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October 24, 2012

Calling All Amateur Chefs -The Jersey Booze Experiment at Maxwell’s November 11th 1-4 pm

The Food Experiments, the nation’s leading food cook off competition is arriving in Hoboken with the Jersey Booze Experiment on November 11th at Maxwell’s from 1-4PM! This is a call to Jersey’s top amateur chefs. This is their chance to prove that New Jersey is a culinary destination in its own and has some of the most committed and dedicated home chefs. See the press release below….

THE FOOD EXPERIMENTS ROLLS INTO HOBOKEN

ON NOVEMBER 11TH FOR THE JERSEY BOOZE EXPERIMENT, 

THE FIFTEENTH STOP ON A SIXTEEN CITY TOUR

The Nation’s Leading Cook-­‐Off Organization Is Bringing Back Celebrity Judges, Creative Food Themes And The  Chance At Culinary Glory For Amateur Chefs Across The Country

Sixteen cities. Four hundred amateur chefs. Only one national champion. On the heels of a successful 5‐city tour in 2011, The Food Experiments, the nation’s leading cook-­‐off organization, is back with a 16‐city National Tour sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery.

The fifteenth stop on the tour is The Jersey Booze Experiment on November 11th, 2012. Since its inception, The     Food Experiments competitions have consistently been met with sold-­out crowds. Each Experiment features  roughly 25 local amateur chefs who have prepared a unique creation incorporating the food theme. As a tribute  to Hoboken, the watering hole capital of the nation, the Jersey Experiment will feature inspiration through booze.

Our esteemed judging panel will include:

  • AnneMcBride, Strategic Initiatives Group Director at the Culinary Institute of America and Experimental Cuisine Collective Director,
  • AdamRobb, NJ monthly restaurant critic/Thrillist Philadelphia editor
  • Anthony Scillia, Alan Watts and Gennaro Pecchia of the Men Who Dine, as well as
  • Chef Anthony Pino, owner of Anthony David’s and Bin 14 restaurants.

Everyone in attendance will have a hand in choosing which “cheftestants” will gain bragging rights, cookware, bakeware, and cash from National Sponsors: Brooklyn Brewery, Le Creuset, Anolon, Microplane and Wusthof
knives. The Grand Prize Winner will bask  in culinary glory city-­wide and earn a shot at the National Championships on December 16. The winner from each city’s Experiment will be flown in to Brooklyn courtesy of
Brooklyn Brewery to compete with the best of the best for a chance to become The Food Experiments’ 2012 National Champion. Victory has never tasted so good!

What: The Jersey Booze Experiment
When: Sunday, November 11th, 2012
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Where: Maxwell’s 1039 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ.

Judges: Anne McBride, CIA and Experimental Cuisine Collective Adam Robb, NJmonthly restaurant   critic/Thrillist Philadelphia editor Chef Anthony Pino, Owner of Anthony David’s and Bin 14 Anthony Scillia, Alan
Watts and Gennaro Pecchia, Men Who Dine

Tickets: $15 – includes a Brooklyn Brewery pint and a plethora of culinary delights. Half of the ticket proceeds will go towards charities that promote sustainability and local culinary education for disadvantaged children and teens.

Sign up to Compete and Purchase Tickets: http://thefoodexperiments.com/tour/jerseycity/

About The Food Experiments: Nick Suarez and Theo Peck, New York City’s “cook-­‐off royalty”, created The Food Experiments in 2009. The Experiments are a series of cooking competitions
that challenge amateur chefs to create around 300 samples of a dish featuring an “experimental” ingredient or
theme.

Over twenty Experiments have taken place involving beer, cheese, chocolate, tacos, brunch, Brooklyn roots, holiday and booze themes. Brooklyn Brewery sponsored their first national tour in 2011 featuring Experiments
in Austin, New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. In 2012 the National Tour expanded to 16 cities,including an international stop in Stockholm, and has only generated even greater success. For further information,visit:  http://thefoodexperiments.com

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March 25, 2010

Meet the Chef: City Bistro

Filed under: Meet the Chef,Restaurants — Tags: , , , , , , — TheBoken @ 9:01 AM

In 2000 City Bistro opened its doors and arms to the Hoboken public.  The vision was simple; provide excellent service, coupled with exquisite food, in this casually elegant environment. From their famous pizzas to a carefully crafted menu which moves across all gambits, City Bistro has become a Hoboken standard for service, food quality, and a bar seen unparalleled but often imitated.

