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Owner: Deborah Smith Launched in 2007, JerseyBites.com began as a home for Deborah’s growing collection of recipes, but soon grew into a hub for food news in the Garden State. In addition to her duties on JerseyBites, Deborah is the owner of Foxtrot Media, a full service digital marketing company that specializes in content development, social media marketing and search engine optimization. She is also a highly sought after speaker on the topic of restaurant marketing, social media and blogging. You can learn more about her services and marketing through social media on her blog www.DeborahLSmith.com.
Editor: Rachel Bozek is a writer and editor based in suburban Essex County. She loves interviewing chefs and restaurateurs—especially the ones who love New Jersey. She grew up in Bergen County, and has lost track of how much time she’s spent on LBI and in the Wildwoods. After graduating from James Madison University, Rachel spent 10 years at Nickelodeon, where she was an editor at Nickelodeon Magazine. Now she does a range of editorial work, including trivia writing for all ages, kid-friendly content, marketing research, and of course, Jersey Bites! Through it all, her search for the perfect pancake continues. You can find her on Twitter (@rachelbozek) or view some of her work here.
Amanda Biddle is a food writer, photographer, social media consultant, and lifelong Central Jersey resident who believes there are few bad days that can’t be improved with a warm baguette and a wedge of Brie. Amanda shares her passion for all things food and wine on her blog, Striped Spatula, where she publishes recipes, restaurant reviews, and culinary event recaps. When she isn’t blogging, Amanda enjoys playing classical piano, golf, and stand-up paddle boarding (which she recently discovered on vacation in beautiful Stone Harbor!). Follow Amanda’s foodie adventures on Instagram or contact her at email@example.com.
Veronique Deblois, Food & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.
Cindy Dudas is a wife, mom, and lover of all foods except cilantro. She is a member of both the New Jersey Digital Moms and the Philly Social Media Moms and is a current contributor to several publications including NJ.com’s Parental Guidance section. She has two blogs of her own: Whatever Works is the story of her life while her recipe blog asks the question What the heck’s a bonbon? In her off time, you can find Cindy on some sort of sports field or court cheering her kids on. And she probably has snacks.
Dina Deleasa-Gonsar is born and raised in New Jersey along with a loud Italian family! Dina has appeared alongside them on the E! Networks show Married to Jonas, where, for her, food is synonymous with family and life events. She grew up with Sunday dinner being treated like a weekly holiday. A family dinner is serious business—and perhaps a lost art. Dina’s training comes first and foremost from her mother and grandmother. Along the way she has picked up techniques from various cooking classes from the Institute of Culinary Education and the Ninety Acres Culinary Center. She hopes to inspire home cooks to venture out and aspire to create meals that are the centerpieces for family time and traditions. She is a contributor to EatUp New York, and recently had her first cooking demo on a morning show. She is so excited to share recipes and restaurants with the Jersey Bites community. As evidenced by her blog Dish It Girl, Dina’s versatility allows her to put on some heels and hit up a five-star restaurant, and then chase down a food truck. If you can dish it, you best believe she can eat it! You can also find Dina on her YouTube channel.
Mary Wozniak is a South Jersey mom, lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Leeds Point, the home of the Jersey Devil. She is the Jersey Bites editor for Atlantic County, which is a foodie’s dream—from the celebrity restaurants of Atlantic City to the blueberry farms of Hammonton and the oystermen of the Great Bay. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Pisano is a Bergen-county based lifestyle blogger, PR/Social Media consultant and content director. Her love and appreciation of food began at an early age, in the kitchen of her Italian-American home, and then extended to a fascination and enjoyment of all things foodie as an adult. Food is very much a central part of Lisa’s personal life — from partaking in culinary vacations and walking tours to dining throughout the NY/NJ Metro Area and developing original recipes. Professionally, she’s worked as the first in-house PR Manager of Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education and has provided consulting and content creation to food websites and restaurants. Lisa brings her passion for food, fashion, family and pop culture to life through her blog,mom a la mode. Follow Lisa on Twitter @momalamode and onFacebook.com/momalamode.
