Even though the public television cooking show "Mike Colameco's Real Food" mostly focuses on New York restaurants, Colameco, the host and producer, knows the Cape May County food scene.
Colameco shows off his knowledge on the 30-minute weekly show that airs at 1 p.m. today on NJTV. It focuses on the Lobster House with segments also on No Frills Farm and the Sea Grove Farm.
Colameco, who owns a home in West Cape May, shines his spotlight on a Cape May eatery for the first time in at least five years.
"Cape May isn't Snooki's Jersey Shore. ... It was time that we showed love to Jersey because shows like 'Jersey Shore' and much of the imagery people have of New Jersey isn't good. It's negative and here is this beautiful old town that's 400 years old that's a gorgeous place to live and has this great fishing industry and all that stuff," Colameco said.
Colameco opened his Globe restaurant in 1988 in West Cape May and operated it for five years. He used to shop at the local fish and vegetable markets everyday.
"Cape May County has had a long agricultural history. There was always fisheries, and there was always tourism, but there was also for years a backbone of lima bean farms down here and just farming in general commercially," Colameco said.
Colameco has maintained a residence in West Cape May since then, spending his weekends in West Cape May and his weekdays in New York City, which allowed him to do his show for the last 12 years.
Colameco was able to put a cooking show on public television because of the connection he had made over the years on the New York restaurant scene. Prior to opening the Globe restaurant, he'd worked at the Four Seasons Restaurant, as the night chef at Tavern on the Green and as the chef at the Ritz-Carlton New York in Central Park.
"Mike Colameco's Real Food" will take an insiders point of view on The Lobster House with documentary style, behind-the-scenes shooting and interviews with line cooks and chefs in real time in the kitchens during service. He also will talk to the owners of The Lobster House and tell the story of the three generations of the restaurant and how it has evolved. He also jumps onto a scallop boat docked at The Lobster House and talks to the captain.
"I've been a fan of what they have been doing for years," said Colameco about The Lobster House. "It's a fascinating place. They are open 363 days a year. They do incredible volume in terms of all sorts of sit-down menus and raw-bar menus, the outside menus, the wholesale and the retail. No one knows what the numbers are, but you are looking at a close to $50 million dollars a year operation."
The show also includes the Taylor family, who run the No Frills Farm in Lower Township and David Rutherford's Sea Grove Farm in Cape May Point.
"Mr. Rutherford is a really shy guy. He didn't even want to be interviewed," Colameco said. "He didn't know he was being interviewed. We didn't put a microphone on him. One of my cameras has a really good shotgun microphone on top of it."
Keith Laudeman, CEO of The Lobster House, said he has known Colameco for 30 years. Colameco came to the restaurant for one day in August to film, but it did not interrupt the functioning of the restaurant on that day.
"I think it's great. It was fun to do. It's good for business. It's a positive piece," Laudeman said.
Contact Vincent Jackson:
'Mike Colameco's Real Food'
Airs 1 p.m. today on NJTV. Today's show focuses on The Lobster House in Cape May. For more information, visit njtvonline.org