We got a chance to catch up with the man behind the menu. See what Chef Gonzalo Colin has to say below.

City Bistro's Chef, Gonzalo Colin

THE BOKEN:  What inspired you to become a chef?

CHEF COLIN:  Well, I started about 15 years ago working in NYC with Chef Scott Bryan. In 1995 Chef Bryan was Food and Wine Magazine’s top ten chef’s in the whole country. Right now he is chef and owner of Apiari – very elegant restaurant. He’s my mentor.


THE BOKEN:  How did you start gaining experience in the food industry?

CHEF COLIN:  I actually started working with Chef Bryan as a dishwasher at Indigo in the West Village and I really took up an interest in cooking.  I started saving my money to attend CIA – the Culinary Institute of America, when Scott Bryan took me under his wing and said you’re going to be my prep guy for four months, and I’ll teach you everything you need to know. He showed me all the basic techniques – how to make soups, stocks, sauces, etc.


THE BOKEN:
What made you feel you were ready to become a chef?

CHEF COLIN:  After those four months of prepping he said I was ready and he put me in the line – and that’s when I started to take action in the kitchen. And that is when I met chef Mario Batali – he is very good friends with Chef Scott Bryan. And that is when Babbo was one of his best restaurants around. After being around all these people, I realized I wanted to be a chef.


THE BOKEN:
What type of cuisine would you say City Bistro is?

CHEF COLIN:  City Bistro is new American food with a Mediterranean influence.  Neo-American with French influence. Bistro, like City Bistro, is a Russian word that means quickly. So at City Bistro we like to do simple food, fast. As you know, it’s very casual here. It’s a family restaurant.


THE BOKEN:
Where do you get your produce and meats from?

CHEF COLIN:  We try to use the local produce from Hudson County.  We like to keep everything local so it is always fresh.


THE BOKEN:
We see there are many things on the menu, do you have specials too?

CHEF COLIN:  Every night we have different specials. We have a soup special, an appetizer special, a fish special, and meat special. That’s the culture I want to get here.  Our menu items are great and we offer evening specials every night.


THE BOKEN:  What is the healthiest meal on the menu?

CHEF COLIN:  Our menu has many healthy chicken dishes along with excellent salads.

THE BOKEN: What has been your worst kitchen disaster?

CHEF COLIN:  The day after Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Hoboken!  We were packed all day long and we trying to serve hundreds of people and make them happy.


THE BOKEN:
If you can name one thing that is special about City Bistro what would it be?

CHEF COLIN:  Everything that comes out of the kitchen is made from scratch and we do not microwave anything!  Our Sunday weekend brunch is one of the best in Hoboken and I encourage all Hoboken residents and visitors to come out and try it.


THE BOKEN: Have you ever served a meal to a celebrity?

CHEF COLIN:  Yes, Eli Manning and his wife live next door and come in frequently.  They both enjoy healthy cooking such as grilled chicken, vegetables and mashed potato’s,  his wife loves the Bistro Salad with chicken and orders it every time.
When I worked at a Latin Restaurant in the city I cooked for Richard Gere.


THE BOKEN:
With all the restaurants in Hoboken, why should people come to City Bistro?

CHEF COLIN:  Here at City Bistro we are trying to push for healthy eating.  We make everything fresh and from scratch.  Our main dishes are excellent and our customers are happy.  I ask for Hoboken residents and visitors to experience City Bistro.

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March 18, 2010

A Hidden Talent

Filed under: Meet the Chef — Tags: , — Victoria @ 10:58 AM

Several blocks off Washington Street is the neighborhood spot, Gaslight, probably best known for its incredible Sunday brunch and solid bar menu. However, what most people don’t know is the restaurant not only offers a substantial dinner menu, but also has an array of mouthwatering daily specials thanks to the talents of its current executive chef, Jonathan Da Rocha.

