Curious as to who will be participating? You’re in luck because we have the scoop.
CHEF WAYNE LYONS – Soul Flavors @ 354 Grove St, 07302
Food Network TV’s Season 7 “Chopped” Champion, Chef Wayne, is no stranger to secret ingredients. In 2010 he brought home to JC the top prize in the national television competition. Starting his career path as an architect, Chef and Restaurateur Wayne Lyons found himself changing vocations and pursuing his passion for cooking. Like so many great chefs, Wayne started as a prep cook, and in 7 short years worked his way up to Executive Chef. In 1995 he founded and ran Melange Caterers Inc, with business partner and chef, Shawn Santana. Today, he brings his love for feeding and serving people to the Grove Street food scene at his restaurant SOUL FLAVORS. There you can dine Tuesday-Sunday, on his Afro Fusion cuisine and signature dishes like his Roasted Sweet Potato Cheesecake, Buttermilk Marinated Fried Chicken and Waffles and Vegetarian Gumbo. But when at home on the weekend, with his wife Jill and his adult kids, Khalil and Aliya, he likes to keep it simple and make his favorite thing to share with his family – a big breakfast complete with pancakes, eggs and bacon.
CHEF FELIKS KIM – Honey Bakery @ 673 Bergen Ave, 07304
An Uzbekistani chef of Korean descent, Chef Feliks and his family has carved out his spot on the West Side of Jersey City and won the hearts of all who enter Honey Bakery. A small family-owned and run cafe in McGinley Square, Chef Feliks specializes in Uzbek, Russian and Korean fare, which can also be found at farmer’s markets, throughout JC. Aside from taking short breaks for himself to swim at the local college, Chef Feliks is dedicated to making hand-made specialties and putting pride into every bite. With countless online rave reviews from locals all over JC, you are hard pressed to identify one single dish as a stand-out – they are all amazing. Signature dishes would include Chak-Chak, a sweet, wheat based krispie, Lamb Uzbek Samosas and Siberian Dumplings with the family soy sauce. Little is known about Feliks’s story, his training, or how he has come to win the praise of everyone that takes a fork to his food, but he’s a contender everyone should be keeping an eye out on.
CHEF TRINSKY WIDJAYA – Golden Grille @ 270 Newark Ave, 07302
From the fireside roasts on the South American plains of Brazil, comes a vakueira’s delectable grilled churrascaria. Chef Trinsky elevates the common barbecue like only a chef of Brazilian-Portuguese food can. Signature dishes like Beef Short Ribs, Codfish Croquettes and Coconut Shrimp, at generous portions, make her food the newest staple on Jersey City’s restaurant row.
CHEF MICHAEL COLLETTI – VB3 @ 475 Washington Blvd, 07310
Back to defend his title, Chef Mike was recently named as a Top 5 Chef in NJ monthly. With an early influence by Sicilian family recipes honoring home grown ingredients like figs, cardoons and persimmons, Chef Mike completed his formal training at the Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park, NJ. He worked h
is way through Sirio Maccioni’s kitchen at the internationally renowned Le Cirque, as well as the restaurant of Drew Nieporent & Michael Bao at Mai House.Chef Mike’s culinary path found him teaming up, on multiple ventures, with his good friend and former Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Chef Spike Mendelsohn. In addition to helping start and head up Spike’s Capitol Hill restaurants Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza, Chefs Mike & Spike competed on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America where they would “Battle Prosciutto” versus world famous Chef Michael Symon.
First Lady Michelle Obama, a frequent visitor and supporter of both Capitol Hill restaurants, requested Chef Colletti participate in preparing several White House luncheons serving the President and staff members. Through this affiliation, he became part of the “Lets Move!” campaign created by Mrs. Obama to combat childhood obesity. An advocate and active supporter of good food, Chef Colletti was proud to be involved with Horton’s Kids Foundation in Washington and D.C. Central Kitchen. As a result of his supportive efforts, Chef Colletti was asked to attend the 2011 Capitol Food Fight, in which he was awarded second place by celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio and José Andrés. After three successful years in Washington, D.C., he decided to move back to his home state of New Jersey (born in Elizabeth and grew up in Manalapan) to pursue his own restaurant vision with his cousins. The resulting collaboration is VB3 Restaurant and Bar & VB3 Pizzeria, located in Jersey City in The Monaco building. Carrying on in the important garden to table tradition, the restaurant features Chef Colletti’s creative, modern cuisine based on family recipes using locally-sourced New Jersey ingredients. His signature dishes include Ricotta Gnudi with sweet cherry tomatoes, Baby Pork Ribs with balsamic-rosemary bbq sauce, pickled cabbage slaw and grilled peaches and Arancini “rice balls” stuffed with peas and mozzarella. When not tossing a saute pan in the VB3 kitchen, Chef Mike likes to relax at home and pull together simple meals like grilled fish with whatever fresh, seasonal produce is going at the market.
Don’t miss out on a great event! Tickets: $30 in advance / $40 at the door. Learn more here.