When Keith Mitchell, executive chef at Caesars and Bally's
in Atlantic City, graduated from the Restaurant School in 1989, he
already had plenty of culinary experience on his resume. The
passionate young culinarian could hardly have dreamed where his
career would take him.
Tyson Merryman, owner and chef at the Tuckahoe Inn in
Beesley's Point got his first taste of the Jersey shore when
his parents were transferred from their jobs at Boeing in Kansas to
the plant in Delaware County. Merryman liked it.
The word "iconic" in the dictionary should probably
have a picture of The Mad Batter in Cape May right next to it. The
first among many gourmet restaurants that turned Cape May into a
well-known dining destination, many things have changed and many
things have stayed the same.
Chef Chris Bellino never does anything halfway. Finding his
passion for food at age 14 years, he began working in local
restaurants in order to gain the hands-on experience he would need
later to move up in the culinary world.
Elaine Seagrave, of Gibbstown, Gloucester County, is a
restaurant chef for Harrah's Atlantic City. Seagrave is the
chef in the Seven Stars Lounge where the menu is upscale bar food
for the high rollers club.
The new owners of the Peter Shields Inn took over with the idea
of making it the best restaurant not only in Cape May, but in all
of New Jersey. Part of the plan was to get the right chef to make
Annata Wine Bar, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in
August, is one of the businesses instrumental in the rejuvenation
of downtown Hammonton. It is co-owned by Matt Brunozzi, his
brother, Philip, and his wife, Heather, and sister, Jackie
Jan Pask used to have access to all kinds of recipes in her job
as a a school librarian. And the Cape May innkeeper says she
actually can't remember anymore where she found the recipe for
her cherry macada-mia turnovers, which readers of The Press made
the clear winner in the "12 Days of Cookies" contest.
Sally DePamphilis, of Linwood, has been making her Girl Scout
chocolate mint cookies that she submitted for The Press'
"12 Days of Cookies" contest for at least the past 25
years. Her father, Bill McCardell, who lives in Florida, and
husband, Rick, like them more than any other cookie she
Belinda Chester and her husband, Robert Chester, like dark
chocolate and cranberry. So, Chester altered her grandmother's
oatmeal recipe to create a dark chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookie
that she submitted to the 12 Days of Cookies contest.
If cookies are a Christmas tradition, so is wine. And Nancy
Trombino, of Cape May, sent in a 12 Days of Cookies contest-winning
recipe that brings together cookies and wine — and brings in a
longtime tradition in the family of her husband, Al. They can trace
these Italian wine cookies at least back to Al’s mother’s mother,
who was born Elizabeth Filippelli in Cosenza, Italy, in 1887 and
later came to America.
Christmas cookies aren't a one-person job for Sherry Manka,
of Galloway Township. In fact, her favorite thing about her winning
recipe in The Press' 12 Days of Cookies contest is that she
gets to share the labor - and the enjoyment.
Bobbi Fusco, of Brigantine, submitted several recipes to the 12
Days of Cookies contest, but it was Bobbi's Sugar Cookies that
won for her. She's been making them for 45 years, ever since
she got married, but she admits she didn't always make them
right - and there's a story to why.
Good restaurants like good people change over the years. Larry
Boylan the owner and chef of the Inn at Sugar Hill in Mays Landing
is the first to admit that when he opened back in the 1980s his
restaurant may have been a bit stuffy, having been a young, cocky,
and prideful twenty-something himself.
Walter "Buddy" Hungerford is a "classically"
trained chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America
in Hyde Park, N. Y., in the early 1980s. Patricia Davis, his wife,
got her bachelor's degree in nutrition from Immaculata College
in Pennsylvania, but it wasn't until she attended Bastyr
University in Kenmore, Wash., that she learned about natural
medicine, holistic nutrition and whole foods cooking.