Food Fight

Nearly a dozen Monmouth County restaurants and chefs are among the nominees in the inaugural Garden State Culinary Arts Awards.
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Nearly a dozen Monmouth County restaurants and chefs are among the nominees in the inaugural Garden State Culinary Arts Awards. Nominations from the public began rolling in last fall, and the top three vote-getters in each of 12 categories will be announced in April. Winners take all May 6 at the Super Sampling Gala at Super Buy-Rite Wine & Liquor in Hamilton.

Here’s who’s in contention:

Outstanding chef: Andrew “Drew” Araneo, Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, Keyport

Best new restaurant: Barrio Costero, Asbury Park; Graze, Little Silver

Best casual restaurant: Broad Street Diner, Keyport

Outstanding wine professional: Nick Pizzonia, vice president, Court Liquors, Long Branch

Outstanding spirits professional: Bob and Zack Brinley, owners, Shipwreck Rum, Atlantic Highlands; Jamie Dodge, chief beverage craftsman and partner, Barrio Costero, Asbury Park; Russell Lewis, owner, and Michael Johannesen, head bartender, Watermark, Asbury Park

Rising star chef: Christopher Atamian, chef/owner, Porcini, Highlands; Charles Lesbirel, executive chef, Ama Ristorante, Sea Bright

Outstanding food market: The Cheese Cave, Red Bank

Outstanding food artisan: Blair’s Sauces and Snacks (Blair Lazar), Highlands

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