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Chef Train

Shanti Mignogna, Talula’s

The influential chef who never stops thinking, never stops creating and never will stop building community is the newest inductee into TPW's chef-picks-chef club of top toques. As the owner of the instantly iconic restaurant in Asbury Park reflects, she also looks forward – and inside, to see what she can do to further the industry she loves.

Alex Saneski, APEM

A chef who completely breaks the mold to redefine so-called “premium” ice cream today is inducted into the elite chef-picks-chef society of highest quality in the Garden State. It’s fitting that this Passaic native set up shop in Bloomfield, where he could tap New Jersey’s resources and mine our people as well for inspiration.

Arben Gasi, Le French Dad Boulangerie

The perfect baguette – and many more very French baked goods – have made this true boulangerie in Montclair a mecca. Now its chef-owner is being inducted into our elite club of top toques, the chef-picks-chef society of highest quality in the Garden State.

Renee Faris: Erie Coffeeshop & Bakery

A pastry chef with a distinctive voice who came home to the Garden State to practice her craft in downtown Rutherford is the newest member of our elite club of top toques. Erie is where “tradition blends with seasonal whimsy” and the devoted line up to catch whatever is coming out of the oven.

Matt Moschella: Corto

The chef’s elegant, seasonal and resolutely straightforward Italian fare is what prompts his selector to make him the latest inductee into the Garden State’s elite club of top toques. What keeps a devoted community returning to the Jersey City hot spot is an amalgamation of expertly executed fundamentals that combine to make memories.

Nick DeRosa: Publick House

The chef behind the standout in Mountainside might be both established and underground, according to his selector to the Garden State’s elite Chef Train club. But word is spreading. And, with a new butcher shop and a second restaurant on the way, his star isn’t just rising, it’s rocketing.

Bill Van Pelt: James on Main

A boy from Independence who took to the culinary life young, proving his mettle and talents while working for others, returned almost-home to set up a farm-to-table restaurant in the town he long loved. Today he joins the Garden State’s elite Chef Train club – and, as his selector says, “he’s been crushing it” for years.

Sam Freund: White Birch

Mining his Warren County roots and long connections to local farms, a chef wed to simplicity and the integrity of ingredients is our latest inductee to the Garden State’s elite club. And, in breaking news, Flanders won’t be the only place Chef Train followers will be able to stop to see the star toque in action.

Ehren Ryan: Common Lot

After working on three continents, the Australian-born chef who is this month’s chef-picked honoree planted a flag in Millburn. Can a menu be rooted in local seasons but also borderless? As his fan and selector to this elite club notes, “This man has no rules when it comes to putting ingredients together.”

Zack Melker: Toscano

He runs a prime steakhouse that’s also a haven for primo pastas. Our chef-anointed honor this month goes to the proprietor of a destination for both in Bordentown. As his fan notes, he “is the real deal.”

Meghan Cattani: Cattani Catering & Kitchen

In the case of the chef who is always at the stoves of her eponymous restaurant in Ewing, learning how to cook at the knees of her grandmothers is no cliché, no empty claim. It’s all about heart and soul and recipes “from my grandmothers’ handwriting to your table.”

Scott Anderson, of Elements and Mistral

With forests, farms and the ocean at his disposal, the New Jersey-bred chef believes he’s got a world of ingredients – and possibilities – at his disposal, right here in the Garden State.


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