By JOHN T. WARD
With a surprise snowstorm hinting at the need, a new ‘warming center’ for homeless men opened in Red Bank Thursday.
The warmup act for the ribbon cutting? None other than pop superstar Jon Bon Jovi.
Representatives and friends of dozens of faith groups, charitable organizations and more marched through central Red Bank early Thursday afternoon as part of a “Day of Hope” event, organized by the JBJ Soul Kitchen. Volunteers with Holiday Express, Lunch Break and Habcore were among the long list of participants. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Bowls will once again bloom in the gardens of the JBJ Soul Kitchen the weekend of May 20 and 21, when the Empty Bowls Project returns to 207 Monmouth Street. With the motto Every Bowl Feeds a Soul, the event brings together artists, teens, and community members to help raise awareness of hunger in our area.
This is the third year that hundreds of handmade bowls in every shape, size, and color will be on display in the organic garden of the Soul Kitchen. Before the event, the Monmouth Arts Teen Arts Festival and Art Alliance of Monmouth County create the many bowls. On Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, patrons may select a bowl for a $20 donation, and, while supplies last, receive a canvas Monmouth Arts tote to carry their bowl home.
When last encountered here on redbankgreen, celebrity chef and restaurateur David Burke made local headlines with the announcement that he was closing Fromagerie, the long-running Rumson landmark that the onetime kitchen apprentice had owned as part of his David Burke Group since 2006. While the news was understandably greeted with regret by veteran denizens of the greater Green, it came with the implicit assurance that Burke — no stranger to charitable endeavors in his native Monmouth County — would continue to make his presence felt for various worthy causes on the home-front scene.
On Monday, August 1, Chef Burke makes some noise with the pots and pans once more, as he joins pro caterer and nutrition consultant Diane Henderiks for a special “Feed Your Summer Soul” event at Red Bank’s own Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen.
Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, at last year’s inaugural Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball. The fundraiser returns to the Oyster Point Hotel on Friday as one of several benefit events around the borough this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The month of May flowers into full effect with more than just greenery and colorful scenery — it’s also prime time for charity galas and other fundraising vehicles, dedicated to the benefit of some of our area’s hardest-working nonprofit organizations.
The weekend of May 14 and 15 is going to be beautiful, no matter what the weather. On that Saturday and Sunday, all Monmouth County residents and visitors are invited to take part in the Empty Bowls Project, a joint fundraiser to benefit the JBJ Soul Kitchen and the Art Alliance of Monmouth County, in collaboration with Monmouth County Arts Council’s Teen Arts Festival.
The event will take place in the organic gardens of Soul Kitchen at 207 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. Participants make a donation of $20 and receive a “pay it forward” coupon. Their coupon entitles them to select one of the hundreds of beautiful handmade bowls, and will help to feed an in-need person at the Soul Kitchen and benefit the Art Alliance. May 14 hours are 1 to 5 p.m.; May 15 hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Rumson-Fair Haven students who volunteered at JBJ Soul Kitchen on March 16 are (front row, left to right) Linda Wien Murray, Cassie Fallon, and Tori Hyduke, and (back row, left to right) Lauren Grumbach, Becky Unsinn, Michaela Lake, Katie Kane, Christy Jadevaia, Julia Marascio, and Jenna Sandoli.
Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
Working with the nonprofit community restaurant’s Front-of-House Manager Dolly Bonilla, the RFH students cleaned off and set tables, as well as organized menus for that evening’s crowd. They were also given a tour of the facility’s garden, which provides fresh organic ingredients for meals, by gardener Robin Grossman. Perhaps most importantly, the students learned more about what the Soul Kitchen really means to the local community.
Gianni Perfetto, Brandon Trani, and Sarah Lashovitz, all of Little Silver, were among the culinary Students from Red Bank Regional High School who served as guest chefs during their Hope is Delicious dinner fundraiser for the JBJ Soul Kitchen.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
On the evening of January 26, the talented culinary students of Red Bank Regional High School assumed the responsibilities for cooking, serving and seating restaurant patrons, at the third annual Hope is Delicious Dinner fundraiser to benefit the JBJ Soul Kitchen. As in the past two years, the event sold out within hours of its posting.
