51° Overcast

RED BANK: EATING ‘CLEAN’ TO SAVE HER LIFE

Amie Valpone returns Monday to Red Bank’s Front St. Trattoria, where she once waited tables, to promote “Eating Clean,” her memoir and cookbook. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Valpone_EatingCleanAmie Valpone was a healthy woman in her early 20’s when a cascade of ailments began, taking her to the brink of death.

Battling numerous diseases and beyond the help of conventional medicine, Valpone said she spent most of the following decade curing herself through better eating — and clearing her body of toxins.

Now 33, she’s chronicled her journey in a new book, titled “Eating Clean,” which tells the the story of “how food saved my life,” Valpone told PieHole last week. Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SALAD FROM DEAN’S

041316deansmkt1Dean’s Market grab n’ go harvest salad with a cheerful raspberry vinaigrette. Jenna Rae Alexy, manager, seen below, has lost 100 pounds while working at the store… just saying. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

041316deansmkt4Popping into Dean’s Natural Food Market on Broad Street in Shrewsbury, PieHole finds the place swamped with hungry customers and a young but experienced staff hustling to fill juice orders and answer questions.

Attentive to her customers as well as the surfer-dude-healthy guys working the juice counter, manager Jenna Rae Alexy seems to know many of her customers by name. She also knows what they will order.  Read More »

RED BANK: MARINE SANCTUARY BLASTED

rb nms 031616 1With the basement meeting room already full, an overflow crowd gathered on the library’s main floor hoping to be allowed in Wednesday night. Below, the sanctuary would include Sandy Hook Bay, the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and their tributaries. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD 

Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2The main proponent of a “marine sanctuary” that would include some 12,500 acres of northeastern Monmouth County waters found himself pounded by wave after wave of criticism Wednesday night.

With 75 or so commercial and recreational fishermen, clammers, hunters and others packed into a basement meeting room at the Red Bank Public Library, and a comparable number turned away due to crowding, maritime historian Rik Van Hemmen got a cold reception for his proposal for a Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which he hopes will win federal approval.

“We’ve got enough layers of bureaucracy,” Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, told Van Hemmen. “This is going down. We’re going to fight it.”

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: MARINE SANCTUARY PROPOSED

Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2An effort to create a “water-based equivalent of a National Park” covering Sandy Hook Bay, the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers and their tributaries is the subject of upcoming informational sessions, one of which is scheduled for Monday night.

If enacted by federal authorities, the Sandy Hook Bay National Marine Sanctuary would  add more than 12,500 acres of public-use parkland to eastern Monmouth County, according to proponents. Among them are the Navesink Marine Heritage Association, whose website has extensive information on the proposal.

Tonight’s presentation is slated for 7 p.m. at Crawford House at Tinton Falls. The Red Bank Public Library plans to host another on March 16 at 7 p.m. (Click to enlarge)

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SMOOTHIE IN A BOWL

020316freshica4The Acai PB&J bowl from Freshica’s Juice Bar, owned by Jessica Dalmedo, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

020316freshica3It might seem counter-intuitive to put a juice bar in the same building as a luncheonette known for its porkroll, egg, and cheese sandwiches, but Jessica Dalmedo, owner of Freshica’s Juice Bar says it works.

Sharing space with Fairwinds Deli on River Road in Fair Haven for almost four years, Freshica’s counter takes up a portion of the dining area. At lunchtime, you’re likely to see a construction worker downing a sub as you are a gray-flannel suit or someone coming from the gym. Less expected: the number of children from the preschool next door taking sippy-cup-sized swigs of kale- and spinach-infused juices.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: POND DEAL ON COUNCIL AGENDA

schwenker's 012315Schwenker’s Pond, on River Road. The long-vacant Doremus house, below, which overlooked the pond, was demolished in late 2013. Two new homes are planned for the site. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

doremus-houseAfter years of limbo, a deal that would transfer ownership of Schwenker’s Pond in Fair Haven to the borough is expected to be sealed Monday night.

On the council’s agenda is a proposed developer’s agreement that Mayor Ben Lucarelli said will add to the town’s waterfront and open-space holdings.

“I’m of the belief that you only get one chance to make a piece of property public,” Lucarelli told redbankgreen last week.

Well, in this case, two.

Read More »

RED BANK: FLAVOR’S ORGANIC FOR KITCH CHEF

110515kichorganic6Kitch Organic chef Jennifer Freeman stirs a mixture of ground turkey and vegetables while Liam Splane cuts down a flat of wheat grass.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

110515kitchorganic8In the exquisite, state-of-the-art kitchen at Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue in Red Bank, the cooks are busy preparing some extraordinary recipes.

All the food here is gluten-free and certified-organic, but that isn’t what makes it exceptional. Health benefits aside, chef Jenny Freeman is producing meals chock-full of flavor — and she’s doing it with home-grown and carefully sourced ingredients.

The 42-year-old chef went to the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York “to learn how to help heal people through food,” she tells PieHole. “I wanted to learn good nutrition and use it in my cooking.”  Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: COUPLE’S FUTURE COMES TO PASS

canyon pass 092215 1Derek DeBree, seen below with his wife, Genevieve, gutted the building’s interior, removing walls and leaving much of the wood exposed.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

drew & genevieve debree 092215 1

From outside, except for the rustic sign on the lawn, 733 River Road in Fair Haven still looks like the cottage-style house it was before it became a dentist’s office 25 years ago.

