Monday, June 11, 2012

Fairway FireFighters Food Face Off!

2010 Event
Cook's Tour NJ/NY Readers - I am excited to announce that I will be a judge at the Fairway Firefighters Food Face-Off on Sunday, June 17th at the Paramus, NJ Fairway Market!  The press release is below.  If you are in the area on the 17th, please come by to say hello, taste the BBQ and support some of New Jersey's bravest!

In lieu of ladders, axes, helmets and flashlights, New Jersey’s bravest will instead don aprons and haul their barbecue tongs, basting brushes, rubs and sauces to  Fairway’s Firefighters Food Face-Off, a grilling “throwdown” that will pit several of New Jersey’s firehouses against one another to prove whose barbecue is best, on Sunday, June 17th at noon in the parking lot behind Fairway’s Paramus store location, Fashion Center Mall on Route 17 in Paramus, NJ.  (RAIN OR SHINE)  The firefighters will compete to cook their most delicious ribs, beef and vegetable skewers. Taste, originality and the incorporation of a secret ingredient (unveiled once the contest begins) are the criteria for the following judges: Mel Fabrikant and Tina Apprich of the Paramus Post, Maria Melito of Q104.3,  Fairway’s own Master Butcher Ray Venezia and Terry Krongold of The Cook’s Tour, The champion firehouse will not only receive bragging rights for next year—that is, until the 3rd Annual Paramus Face-Off—but also the opportunity to name the charity of its choice to benefit from  proceeds earned during an upcoming “Fairway Shopping Night.” Participating Firehouses are: Park Ridge Fire Department (defending champs), Ridgewood Fire Department and West Paterson Fire Dept.



WHEN:    SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012
                 NOON (competition begins)

                  FASHION CENTER MALL – ROUTE 17
                  PARAMUS, NJ,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Five Acre Farms

When Five Acre Farms first contacted me about their products, I thought “ok, it’s milk, what could be the big deal?” I get the whole “local sourcing” thing, and always try to buy local produce, etc., if possible, but never thought to apply this to dairy.

The company generously provided samples of whole, reduced fat, and fat-free milk. My initial impression: WOW!  I could not believe the difference in taste between Five Acre Farms milk and the milk I’d been buying forever. This milk is full of flavor (imagine that) and richness (yes, even the reduced fat and fat-free). 

A week later, samples of their heavy cream and half and half arrived. I am a devoted half and half user for coffee. No half and half for the coffee? No, thank you. It’s my only vice and I don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon. Five Acre Farms half and half made my Stumptown Coffee even more amazing.

What did I do with the heavy cream? Whipped it into a smooth and creamy chocolate mousse that was heavenly.

They also produce apple cider and applesauce with very short ingredient lists. One item: apples.  The only way to describe the cider is luxurious, and the only descriptor for the sauce – velvety. I’ve never had more delicious cider and applesauce.

Five Acre Farms is a  line of supermarket-ready produce and products that are grown and prepared within 275 miles of where they are sold. Some interesting facts about Five Acre Farms products:
  • Their milk is bottled within 8 hours of milking and is delivered from udder to shelf in less than 36 hours
  • It's so local, they put the name of the farmer on every bottle
  • Grade A, pasteurized and homogenized. No rBST or antibiotics
The products are sold in a wide variety of stores, such as Fairway, Stop 'n Shop, and all over New York City. 

This was quite the find. I certainly won’t be eating my morning cereal with watery, tasteless milk anymore! I love the fact that not only is the product just about as fresh as you can get it (unless you live on or near a farm), but it's preserving farmland, and rewarding sustainable farming practices. All that sounds pretty good to me. The only thing that could make it better would be old-fashioned home delivery!

Five Acre Farms

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finally Fairway!

For the longest time, I’ve felt like Passaic County was the poor, misunderstood stepchild. No King’s, nary a Whole Foods, not a Wegman’s within 30 miles of here. Sure we’ve got your basic food stores, and yes, we’ve been surviving (barely!) just fine, thank you. But come June 6th, we’re getting a Fairway!

