner using the freshest of ingredients from Beach Plum Farm and other local sources. Tickets are $50/ person with proceeds to benefit Cape May Forum & Slow Food South Jersey Shore. For more information, call 609.770-2626 or visit www.capemayforum.org. Congress Hall is located at 251 Beach Ave. in Cape May.

New Hope/Lambertville Restaurant Week, Sunday-Friday, March 18th-23rd. This year, 28 restaurants will participate in the week, long promotion of either a fine dining $29.95 pre-fixe dinner or $19.95 pre-fixe dinner. The following sponsors make new Hope/Lambertville Restaurant Week possible:  E&J Gallo Winery, River Horse Brewery, Stoli Vodka, Local Living Magazine and Packet Publications. Please visit www.VisitNewHope.com andwww.Lambertville.org to view the pre-fixe menus and detailed information on all of the restaurants.

Atlantic Bakery Expo 2012, Industry Expo. Sunday & Monday, March 19th & 20th. A complete educational program with demonstrations, seminars and hands-on classes to go along with a trade show floor packed with all the exhibitors you need for your business. This years expansion will help meet your need for new products to help increase profits. For more information:Expo 2012

Taste of Montclair, March 19th from 5:30pm-9pm at The Grove, 691 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove, to benefit the Food Pantry, the Salvation Army Feeding Program, and Toni’s Kitchen. $40 before March 15, $50 thereafter. The event will kick off Montclair Restaurant Week, which will run from March 20th through April 1st, with participating restaurants offering specially priced meals for $31 or less. For more information, click Montclair or call Diane Lilli at 973-868-9028.

15th Annual Taste of Middlesex on March 19, 2012, at the Pines Manor, 2085 Lincoln Highway/Route 27, and Edison, NJ presented by the Edison Chamber of Commerce.

29th Annual Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala, Thursday, March 22nd at 6:30pm. Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino. The event celebrates food by highlighting thousands of hors d’oeuvres prepared by students at the Academy of Culinary Arts and showcasing the specialties of 40 of the area’s best restaurants at a progressive dining experience. The Gala raises money for student scholarships. There will be 3 lucky winners will share up to $15,000 in the 50/50 raffle. For tickets and raffle tickets, please contact Lauren Canzanese at (609) 463-4672, acccfdn@atlantic.edu, or online at www.atlantic.edu/gala.

Marty Wilson, Jr. Art and Music Foundation Wine Tasting, Friday, March 23rd from 6pm-9pm. Support the arts at this annual wine tasting fundraiser. Includes light fare with cash bar. Proceeds benefit Art & Music classes and scholarships for Atlantic County students. Held at Angeloni’s II Restaurant, Atlantic City. Tickets are $15, available at the door or call 609-347-4500.

Beers on the Boards, Saturday, March 24th. Two sessions: 12:30pm-4pm & 6pm-9:30pm. A craft beer tasting festival on the boardwalk! With over 20 breweries and an all day gourmet buffet. Taste a tremendous variety of beer flavors. Buffet to include some cool beer inspired fare and different beer/food pairings to sample. Held Indoors at Martell’s Tiki Bar.For more information and tickets: BeersontheBoards.com

Organic Greenhouse Dinner, Tuesday, March 27th at 6:30pm. The dinner will be the epitome of farm-to-table dining as ingredients for the dishes will be planted and harvested in the college’s Organic Greenhouse, and cooked and served by ACA’s talented students. The menu includes organically grown items, responsibly harvested seafood and free-range poultry. Guests will be seated inside the Organic Greenhouse and reservations are limited to the first 20 guests. Tickets are $75. RSVP to Careme’s Restaurant at (609) 343-4940.

Taste Of Home Cooking Show, Thursday, March 29th. Edison, NJ. A traveling culinary event produced by “Taste of Home Cooking.”  Each show features live cooking demonstrations of up to 10 new seasonal recipes performed by a Taste of Home Culinary Specialist. Attendees will take away cooking tips that will make anyone a star in their own kitchen. They’ll also receive a gift bag chock full of more than $40 in valuable merchandise, including cooking magazines, cooking tools/utensils, promotional items, coupons and more. For ticket & venue information click here.

Husdon County CASA’s 6th Annual Wine Tasting, Sweets & Eats, Friday, March 30th from 6pm-9pm. Atrium in the Harborside Financial Center on the Jersey City waterfront. Enjoy sampling over 90 wines with sweets and treats gathered from the metropolitan area’s best purveyors. The night will also include hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction featuring one-of-a kind prizes, free parking, and much more!

New Jersey Wine & Food Festival, March 30th-April 1st. Held at Crystal Springs Resort this even is a celebration of the world’s best wines and renowned local and national chefs. The weekend’s events are designed to allow food and wine lovers to meet and mingle with chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and fellow wine aficionados. For more information: Crystal Springs

Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival 2012

The focus of The Atlantic City Beer Festival is the promotion of craft beers and the brewers that create them. Now in its 7th year the festival has taken a truly organic turn with the addition of original music from artists across the Tri-State area.

Session 1: Friday, March 30th from 7pm-11pm. Session 2: Saturday, March 31st from 12pm-4pm. Session 3: Saturday, March 31st from 6pm-10pm.

The 2012 Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival will not only highlight great beer and music but will also feature culinary demonstrations from local area chefs, beer seminars hosted by author and television personality Gary Monterosso as well as others and we can’t forget the amazing festival vendors… lots and lots of food and beer related vendors. This year’s festival will appeal to absolutely everyone.