Step through the Dutch front door, though, and you’re transported to retail space that could be on the side of a mountain in Wyoming or Vermont, with raw wood floors and ceiling joists summoning a deeply rustic vibe inside the vinyl-sided structure.

The address is now home to Canyon Pass Provisions, a week-old clothing shop created by a couple who abandoned the 9-to-5 life in order to make a new life for themselves and their two kids — without leaving the town they love, they say.

Read More »

RED BANK: TOUR TOUTS ECO EFFORTS

092714 ecowalk4Michael Paul Raspanti shows off his eco-friendly organic garden during last year’s Green House Tour in Red Bank.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

On a first-autumn-weekend that also features Shore Paddle and the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival, it might be easy to overlook a quiet, grass-roots endeavor that opens some of the town’s “greenest” gardens and homes to public perusal.

But as the borough Environmental Commission points out, the public-welcome happening that’s all about the community’s future has grown by leaps and bounds since last year’s inaugural Green House Tour.

Scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m.to 6 p.m., the newly rebranded Red Bank Garden and Eco Tour offers a self-guided excursion designed to “educate the local population on the individual and environmental benefits of incorporating sustainable living practices, and to provide residents an opportunity to build and grow together,” in the words of commission chair Frank Corrado.

Read More »

RED BANK: GIVE OR TAKE, IT’S ALL FREE

242 Spring st. rbGet a taste of the gift economy on Spring Street in Red Bank Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

free market logoGot stuff lying around the house or workplace that you’d like to give a new home?

Or are you in the market for stuff, and don’t mind if it’s used?

The folks behind a venture called Treasure Circle will hold an event in Red Bank on Saturday that may be of interest.

Read More »

RED BANK: CHURCH CONVERSION COMPLETED

211 broad 072815 5Space beneath the steeple, complete with spiral staircase, is now an office. The new First Church of Christ, Scientist worship space, below, is a fraction of the original size (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 072815Red Bank’s First Church of Christ, Scientist has a new home, just off to the side of its former one, and some new neighbors.

This week, and right on schedule, lawyers, healthcare providers, a ribbon manufacturer and a boudoir photographer started moving into 211 Broad Street, the steepled structure that was a church for 62 years. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: NOW CRAVIN’ SPROUTS

071615seedtosprout4Vegan pastries, grab ‘n go salads, kale wraps and smoothies are a few of the items customers line up for. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

071615seedtosprout5In a space formerly home to a luncheonette inspired by the “grease trucks” of the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, customers looking like models in a Lululemon fashion show lined up recently for grilled avocado sandwiches, seed salads and millet-and-flax toast with coconut butter.

Yes, there’s been a complete 180 at the former Cravin Haven in Fair Haven, a beef-heavy luncheonette that closed in January after just a year of operation. The space, in the River Road shopping center anchored by an Acme supermarket, is now a strictly vegan restaurant and juice bar called Seed to Sprout.

Read More »

FARMERS MARKETS: WHERE TO GET FRESH

061815sbmkt1At the Sea Bright farmers market, Meg Paska sells locally grown produce and flowers from Seven Arrows Farm, while the Holly Hill Farm table, below, offers Rumson-grown seedlings and produce.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061815sbmkt2Options for finding locally grown produce on the Greater Red Bank Green doubled with the addition last year of a farmers’ market in the Sea Bright municipal parking lot on Thursdays.

For local shoppers, that means more variety. While both Sea Bright and the Red Bank Farmers’ Market at the Galleria on summer and autumn Sundays are dependable for farm-grown veggies, there are some characteristics that differentiate the two.

Read More »

RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL, IN GLOSSY COLOR

062214 cinnamonsnaildonuts A sample of pastries from Adam Sobel’s Cinnamon Snail food truck and copies of his new cookbook, ‘Street Vegan,’ below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051215 sobelstreetveganGet out your aprons, Cinnamon Snail fans: Adam Sobel, four-time winner of the Vendy award for food trucks has penned a collection of recipes and stories that will keep you chained to your stoves.

While awaiting the truck’s expected return to the Red Bank Farmers Market, Snail-starved disciples wondering what just goes into the making of “Mexican Hot Chocolate Glazed Twists” can now take a shot at it themselves.

Sobel shares his secrets in an often-funny, non-preachy way, with chapter after delectable chapter of addictive recipes in “Street Vegan,” all while eschewing animal products.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER TO OPEN COMMUNITY GARDEN

ls garden 051315 1Little Silver gets down and dirty Saturday with the opening of its community garden, located on Harrison Avenue behind the Parker Homestead on the approach to Sickle’s Market. With a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m., the borough joins neighboring towns of Fair Haven, Red Bank and Shrewsbury as a place with a centralized growing spot for its residents.

Plot holders are charged $50 for the season, and four ADA-compliant plots were still available earlier this week. For more information, email littlesilvercommunitygardens [at] gmail.com. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)