Friday Foodstuffs 10.28.11: Academy of Culinary Arts Turns a Delicious 30

When you decide to do this food blogging thingy, you suddenly begin to notice things that you may not have beforehand. One of these things for us is learning about the background of local chefs. Where did these people learn their craft? And one name that keeps recurring in South Jersey is the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College. Now, of course, having the casinos in Atlantic City close by provides fertile ground for young chefs to take their passions and degrees and ply their new skills. But honestly, you can find ACA grads everywhere in the restaurants in South Jersey.

This year, the Academy turns 30 years old. As part of their celebration, the on-campus restaurant Careme’s is going to be holding special dinner events this fall. Former grads will be coming back to the Mays Landing campus to cook up some yummy meals. Here’s the upcoming schedule:

11/9 – Chef Jason Hippen, chef/owner of Jay’s on Third in Stone Harbor

11/21 – Chef Stephen Serano, chef/owner of Cafe Loren in Avalon

12/7 – Chef Michael Williams, executive chef of Izakaya at Borgata in Atlantic City

12/12 – Chef Mike Stollenwerk, chef/owner of Fish, Little Fish and Fathom Seafood House in Philadelphia

ACA has been going strong for 30 years now, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the quality of restaurants in our region has improved over that time.

This is Halloween time, which is really a candy and sweets event more than a real food event. But there are some foodie things going on for those who enjoy more than the fun sized little candy bars and such.

Hope you like wine, because tonight it’s all about the vino. The Mansion of Main Street in Voorhees is the location for the YMCA of Burlington & Camden Counties Wine & Food Classic, which starts at 5PM. Tickets are  $75 per person. At the Atlantic City Country Club, it’s their Fall Harvest Wine Dinner 6PM to 9PM. There will also be a Wine & Chocolate Tasting
Masso’s Catering on Delsea Drive in Glassboro from 6PM to 9PM.

Hope you still like wine on Saturday, because you have a Costume Party at Bellview Winery in Landisville, The Many Faces of Sangiovese wine tasting at Passion Vines in Somers Point, and HalloWINE at Laurita Winery in New Egypt.

If you don’t like wine, I hope you like beer – becasue there will be two good brew fests taking place on Saturday, First, a Halloween Beer Lunch at High Street Grill in  Mount Holly at 12PM. It’s $40 per person, but only $35 if you show up in costume. And from 12PM to 4PM, it’s a 2 House Beer Festival! at Somers Point Fire Station 2.  Tickets are $35 per person and $50 for VIP session. Local beer expert (meaning he’s local, not that he just likes local beer) Gary Monterosso will be there, and Cape May Brewing will be pouring their brews as well.

If you don’t like wine or beer, hope you like oysters and ham. Why? Well, because it’s time for the annual Fall Oyster and Ham Dinner at the Port Norris Fire Company, that’s why. The dinner is on Saturday from 12PM to 6PM. the cost is $18 per person and only $9 for kids.

Saturday is also the Restaurant Week Kick-Off party for Somers Point, and it’s being held at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro from 4PM to 6PM.

AND – Sunday begins Fall Harvest Week at SJ Hot Chefs restaurants in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.

Here’s your cooking class schedule for the weekend:

Tonight: Date Night: Romantic Dinner at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, Fall in Love with New Orleans at The Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College in Mount Holly, and Date Night: Romantic Italian Feast at Sur La Table in Marlton.

Tomorrow: Oktoberfest and Chicago Steakhouse at Viking Cooking School, Date Night in Napa Valley at In the Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, and Turkey on the Side! at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown.

Sunday: New! Italian Pasta Party and Celebration Dinner Party at Viking Cooking School, Cupcakes at In the Kitchen Cooking School, and SAVEUR Cooks: French Holiday Classics at Sur La Table.

Blogging Out Hunger

A food and clothing drive is being held by a local chiropractic office in Ocean City through November 18.

Some more funding recently went out to Jersey food banks to help during these difficult times.

Americans Feeding Americans campaign helps out needy families in Cumberland County as well as Atlantic City.

And don’t forget the pumpkin carving event here in Forked River this weekend to help the Lacey Food Bank!

And in the news this week…

Happy 50th Cherry Hill Mall! Coming next week to the mall: Bobby’s Burger Palace! And coming next year: Grand Lux Cafe!

Interesting little tidbit from Jeff at Beer-Stained Letter: Flying Fish was visited by the lieutenant governor this past week.

Another possibly interesting tidbit from Grub Street Philly: Marc Vetri and Borgata?

The cop who found hair in his food at a restaurant in Marlton last year? Yes, he’s suing.

Sounds like the locavore movement is encouraging more local farms to produce year-round.

More open hours for Landis MarketPlace starting next month.

And shellfish harvesters, get ready: the fall public shellfish season will be open from November 3 to November 5 at the mouth of the Mullica River.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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