Friday Foodstuffs 5.21.10: South Jersey’s Culinary ‘Messi’ is Presenting “From Farm to Table”

The World Cup is only three weeks away, so I’m in a soccer mood.

There’s an Argentinian-born soccer player who is quite good right now. Maybe you’ve heard of him. If you follow international soccer, you’ll recognize the name right away. His name is Lionel Messi, and all he’s done is won the FIFA World Player award for being the best in his craft. He plays for FC Barcelona, one of the most recognized and famous soccer clubs in the world.

Where am I going with this?

Well, there’s an Argentinian-born chef here in South Jersey who is also quite good. Maybe you’ve heard of him as well. If you follow our blog or the culinary scene in this area, you’ll recognize his name right away. It’s Lucas Manteca, and all he’s done is wowed many of us with his cooking skills and creativity. And he plays now for FC Cape Resorts Group, a well-recognized organization that runs Congress Hall, The Chelsea in Atlantic City and Chef Manteca’s current place of business, The Ebbitt Room at The Virginia Hotel in Cape May. It may not be Camp Nou, but The Ebbitt Room is one of the most well-known dining establishments in South Jersey.

As far as I’m concerned, Chef Lucas is our Lionel Messi.

And our Messi has access to Beach Plum Farm, 62 acres of herbs and produce that Cape Resorts owns and uses for its own restaurants. Starting this past week, and continuing through October, Chef Lucas will be having special 3-course meals on Mondays and Thursdays that will celebrate the bounty of their farm. For $45 a person, you can enjoy a “Farm to Table” experience that brings together locally-grown fruits and veggies and Chef Lucas’ love for local seafood.

So, alright, maybe the comparison to Lionel Messi is a bit of a stretch, but this is a pretty exciting event – and you will have many opportunities to enjoy it.

What’s shaking for the weekend? It’s an Herb Weekend! Don’t believe me? Well head out to Triple Oaks Nursery in Franklinville tomorrow or Sunday and enjoy their annual Herb Weekend celebration.

The Woodstown Friends Meeting is having their annual Strawberry Supper on Saturday with seatings at 4PM, 5PM and 6PM. $14 per person, $6 for kids under 12. Saturday is also the day of Wine and Wildlife at the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford.

On Sunday, take a little Taste of Evesham on Main Street from 1PM to 4PM, and then later on enjoy the Francis Ford Coppola Wine Dinner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Marlton.

Sunday is also the day of the next Iron Cupcake Challenge, hosted by Kati Angelini. The location of this challenge is Healthy Garden in Moorestown. The theme is animals, and the proceeds are going to the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees. And one of the judges will be Ms. SJ Locavore herself, Robin Shreeves! So if the cupcake you like doesn’t win, you’ll have to take it up with Robin. (Just kidding.)

In the cooking classes this weekend, it’s all Kitchen Kapers. On Saturday night, it’s Cooking for Couples – The Italian Veranda for Couples from 6PM to 8:30PM, and then it’s Kids in the Kitchen – Pasta Perfecto! on Sunday from 1:30PM to 3PM. You can also catch a cooking demo tomorrow morning at the Collingswood Farm Market.

Blogging Out Hunger

The totals are in for the Kindred Souls’ Diner Tour, and they beat their goal! They wanted to raise enough money to buy 21,000 tons of food for local food banks, and they ended up raising enough to purchase 30,000 tons! Great work, guys!

And in the news this week…

Another article on some fruits and veggies arriving earlier than normal this year.

Looks like the USDA will be making a healthy purchase of local cranberries for nutrition programs.

Wegman’s in Mount Laurel began selling alcohol in its store this week.

Campbell’s evidently has a new Culinary and Baking Institute…and a new leader of this institute.

A special school fundraising dinner in Galloway Township will take place next Wednesday…and the meal will be prepared by the kids themselves.

Ocean City…in sugar dough form.

And here’s an article about the Food Network show taping at Villari’s in Palmyra that we attended on Monday. I know you guys probably want to know how it went. Well, when we can tell you all about, we will tell you all about it.

Have a great weekend!

– John

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2 thoughts on “Friday Foodstuffs 5.21.10: South Jersey’s Culinary ‘Messi’ is Presenting “From Farm to Table”

  1. Good stuff. Thanks for mentioning the Iron Cupcake Challenge. I hope to be taking a field trip to the Mt. Laurel Wegmans soon to find out what type of NJ or PA wines they are carrying. When I was in DC Wine Country in Janurary, the local Wegmans carried several of the area wines. I hope ours will do the same.

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