Hard to believe, but we are already nearly a month into fall, despite what all of this beautiful sunny weather in September and October would have us believe. As our readers know, at SJHot Chefs, seasons are important to us. They provide the aesthetic, the atmosphere, and the ambiance as a foundation, as a jumping off point, for what a chef puts on a plate or in a glass. If a year were a play, each season would be its own act. As each act has its own setting, mood, and plot points, so too must its actors reflect it. There should be a consistency to each season but enough variables to distinguish it from the rest of the pack. Flavors, textures, colors… all of these and more must be considered when showcasing the best that a season has to offer.
This is why all of us at SJ Hot Chefs are over the moon in anticipation of Fall Harvest Week from October 22nd to the 27th. It will be a week chock full to the brim of food, drink, family, and friends, as over 30 partnering restaurants will be offering up their own interpretations of an idyllic South Jersey fall and how their menus best embody its most distinctive features.
If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity to reassert dominance over out-of-state visitors that New Jersey does in fact have the best produce on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. It is also an exciting prospect to see how so many chefs of different backgrounds and heritage reflect their own selves and culinary passions through the aforementioned lenses of aesthetic, atmosphere, and ambiance afforded to them by the changing of the seasons. Each interpretation is borne out of many factors and will thereby yield a variety of ways sure to tickle the hunger pangs of anyone with an appetite.
Braddock’s Tavern for instance, will be presenting offerings of small game and fish–grilled rabbit with ginger sausage, covered in white bean puree and pomegranate drizzle as well as Scottish salmon served flash cured with a salad topped with blood orange agrumato round out their larger list of appetizers. The first two courses at Anthony’s are stocked with local produce, serving such dishes as butternut squash soup with walnut oil and pumpkin ravioli with sage cream sauce and pine nuts for the first, and plates such as the local apple salad with raisins, smoked bleu cheese, almonds, greens, and apple cider dressing, or a pork ragu with rustic rigatoni pasta and shaved asiago for the second. For the entrées over at Carlucci’s Waterfront they’ll be wowing customers with the Apple Jack Brandy Pork Loin, Harvest Risotto with butternut squash, mushrooms, and parmesan, and the Chicken Pavarotti, served with a host of various head-turning South Jersey vegetables.
Those are only tiny samples of the menus of just three restaurants signed up for Fall Harvest Week. There are nearly thirty more! Visit the site for a full list of participating restaurants here and get to making reservations. You’re not going to want to miss this one!