Kerry Brown Jersey Bites Regional Editor for Burlington County, is a freelance writer who reports on local happenings in education, food, business, features and the arts for several media outlets including South Jersey Local News and Newsworks. At home she enjoys sharing simple but flavor-packed meals, especially from the grill, with her family and friends. Dessert has never been her calling but she recently discovered what could be a signature dish: Meyer lemon icebox pie. When out and about, she’s happy to find herself seated at the bar in some rustic and cozy tavern featuring craft food, craft beer, an amazing selection of wine by the glass and live music.
Karin Nastawa Ruffini grew up in the great Garden State, leaving only briefly to attend college in Philadelphia, where she developed a love for all things cheesesteaks. She has lived in Hoboken for over nine years, taking in the incredible dining scenes on both sides of the river and has a particular affinity for staking out interesting BYO establishments in Hudson County. She is the founder and owner of VinEatsi, a boutique wine & food digital marketing agency and has also studied wine and spirits extensively, receiving her advanced degree from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). Along with running VinEatsi, she is an avid cook and food enthusiast and writes about her wine & food adventures in the VinEatsi blog. She dreams of having a chef’s kitchen and a state-of-the-art wine cellar filled with Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Left Bank Bordeaux… someday.
Jennifer Miller: I am a mom on a mission: to help others foster a love of eating and preparing wonderful food. I am a passionate home cook, wine enthusiast, meal-planning specialist and budding food blogger, with a love of eating, drinking, food photography and serving fresh farm to table meals. As a mother of three, I am committed to raising “foodie” children who enjoy farmer’s markets, restaurants and artisan food shops. In addition, I share healthy, in-season recipes and tips on my web site http://mealdiva.com and on Facebook as MealDiva. I am very excited to be contributing to Jersey Bites from Hunterdon County!
Sabrina Szteinbaum attends Rutgers University and majors in Journalism and Media Studies, but those are just the basics! She is a Jersey-born, city-loving foodie who can be found running around New York City in search of the best cupcake, cookie, or piece of cake to feature on her baking blog. Sabrina has been baking since age 12, and has been documenting her confections at The Sugarcoated Life since August 2012. At Rutgers, Sabrina works as a correspondent for The Daily Targum. Her love of journalism has landed her the roles of newscaster and assistant news director on WRSU, one of Rutgers’ radio stations.
Gina Glazier is a born and raised Jersey Girl. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Reading & Literacy and is currently a teacher. Gina lives with her husband, Matt, who is her number one fan and shares in her passion for the culinary arts, minus the cooking part! Her “culinary life” became a reality a few years back when she was chosen to be a guest of The Star Ledger’s Munchmobile. This ignited Gina’s desire to be around food and all its counterparts all the time, meaning restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, cooking, etc. Gina says her “biggest and most monumental experience” was being a part of The Star Ledger’s Pizza Patrol two years ago where she traveled the entire state, eating at 3, 4, sometimes 5 pizzerias a night for just about 6 months! You can check out her Hungry Teacher adventures, on her blog www.ahungryteacher.blogspot.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.
Deanna Quinones is the Jersey Bites Regional Editor for Morris County. A freelance writer, blogger, and unrepentant chocolate addict, Deanna spent 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area where life was good and the burritos even better. She recently returned to the Garden State and now resides in Morristown, where she and her Texas-born/Jersey-raised/California-found husband are raising two wild and wonderful kids. An experienced book marketer, award-winning greeting card writer, and entertainment writing dabbler, Deanna can be reached at email@example.com. (photo credit Pete Genovese/The Star-Ledger)
Terry Krongold is a life-long, passionate baker. In addition to a full-time job in the pharmaceutical industry, Terry has been involved with food for many years, including co-ownership of a dessert catering company in the late eighties called I Love Cheesecake, specializing in fine cheesecake and unique desserts. Terry is the author of The Cook’s Tour, a blog focused on food, baking, and travel. When not working, writing, or baking, she spends time planning vacations around restaurants to visit. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Van Arsdalen is a born-and-raised Jersey Girl, native to central and coastal NJ. As the author of the blog the Dexterous Diner, Christine chronicles her efforts as she indulges her foodie side on her very small budget which she likes to call “champagne dining on a beer budget.” She grew up being yelled at by an old Italian woman in the kitchen who was, surprisingly, not her mother. Her love of food grew from a combination of cooking in a restaurant and fond memories of creating scrumptious meals from scratch with her father. Today, she travels around the state of New Jersey and beyond searching for new twists on her old favorites: foods that bring you back to your childhood in a modern and sophisticated way. She loves unexpected and creative combinations, both in the food she eats and cooks. Though her palate has become more refined, she is still excited by a grilled cheese sandwich; that, and a great cup of coffee.
