June 23, 2015

(TRENTON, NJ) ― Seven chefs from across the Garden State will gather at Viking Village in Barnegat Light Thursday, June 25 to compete in the Jersey Seafood Challenge. The event will determine who will officially represent New Jersey at the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans in August.

The first chefs will enter the kitchen at 9 a.m. to begin cooking their “Signature Dish” featuring Jersey Seafood and Jersey Fresh produce. New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Alfred Murray will announce the winner at approximately 12 p.m.

Judges for the competition include: Alfred Murray; Jeffry Wierzbicki, Chef, Winberies, Summit, 2014 Jersey Seafood Challenge winner; Demetrios Haronis, Chef, Fin, Tropicana Casino, Atlantic City, 2012 Jersey Seafood Challenge winner; Peter Fischbach, Chef, Gourmet Dining Services, NJIT, Newark, 2008 Jersey Seafood Challenge winner; Nancy Painter, Edible Jersey Editor and Publisher; Jim Weaver, Slow Food NJ; and Jeff Kaelin, Lund’s Fisheries, Cape May.

The competition helps to highlight New Jersey’s $133 million commercial fishing industry, the wide variety of seafood caught off of our coast and the high quality of the seafood that can be enjoyed in restaurants around the state and at home.

Seafood Challenge participants are:

• Frank Benowitz, Mercer County Community College, West Windsor
• James Costello, The Ohana Grill, Lavallette
• Bryan Gregg, Escape Montclair, Montclair
• Joe Kratochwill, Zallie’s Fresh Kitchen at Shop-Rite, Medford
• Marita Lynn, Runa Peruvian Cuisine, Red Bank
• Jennifer Monaco, Sustainable Fare LLC, Lawrenceville
• Charles Ostergren, Viking Fresh Off the Hook, Barnegat Light

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