Last night, chefs from all around Monmouth County, NJ showed their appreciation for  Joe Romanowski, a well known and esteemed chef who will always be remembered for his amazing talent in the kitchen and for sharing his mentoring skills to up and coming chefs. You can learn more about the Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation at this website, as well as this Facebook page.

jocef7 Let’s begin with a montage of some of the chefs. They quite literally served up soup to nuts, and in no way was any of this food average. The soup I tasted was a lobster bisque. The nuts were candied and used to scoop up a perfect runny Taleggio cheese.

Thirty one restaurants presented a tantalizing array of treats. In this post I bring you some of the highlights. There will be more!

jocef2 Gorgeous food like this slightly spicy mix from Chilangos in the Highlands.

jocef1 Rooney’s Ocean Crab House in Long Branch had a fantastic display of fresh shell fish. One thing I noticed as I walked around the large room was that the chefs knew how to show off their food to the very best advantage. The tables were beautiful, eye catching and the plated foods had my taste buds standing at attention.

jocef4 The chefs from Wind and Sea in the Highlands were charming as they perfected this little dish of delicious-ness.

jocef8  I noticed a few people hovering around the Yumi table looking for seconds on the sushi.

jocef5Chowda House in Red Bank had without question the youngest chefs. Something I appreciated from my days of working at my Dads bakery when I was a kid.

jocef18 Comfort food from the Inlet Cafe…the pierogies were sooo satisfying.

jocef10 Some of the restaurants are regular haunts for me like Brennans Delicatessen. They served ribs for this event, but I recommend them for soul satisfying sandwiches.

jocef14 Mumford’s Culinary Center was kind of gutsy in serving such a fresh and beautiful saute to so many people. Clearly these are the professionals.

jocef11 Runa is a not yet open restaurant in Red Bank. There is so much to say about the little tastes they served. I am looking forward to them opening…it can’t be soon enough.

jocef12 This tray of sliders from Fresh in the Highlands caught my eye. Sometimes I just want to make art out of the pictures…beautiful and delicious.

jocef13Again, beautiful and delicious from ABC bar and grill.

There is more, so much more amazing food and pictures. I will stop here for this post so I don’t overwhelm you. Thank you to Rick Willgerodt for inviting me to cover this event. The Navesink Country Club is a lovely venue. The more to come will be Just Desserts (wait till you see those pictures) and Oyster Girls…please come back to see those posts. To the wonderful chefs who took a few minutes to talk with me, I would love to see what is happening in your kitchens so please reach out and let me know when you are available.



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