Kerri Sullivan is a writer, photographer, and librarian from Monmouth County. She enjoys exploring everything New Jersey has to offer, from beaches and historic sites to restaurants and farmer’s markets. She also likes books, cats, dessert, and watching the Food Network. She is the founder of Jersey Collective, a New Jersey-based Instagram project. You can see more of her work on her website: kerrisullivan.com and by following her on Instagram @ksulphoto.
Michelle Stavrou, the Union County regional editor, grew up in Bergen County, then moved to Hoboken (after a stop over in Queens) before finally settling in Cranford where she lives with her husband and daughter. Michelle was amazed to discover all of the delicious food in the Cranford area, which she documents on her blog, What’s Cooking In (& Around) Cranford.
Michael C. Gabriele is a freelance writer, historian and author of “The History of Diners in New Jersey,” published by The History Press.
Peter Culos is the editor of “Beer Bites,” Jersey Bites’ coverage of breweries, bars and good beer in the Garden State. A graphic designer by day, and a lifelong New Jersey resident, Peter was first introduced to the novel idea that beer could actually have flavor during several visits to the UK. He’s been riding the craft beer bus ever since. It has been called the ultimate social lubricant and Peter’s philosophy on beer is, “I’d rather split my last good beer with a friend than drink the whole thing by myself.” Besides beer he also likes history, dogs, Jeeps and painting. In the past, he has written a History and Art blog for the Weider History Group and occasionally contributes to his own blog, history-geek.com. Life is short. Drink good beer.
Charlie Toms is a lifelong New Jerseyan who loves traveling around the Garden State, and visiting places off the beaten path. He’s been enjoying New Jersey wine at least since age 21, and has visited all 50 of the state’s wineries. Charlie grew up in Colonia, vacationed every summer in Wildwood, and now lives in Ramsey. A project manager by day, he formerly served as the New Jersey correspondent for the American Winery Guide, writing 24 feature articles on the state’s wineries. Charlie recently published Road to the Vineyard: Cruising Through New Jersey Wine Country, a 146-page winery guide based on the award-winning documentary Spain – On the Road Again, which provides detailed information on all of New Jersey’s wineries, and offers the reader eight unforgettable road trips.
Rachel Weston is a freelance food writer, culinary educator and author of “New Jersey Fresh: Four Seasons from Farm to Table.” She is committed to helping people understand their food system and how to make seasonally inspired meals for their families from foods produced locally. Sign up for her monthly newsletter Cooking with Rachel Weston. https://tinyletter.com/RachelWeston http://astore.amazon.com/wwwracheljwes-20/detail/1626199787
Ariana Garbaccio is in her final year at Ramapo College, where she is a global communications and media major and cultural anthropology minor. Growing up surrounded by food at her family’s deli and pizzeria has given Ariana her passion for and appreciation of food. This Bergen County native loves trying new dishes, traveling, and learning about different cultures. When she isn’t eating, she’s either reminiscing about the summer she spent in Rome, or searching for good Italian food.
Alison Rodriguez loves food and writing…combining her passions is a true delight and one that she is thrilled to share with the Jersey Bites community. You can follow her on Twitter @GustyAIR.
Amy Casey, of Sparta, is a cookbook author and a food columnist for the New Jersey Herald. She has developed a wealth of recipes as a personal chef and also while cooking for her own family of five. See more of her recipes on her website www.amycaseycooks.com. Her recently published cookbook is entitled Dinner for a Year 52 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Spice Up Your Family Menu Planning. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amycaseycooks and on Twitter at @amycaseycooks.