Think butternut squash and cheddar pierogi over pickled cabbage and bacon bits with a horseradish sour cream, lobster mac and cheese with a saffron spice, or hanger steak served with smashed fried Yukon potatoes, a baby arugula and red onion salad, and a chorizo and red bell pepper demi-glace. If any of these delectable dishes sound like your style, then Gaslight is where you need to go.

Prior to working in Hoboken, Da Rocha worked as a co-executive chef at Table 8 in Montclair’s competitive, sophisticated dining scene and at the well-known Restaurant David Drake in Rahway. He caught the attention of The Brass Rail’s Executive Chef Doug Gough, which landed Da Rocha a brief stint at the Mile Square and eventually at Gaslight.

The Boken sat down with Da Rocha for this week’s “Interview with the Chef” to find out what he is bringing to the table.

THE BOKEN: What inspired you to become a chef?

DA ROCHA: I got into cooking because of my family. My mother, my grandmother, my father — everybody always cooked. I like family events because everybody is always in the kitchen. I just always liked eating and cooking.

THE BOKEN: What would you say your specialty is?

DA ROCHA: I like doing a twist on comfort food. I like to play with different styles of food too but I’m at home with Portuguese and Spanish. I grew up with it. My dad was born in Portugal and I grew up in Newark and Harrison, which is very Portuguese, so I grew up eating and cooking Portuguese food.

THE BOKEN: If you were on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, what chef would you choose to battle?

DA ROCHA: Batali. I’ve been told that I have a Mario Batali-esque-ness to me in that I’m happy and comfortable in the kitchen. The secret ingredient would have to be chorizo because it’s in everything Portuguese and if I was going to stand a chance against Batali, that would probably be the only chance I had.

THE BOKEN: Is that why you wear bright yellow Crocs in the kitchen? To rival his citron orange ones?

DA ROCHA: (Laughs.) That’s why I got them.

THE BOKEN: Tell me how you come up with specials for the evening’s dinner service?

DA ROCHA: The specials are my playground. Some of the specials are from what I see when I go out to eat. If I see something that I like, I mix and match pieces of it. Some of them are specials that I’ve done before, and others may be from books that I’ve read. I also watch the Food Network and if there is something that I see is interesting, I’ll play with it a little bit.

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do the best menu I’ve done as a chef, and I tried to take everything that to me went with the day. It was comfort food but with a little more luxury to it, like adding lobster to the mac and cheese. I also featured a pork chop with truffles and sweet potatoes and a pasta with champagne butter. I wanted everyone that came in here that day to be surprised that we had those things on the menu.

THE BOKEN: What is your favorite thing on the menu?

DA ROCHA: As far as appetizers, the shrimp and chorizo. My favorite entree would have to be the roasted pork chop with the artichoke, potato, and black olive hash in a roasted garlic butter.

THE BOKEN: You recently started offering house-made desserts, do you make them yourself?

DA ROCHA: I try and stay away from pastries because it’s not my forte, but I think it’s better to have homemade desserts. Most of the desserts are what I think people would like or that I think would go over well here. I didn’t think the key lime bars with the pineapple granita would go over well and they did. Sometimes I’m surprised at what people enjoy.

THE BOKEN: What other ways do you take your customers’ opinions into consideration?

DA ROCHA: It doesn’t affect me as much when I’m creating the specials, but it does affect me after I have served them. When I hear the reactions afterwards, I have to decide whether or not to change it for the next day or the next time I do that special.

THE BOKEN: What do you love about your job?

DA ROCHA: I get to cook everyday and I love cooking. I don’t sit behind a desk and I don’t have to put on a shirt and tie. I get a lot of freedom with what I want to do, and I am fortunate that (the owners) here have a lot of faith in me.

THE BOKEN: What would you tell someone considering coming to Gaslight for dinner?

DA ROCHA: Come down, have a little faith in me and try something I’m cooking.

Gaslight is located on 4th and Adams Street in Hoboken. For more information, visit www.gaslightnj.com or call (201) 217-1400 for a reservation.


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