Where Chefs Shop
Eight local chefs share their favorite ingredients—and their sources.
Danny’s Steakhouse, Red Bank
A Red Bank resident since 1949, Danny Murphy of Danny’s Steakhouse knows all about the local gems in the area. Got a craving for grass-fed steaks from New Zealand? No need to travel far—Murphy recommends Sickles Market in Little Silver. For seafood, Murphy makes his way to The Lusty Lobster in Highlands. “They sell the freshest tuna, salmon, shrimp and scallops.” To spruce up the restaurant, Murphy favors flowers from Three Pines Farm & Greenhouse in Howell. “They have about 200 acres of farmland. I like their mums for fall décor.”
Raven and The Peach, Fair Haven
Echoing chef Murphy’s sentiment, Cicalese also speaks highly of Sickles Market in Little Silver. “They have a cute outdoor garden section and a beautiful cheese area,” Cicalese says. “Their truffle cheese is my favorite. I use most of their cheeses for my cheese board.” For her tools, Cicalese frequents Johnson’s Restaurant Equipment in Neptune. “You’ll find lots of baking tools there,” says Cicalese. She also finds inexpensive cake boards and pastry sheets at her local A.C. Moore.
Nicholas, Red Bank
“For produce, I usually go to Dearborn Market in Holmdel and Whole Foods,” Harary says. “I can always find unique ingredients at those two places.” For kitchenware, Harary also recommends Johnson’s Restaurant Equipment. “I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I go there. They have a huge showroom, with small wares as well as larger items.”
Talula’s, Asbury Park
Mignogna is all about top-quality and sustainably grown ingredients—something she believes Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs can provide. “Definitely join a CSA program. Most of the farms in the area, like Rolling Hills, Farmer Meg, Fly Brook and Harvest Moon, offer high-quality specialty items in smaller quantities,” Mignogna says. Her favorites? “Harvest Moon’s sun-gold tomatoes are the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.” For seafood, Mignogna raves about Asbury Park’s Local 130. “They have the best scallops.”
Lauren Phillips & Claudette
Via 45, Red Bank
This spontaneous chef duo enjoy perusing Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck for fresh produce. “Our menu doesn’t happen until that day,” Phillips says. “We like to create what we have in the moment, so our menu is often inspired by our shopping trips.” They trust their local butcher at Monmouth Meats in Red Bank, where they get pork chops, steaks, veal, sausage and chicken.
Avenue, Long Branch
When in doubt, make like Sauer and try shopping at Wegmans—the store has locations in Ocean and Englishtown. “They have a good supply of fresh produce,” Sauer says. This sous chef also recommends local farmers markets in either Long Branch or Red Bank for fresh-baked goods and local honey.
Just, Old Bridge
“For meat, I like to shop at Vrola Meat in South Amboy,” Vukusich says. “They have New York strip steaks, rib eyes, pork chops and pork belly.” You’ll find these items featured in the restaurant’s barbecued pork belly appetizer and its chili-glazed short ribs entrée. As for kitchen tools? “E & A Supply in Plainfield has everything I need.”