And what a Fairway it is! Taking over the old Pathmark store on Rt 46 West in Woodland Park, Fairway management gutted the entire building and started from scratch. I got a preview of what’s to come from Dan Glickberg, third generation of the Fairway family. Dan’s grandfather started with a little produce market on 74th and Broadway in Manhattan 79 years ago, and they’ve been going strong ever since.

Join me, as I take you along for a sort of virtual tour. When you enter the store, beautiful fresh flowers greet you. If you decide to make a right, a wonderful wine shop awaits. More about this later.

Make a left off the main entrance and welcome to the produce section.  Since produce was the bedrock of the Fairway empire, it’s only fitting that upon entering the store, you are immediately immersed in it. They pride themselves on offering the highest quality produce. There will be a large organic section and plenty of local produce. They try to source locally when possible.

If you can take your eyes off the fabulous fruits and veggies for a minute, take a glance upward at the artwork gracing the walls all around the store. These beautiful paintings are all done free hand by Fairway’s artist in residence. The attention to detail is astounding.

Next to produce is the bakery. Close your eyes and imagine made from scratch baguettes and bagels. Real. Water. Bagels. This Fairway will have a dough room, producing fresh pastry. I can hardly contain myself.

Keep up now. We’ve got alot more ground to cover. Here to our left is the deli, with everything prepared fresh in-store. We’re talking hot items, charcuterie, smoked fish, salmon, lox, and gads more.

An olive bar sits close by the cheese department with over 600 tantalizing offerings from all over the world. You might want to pick up some olives and cheese to go with that lovely Sauvignon Blanc you’ll buy in the wine store on your way out.

Something special in this store is a café serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, with an espresso bar, seating 60 people.

Now we come to the meat department. Fairway ages its own prime beef 21 days in-house, this gives it more flavor and tenderness. All the meat is hand selected and custom-cut on-site. They also offer choice beef, by way of breed specific Hereford. American and Australian lamb will be in the meat cases, along with Dubreton pork, and a wide selection of Kosher meats.

All the Fairway stores roast their own coffees, and this one is no different. They will offer 68 coffees so you’re sure to find the perfect one to go with that morning bagel. Did I mention they were real water bagels? I may have.

As we venture down the center aisles, I see staff stocking olive oil. Dan tells me they offer over 100 olive oils, including some that Fairway sources on their own. They’ll have olive oil tastings every day. 

Even though you may come to Fairway for a steak or some gorgeous seafood, or to look for that hard-to-find cheese you had on vacation in San Francisco, they have all your every day items, too. From dairy to cereal, from soup to nuts, they’ve got it.  Their shelves are lined with over 45,000 traditional, specialty, and organic groceries, including a large selection of gluten-free items.

Now about that wine shop... Fairway Wines and Spirits in Woodland Park (only two other stores offer wine) has been designed by Joshua Wesson, the co-founder of Best Cellars, and in 1986 named one of the top five sommeliers in the world.  Joshua’s theory in putting this store together was to create a breadth of wine selection, to create the excitement of a new wine discovery without having to pay alot. Eighty percent of the 600 wines will cost between $10-30.00. You’ll find wines not available elsewhere. Of course they will have daily wine tastings, but what makes these tastings different from other wine stores, is the food pairings – think smoked salmon, artisanal cheeses. And are you perplexed about what wine goes with that gorgeous rack of lamb you just bought? The staff in the wine shop can help.

We’ve done a full circle around the store. Dan has been a gracious host, but they’re really busy putting the finishing touches on the store so we’ve got to go. But we’ll be back on Wednesday, June 6th at 10am for the grand opening.  If I were you, I’d put it on the calendar. Not only will you be able to do your own touring around the store, tasting here and there, but they are planning some incredible opening day festivities, such as the Hindquarter Giveaway (where you could walk away with 130 pounds of prime meat), and a chance to Crack the Vault to win a $5,000 shopping spree.

So it may have taken awhile for Passaic County to get our due, but I think we’ve hit the jackpot on this one.

Fairway Market
1510 Rt 46 West
Woodland Park, NJ