News – “15 South Jersey chefs, businesses named in Garden State Culinary Arts Awards” – Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Garden State Culinary Arts Awards committee.

The votes are counted and South Jersey is looking good in the 2018 Garden State Culinary Arts Awards.

Of the 45 culinary professionals and businesses honored as finalists this year, 15 of them do business in South Jersey. 

Chefs and restaurants; farmers and food artisans; wine, beer and spirits professionals; specialty food markets and culinary legends were named as finalists.

Following a second round of voting by a statewide panel of judges, the winners will be announced at the gala ceremony on Sunday, April 29.

Finalists for the 2018 Garden State Culinary Arts Awards are:

Best Food Market: An established, independently owned retail food market in New Jersey that demonstrates a high level of quality in goods offered, service to its customers and devotion to its community. Must have been in operation for at least five years.

  • The Cheese Cave, Red Bank: Stephen Catania, owner
  • Corrado’s Family Affair, Clifton: Corrado family, owners
  • Stockton Market, Stockton: Steven Grabowski and Cheryl Olsten, owners

Best Neighborhood Food Establishment: An informal, moderately priced, independently owned eatery in New Jersey with high-quality food that reflects the character of New Jersey and/or its surrounding community. Must have been in operation for at least five years. This award is given in three regions.


  • The Buttered Biscuit Cafe, Bradley Beach: Liz and Dave McAllister, owners
  • El Tule, Lambertville: Egoavil and Anguiano families, owners
  • Mustache Bill’s Diner, Barnegat Light: Bill Smith, chef-owner


  • Al-Basha, Paterson: Yasar Basha, owner
  • La Isla, Hoboken: Omar Giner, chef-owner
  • Seabra’s Marisqueira, Newark: Joaquim Fernandes, chef-owner; Antonio Sousa and Manuel Cerqueira, owners


  • Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern, Atlantic City: Mancuso family, owners
  • Little Saigon, Atlantic City: Ha and Thomas Vu, owners
  • Louisa’s Cafe, Cape May: Will Riccio, owner

Best New Restaurant: A restaurant opened in the previous calendar year (2017) in New Jersey that displays excellence in food and service, already has established a distinctive voice and promises to set high standards for years to come.

  • Cargot Brasserie, Princeton: Jim Nawn, Fenwick Hospitality Group, owner
  • Hearthside, Collingswood: Lindsay Piperno, owner; Dominic Piperno, chef-owner
  • Marcel Bakery & Kitchen, Upper Montclair: Meny Vaknin, chef-owner

Best Restaurant: A restaurant in operation in New Jersey for at least five years that displays overall excellence and consistency of quality in food, atmosphere and service and has set high standards in the industry.

  • Elements, Princeton: Scott Anderson, chef-partner; Stephen Distler, partner
  • The Red Store, Cape May Point: Lucas Manteca, chef-owner
  • Zeppoli, Collingswood: Joey Baldino, chef-owner

This south Jersey food scene is really something special. Every spot on this list is now on my radar so keep an eye out for the JustGrubbin reviews!

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