Lisa Panzariello is thrilled to be part of the Jersey Bites crew, and as a fellow Jersey foodie, she lives and breathes all things delicious. Born and raised in Essex County, she now resides with her boyfriend, James, in Union County. Her writing career has stemmed over 14 years, starting with Metal Edge Magazine, then later as an editor for Penthouse, where tasting many an ethnic cuisine in The City made her realize her true passion: Mixing food with writing. Now focusing solely on freelance writing, her flexibility is giving her more freedom to cook and bake, sometimes for 24 hours straight. Given her Irish and Italian heritage, Lisa travels for an impressive beer list and loves anything relating to her Celtic roots; and just like her Nona before her, she wants everyone to feel the love and warmth in her cooking—while splitting it with those around her—especially her two dogs.
Melissa Baratta has been cooking and exploring the restaurant scene since the age of 12 when she first discovered the Food Network. Originally from Vermont, she is passionate about healthy and sustainable living, and loves to experience new flavors from around the world. She is a pescetarian with a love of fresh seafood, but is married to a full-blown omnivore, so her recipes range from unique salads, homemade pastas and grain dishes to grilled fish and curried chicken. She lives in Ocean County with her husband and young son, and when she’s not working at her Manhattan-based PR agency, she can be found cooking, gardening, and checking out local eateries. Melissa blogs about food and healthy living at www.SomeSugarAdded.com.
Victoria Hurley-Schubert, Regional Editor Ocean County, is a true Jersey girl. Raised in Marlboro, Vikki has lived in the area her whole life. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and is happiest when feeding a houseful of friends and family. A journalist for 10 years, she now serves as media coordinator at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Vikki is happiest on the road, so it should be no Surprise she is a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations.
Elizabeth Norton is the Jersey Bites Regional Editor for Cape May County and is a Jersey lover at heart. She loves Jersey Products, Jersey People, and Jersey Food. She runs a digital network for online moms who live in, you guessed it, New Jersey. She is a baker and sweet connoisseur and is on a personal mission to find the best place to eat brunch at the Jersey Shore. Her mantra is “Keep the Kitchen Clean. Eat Out!” She loves a good party and loves being a mom of 3. Her favorite night of the week is date night where her and her husband take turns trying out the newest restaurants Jersey has to offer.
Jennifer Malme is a writer based in Vineland, in Cumberland County. She is the author of Down-Home South Jersey, a lifestyle blog about her adventures living in the Garden State, and in addition to being a contributor to Jersey Bites, she contributes to Sharrott Winery blog. Jennifer enjoys reading, cooking and exploring the wineries of New Jersey.
Christine Florio is the creator of girlhackz.com, a digital hub for quick lifestyle tricks and tips catered to girls on the go. Balancing career demands and a busy social life like so many other girls today, this Hoboken resident has no desire and no time to slow down. In the pursuit of dreams, setting goals, and working hard, Christine has created GH in order to share her favorite hacks for a fit, fun lifestyle in order to connect with other girls in her generation. Visit girlhackz.com, or contact Christine via email@example.com. You can also find her on Instagram (christineflorio_girlhackz) and Twitter (@christineflorio).
Tracy Nieradka is a young, up-and-coming woman who recently found her passion for cooking after struggling with her relationship with food. Still embattled in the process of finding balance, creating a healthy lifestyle, and transitioning into the job market, cooking is what keeps her sane amongst the chaos. Learning to cook from her mom, Tracy took those skills and adapted them to her healthy, active lifestyle to focus on clean eating and a largely plant-based diet. She also loves to bake and create healthier versions of her favorite desserts. Daring and bold, Tracy isn’t afraid to try anything. She hopes to one day go to culinary or pastry school, write a cookbook and start a business to help others create a healthy balanced life. Follow her journey in finding her “new healthy” at her blog, Feeling Full. Tracy believes that we all deserve to feel full: full of good food, full of positive thoughts and full of life!
Beth Christian subsisted primarily on cheeseburgers and liverwurst sandwiches during childhood and refused to try most new foods. Her culinary horizons were expanded during her college days in Schenectady, New York, where she learned the joys of trying slow-simmered Italian dishes, Szechuan cuisine, and everything in between. When not engaged in the practice of law in Monmouth County, Beth is busy scouting out interesting restaurants, farmer’s markets and food purveyors near her home in Burlington County. Beth’s primary dining sidekick is her husband John, but she also enjoys having her daughter Meghan, son Michael and her wonderful friends come along for the ride. Email Beth at BChristian@JerseyBites.com.
