HOBOKEN, NJ — For chefs and restauranteurs, an award from the James Beard Foundation is the equivalent of a culinary Oscar.
On Wednesday, the foundation announced semifinalists for numerous awards for chefs and restaurants around the country — and four New Jersey restaurants and chefs made the cut.
New Jersey semifinalists included:
- Outstanding chef: Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama, Hoboken
- Outstanding hospitality: 5 Fox Place, Jersey City
- Outstanding restauranteur: Cookie Till, Margate
- Rising star chef of the year: Robbie Felice, Viaggio Ristorante, Wayne
Presilla and Cucharamama have won raves over their years for their artisanal South American cooking. The restaurant is located on a quiet corner of lower Hoboken, away from the usual hubub: ten blocks west of the waterfront and train station, a block from the city’s hospital.
The eatery, which was founded in 2004, specializes in Latin American dishes like:
- Pata de Chancho al Estilo de Tacna con Arroz y Menestra de Frijoles Canarios, Peruvian-Style Roast Leg of Pork in Aji Amarillo Adobo, White Rice and Stewed Canary Beans
- Picante de Camarones, Shrimp in a Spicy Peruvian Pepper Sauce, White Rice, Peruvian Canary Beans
- Pastel de Choclo Chileno, Chilean Beef and Chicken Potpie with a Fresh Corn Crust
The eatery was the brainchild of chef Presilla and her business partner Clara Chaumont, who had already opened pan-Latin restaurant Zafra a block away. But the restaurant has developed a following all its own.
Meanwhile, another Hudson County semi-finalist has its own kind of cult following. 5 Fox Place in Jersey City is an Italian restaurant in an old house, run by a family who lived there for generations.
The finalists in all categories will be announced at a news conference at 9 a.m. EDT on March 25 in Philadelphia.
Read more here.
Source: Thanks https://patch.com/new-jersey/hoboken/hoboken-chef-announced-semifinalist-prestigious-award