Eating, Drinking and Cooking in South Jersey This Weekend (9/14-16)

Back after a long hiatus, the Atlantic City Seafood Festival is back! Once again, leave it to AC to have the biggest and best food festivals of the year, and the lineup for this one looks pretty awesome. I’ll get to that in a minute…but I have to admit that I’m afraid. Afraid of what? Of this…

I don’t know about you, but that is one scary-looking octopus. And I think it’s staring right at me.

Anyways, pay no mind to the freaky octopus and take a gander at what’s in store for you. Seafood? Duh, well sure – there will be plenty of that! From Luke Palladino’s places to Atlantic Grill, from Harry’s Oyster Bar to FIN, and plenty to places in between, you will have plenty to choose from. If you’re not into seafood, there will be choices – including bbq and Tony Boloney’s.

Another exciting part of the event will be serving of local Jersey beers and wines. Many of the local brews will be on display, such as Flying Fish, Turtle Stone and Tuckahoe (among others). And speaking of local beers, our friend (and head Beer Babe) Tara Nurin will be one of a number of chefs and other food experts giving talks and demos throughout the weekend. Everyone needs to go and attend Tara’s talk, and I mean everyone. Let’s just crowd up the space and make Tara feel welcome.

And could you have a seafood festival without a chowder contest? And could you have a chowder contest without Ed Hitzel? No and no. For a $5 fee, you can participate in the tasting of the competition from 4PM to 5PM on Saturday. But don’t taste Ed – he’s just there to host. That kind of thinking might get you arrested.

The Atlantic City Seafood Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, and the cost  is only $10 per person (free for kids under 12!). There will be $5 parking fee, though.

Now, for the rest of the weekend…and yeah, that octopus is still looking at me…

How about more seafood? Sure – there’s always room. This Saturday is Point Pleasant Beach’s madly popular Festival of the Sea from 10AM to 7PM. The admission is free, and be prepared for a packed street.

Stone Harbor is introducing its September Savor Food & Wine Festival this Saturday from 12PM to 8PM. Not only will you get to enjoy local food and wine, but there’s going to be grape stomping.

Saturday will also be a celebration of the Balkan traditions and cultures at WheatonArts in Millville. Don’t believe me? Dude, it’s the title of the event…Balkan Traditions and Cultures: A Day of Celebration. So there. And yes, traditional cuisine will be served.

Maybe you need to get your church on a day early. Maybe you could use some soul food for your body and some gospel music to revive your spirits. This Saturday will be the annual Soul Food Gospel Fest at the Community Life Center of Mt. Zion Baptist Church on New Road in Pleasantville. The spirit will start moving you at 6PM, and the cost for admission is $25 ($12 for the kids).

If you soul is soothed by wine and a beautiful water view, this weekend starts the Sunset Wine Lovers Cruise on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.  From now until early October, enjoy a wine cruise on Fridays and Saturdays for $42 per person.

Wine will be a big theme this weekend as well, with two big festival taking place. Bellview Winery has its annual Harvest Party on Saturday and Sunday from 11AM to 5PM. Admission is $10. Meanwhile, Valenzano Winery will be holding Winefest 2012, the winery’s big boffo annual celebration. Admission is $20.

Oliver A Bistro in Bordentown and Hlubik Farm in Chesterfield are joining forces for a Dinner on the Farm this Sunday. There will be two seatings: 4PM to 6PM and 6PM to 8PM. The cost for dinner is $55 per person ($15 for kids ages 4 to 12).

Steve & Cookie’s By The Bay in Margate will be having its Rosh Hashanah Dinners on Sunday and Monday.

AND…Sunday is the beginning of New Jersey Restaurant Week, with restaurants all over New Jersey participating.

If you care to venture out of South Jersey this weekend…

It’s food truck heaven on Governor’s Island this Saturday! The 8th Annual Vendy Awards are taking place from 12:30PM to 5PM. Get your tickets now!

Here’s your cooking class schedule for the rest of the weekend:

Friday: Fresh Pasta Workshop at Sur La Table in Marlton and Parisian Dinner Party at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.

Saturday: Vegetable Florals at The Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College in Mount Holly, Champagne Brunch and Steak, Roast and Chop Workshop at Viking Cooking School, and Put Your Pesto On! at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown.

Sunday: Healthy Back-to-School Snacks for the Whole Family at Sur La Table, and Asian Invasion and Southern Italian Dinner Party at Viking Cooking School.

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