Heidi Raker Goldstein is our Bergen county regional editor. A locavore, cooking enthusiast, publicist and mother of three junior gourmands. Heidi is equally comfy in greasy spoons and high-end restaurants. When not visiting local farmers markets and farm stands in Bergen and Rockland counties, this New England native, former Manhattanite and Bergen county resident is busy running her PR and green marketing agency, Raker Goldstein & Co., buying food, planning menus, cooking food, writing about food or simply eating. Heidi also writes at Redhead With A Fork, a life|style blog. To reach Heidi, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Lee is the founder of Laurilee’s Healthy Cooking and lives in Bergen County. She shares healthy eating information with her followers on a daily basis. Her recipes include seasonal ingredients and forever changing menus without red meat, pork, veal, or lamb, which she gave up many years ago. She does eat more of a Mediterranean diet that includes fish, chicken (organic, when possible), lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and lentils. She dines out at many ethnic restaurants and loves to share her best experiences. She is also a longtime pancreatic cancer survivor (21 years) and finds this diet works well for herself and her family. She has been a sel-taught chef for more than 30 years and her fans swear she is Bergen County’s best-kept secret. Contact Lauren at Laurilee@optonline.net for healthy cooking classes.
Sara Monica Gaona is a born and raised Jersey Girl and originally hails from Monmouth County. This past May she received her BA in Communication with a minor in Sociology and Public Relations from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is currently working for a public relations firm in Rutherford, NJ. She found her inner foodie during her Fall Semester of Senior year while interning at The Rachael Ray Show and was soon inspired to start her food blog, Small Chick Big Deals that has restaurant reviews covering New York City & all over New Jersey, recipes, and interviews with food writers and more! When she’s not working or blogging she enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking meals with her boyfriend & family, reading a good book, relaxing by the beach or escaping to New York City. You can follow Small Chick Big Deals @Smchickbigdeals on Twitter or follow Sara personally @Sierrax0x or both!
John and Lisa Howard-Fusco Regional Editors, Ocean County. Although they and their two kids call Ocean County home, their John and Lisa Are Eating in South Jersey food blog has them traveling all over the southern region of New Jersey. They and their blog have been mentioned in articles by the New York Times, Courier-Post, nj.com and njmonthly.com. Lisa has written articles and reviews for South Jersey magazine as well as for Ed Hitzel’s Restaurant Newsletter and Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine. And John could use a Gaetano’s cheesesteak right about now.
Gwynn Galvin, chef and blogger, is delighted to share her original recipes on Jersey Bites. Born and raised in Jersey and a lifetime resident of Bergen County, Gwynn is Jersey through and through! Having been in the culinary field for more than 20 years, you can say that Gwynn is definitely well seasoned. With over a decade as Test Kitchen Director for a nationally published magazine as well as working for major food corporations and being partner and chef of a family-owned cupcake shop, Gwynn is also the creator of her blog, Swirls of Flavor. Her award-winning recipes have been featured in national ad campaigns, cookbooks, magazines, social media and on the internet. If you’ve ever made a recipe that was on the package of a food product or in a magazine or cookbook, chances are you’ve already made one of her fabulously delicious recipes!
Jessica Perry is a lifelong New Jersey resident and Journalism and Media Studies graduate whose love of music, food, and writing about both have taken her far beyond the Garden State lines. She hasn’t heartwarming childhood memories of Sunday suppers, but she does have a lifelong commitment to eating across the map and fervently consuming food media. While she loves traveling and sampling from her nationwide restaurant document, little can compete with readily available pork roll and 24-hour diners. When she’s not eating, she’s at a punk show or researching where to eat en route to one. She’s always accepting recommendations for the best brunches, bagels, burritos, buffalo wings, barbecue…you get the idea. Not to mention she will happily dole out some of her own, whether you’re in Long Beach, NJ, or Long Beach, CA.