For more information and tickets: AC Beer & Music Fest

Taste of Madison, Monday, April 2nd from 7pm-9:30pm (VIP Hour: 6-7pm). Held at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, Taste of Madison has become THE premiere food tasting event in Morris County, providing the opportunity to sample wonderful wines and signature dishes from some of Madison’s finest chefs and restaurants, all on one night and under one roof. For tickets and more information: Gary’s Wine

An Evening in Warsaw, Tuesday, April 10th from 6pm-9pm. Culinary Workshops Offer Taste of Global Cuisine at Atlantic Cape. Explore the rich culinary history of this classic Eastern European cuisine. The menu will include Beetroot Borscht, Pierogies Ruskie, Golumpki (stuffed cabbage), and Morello Cherry Soup for dessert. To register, call 609-343-4829 or visit www.atlantic.edu/conted.

The Rahway Taste of Spring! Friday,  April 13th. An event that takes up the entire site of the Arts District Recreation Center, and spills over into adjoining tents. The event hosts over 80 fine gourmet eateries, caterers, and food vendors from the Rahway metro area stretching across three counties.  Included you will find well over two dozen fine wine/boutique beer/aperitif tasting stations with vendors of national stature. You will have a memorable gourmet food experience while having the opportunity to savor tastings of over 150 top shelf wine selections. rahwaytaste.com for additional details.

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week™ Returns in April

The eagerly anticipated Jersey Shore Restaurant Week™ returns to the area April 13-22, 2012. Nearly 70 restaurants from the Highlands to Toms River will be participating, offering three course meals with three choices in each category for $20.12 or $30.12. This year, Restaurant Week will also offer a specially priced lunch option at selected restaurants.
The week begins with the gala Kick-Off Party at The Breakers Hotel in Spring Lake on Thursday, April 12, 2012. “Savor the Spring” is the theme as top area chefs nourish taste buds with the freshest foods of the season. Other highlights include, an International Wine Bar, delicious desserts, a cheese station and pate bar and live music. A VIP session will start at 6pm with 90+ rated wines, a special menu and a spectacular swag bag of gifts.
Other Special Events planned for the week include:

Sunday, April 15th
Great Jersey Shore Martini Contest
The Mill. Spring Lake Heights. Area bartenders compete for the best martini at the Shore. Professional panel and “People’s Choice” awards.

Monday, April 16th
Shipwreck Point Wine Dinner
Point Pleasant
Top rated steakhouse prepares a classic steak dinner paired with boutique wines. Hors d’ouevres, 4 courses, all paired with wines.

Tuesday, April 17th
Happy Hour!
Mosouttos

Wednesday, April 18th
“Shellfish and Chardonnay” Happy Hour
Jack Baker’s, Point Pleasant
Specially priced shrimp, oysters, clams and chardonnay

Thursday, April 19th
Tour de Porta
Porta, Asbury Park
Experience one of the Shore’s hottest new restaurants. Sample foods and wine, kitchen tour, cooking demo, live music.

Friday, April 20th
Ruffino Wine Dinner
Buona Sera, Red Bank
Hors d’ouvres, 4 courses, all paired with delicious Ruffino wines.

Saturday, April 21st
“Burgers, Bloodies and Brews”
Harpoon Willy’s, Manasquan.
Enjoy your choice of a specialty burger with a Bloody Mary or beer, all at a great price

Sunday, April 22nd
Countdown to Summer
Venue: TBD
Beach BBQ, summer drinks, live music

FOR EVENT DETAILS AND TICKETS VISIT: www.jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com

Taste Of Home Cooking Show, Thursday, April 26th. Mays Landing, NJ. A traveling culinary event produced by “Taste of Home Cooking.”  Each show features live cooking demonstrations of up to 10 new seasonal recipes performed by a Taste of Home Culinary Specialist. Attendees will take away cooking tips that will make anyone a star in their own kitchen. They’ll also receive a gift bag chock full of more than $40 in valuable merchandise, including cooking magazines, cooking tools/utensils, promotional items, coupons and more. For ticket & venue information click here.

Garden State Brewfest, Saturday, May 12th from 2pm-6pm. Support your local community! Come on out to sample great beers from local breweries while supporting charities. Enjoy music from live local bands. For more information and tickets: Garden State Brewfest

Chili & Salsa Cook-Off, Saturday, May 19th from 11am-5pm. Come to Downtown Toms River to taste tons of chili and salsa. There will be live entertainment, vendors and crafts. For more information: Chili & Salsa Cook-Off

Jersey Shore Food Truck Wars, Sunday, May 27th. Join us for the first ever Jersey Shore Food Truck Wars! The top food trucks in town (and out of town) will be rolling in to serve up their delicious dishes and try to earn your vote for People’s Choice. JS Food Truck Wars

Farm-to-Fork Fundraiser, Saturday, June 9th at 6pm. Brady Life Camp in Pottersville, NJ. There will be a farm fresh meal catered, live entertainment, 50/50 and live and silent auctions. Proceeds go towards America’s Grow-a-Row’s mission to positively impact as many lives as possible through a volunteer effort of planting, picking, rescuing, and delivering free fresh produce. For more information and to be a sponsor, please visit: America’s Grow a Row

42nd Annual New Jersey Irish Festival, Sunday, June 10th. Join us for live entertainment on two different stages, Pipe & Drum Band Competition, Catholic Mass, Food Vendors, Craft Vendors, Irish Step Dancing, Family Activities, 50/50 Raffle and a full day of live Thoroughbred racing. Irish Festival

Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, July 26th-29th. Festival will enjoy four days of events, tastings and celebrity chef appearances that showcase the city’s abundant culinary offerings. www.acfoodandwine.com

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