On the menu was a mouthwatering panko crested eggplant pirogue finished with sautéed shrimp in petite diced vegetable cream sauce. A tossed romaine salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette accompanied the main course of braised boneless chicken thighs in a shallot wine sauce, with a side dish of Mediterranean style couscous and oven roasted cauliflower. The pièce de résistance was an Italian mascarpone espresso chocolate chip ice box pie.
Hope Is Delicious, as they say over at Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, the pay-what-you-will community restaurant established by the Middletown-based guitarslinger/ frontguy/ actor and globetrotting humanitarian. This Tuesday evening, December 8, the impulse to “feed the holiday soul” is as contagious as it is delicious, when a pair of celeb chefs make some noise with the pots and pans during a special fundraiser event for the ongoing programs of the JBJ Soul Foundation.
Served between 6:30 to 9 pm, the four-course dinner will spotlight the culinary creations of Michael Ferraro, executive chef and co-owner of NYC’s Delicatessen, and a young veteran of the city’s top kitchens whose resume includes the Four Seasons and the Beacon. A familiar face on many foodie-friendly TV shows (including Bar Rescue and Beat Bobby Flay), the specialist in international comfort cuisine teams up for the occasion with New Jersey’s own Diane Henderiks, the pro caterer and nutrition consultant whose Chef Inspired Healthy programs appear weekly on The Daily Meal Video Network.
Seating is necessarily limited for Tuesday’s special event, and seating is still available at $150 per person. Reserve by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Three not-for-profit Red Bank institutions — including The Art Alliance (above) and JBJ Soul Kitchen (below) — join forces on August 30, during a special event aimed at battling hunger and building community partnerships.
Every bowl feeds a soul….and on Sunday, August 30, several Red Bank-based nonprofit entities will pool their resources and energies for a joint fundraiser will be held in the garden of JBJ Soul Kitchen at 207 Monmouth Street.
Taking place from 11 am to 3 pm, the special event is designed to raise awareness in the fight to end hunger and support the missions of Soul Kitchen and The Art Alliance of Monmouth County in building community partnerships.
Part of the collective endeavor known as The Empty Bowl Project, the fundraiser will present a display of handcrafted artisanal bowls, with a $20 donation granting the purchaser a “paid forward card” which will help feed a person in need at Soul Kitchen. Light refreshments will be served for the duration of the event.
A follow-up event will be held inside the Art Alliance gallery at 33 Monmouth Street, during the season-opening art exhibit and reception on the evening of September 12. A sampling of the bowls may be viewed in the gallery windows at the Art Alliance through the month of August.
Press release from Wesleyan Arms
On Wednesday, June 24, the Red Bank-based senior housing community Wesleyan Arms hosted the grand opening of The Arms Café, a new senior resource hub to the area’s growing population of older adults.
A partnership between Wesleyan Arms and Home Helpers Home Care of Monmouth County with the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey, the Cafe is dedicated to a mission of providing opportunities for essential social interaction, physical exercise and continuing learning to people aged 65 and older who live alone.
Located at 9 Wall Street in Red Bank and part of the United Methodist Homes of New Jersey (UMHNJ), the Cafe welcomes older adults in the area to participate each week in a casual setting with a “drop-in center” feel. Open every Wednesday between 10 am and 2 pm, the facility is staffed with a resource coordinator who can offer information about elder care resources to individuals and their families.
Examples of the varied calendar activities include: chair yoga or Zumba, art, technology, reading and book club discussions, meeting new friends, walking groups, finding information, enjoying the company of others, and more. While The Arms Café has some structure, seniors may do as much or as little as they prefer. All resource information and most classes are free. Occasionally, a special offering requires a fee.
Proclaiming that “the warmer weather is finally here!” (and that “it’s time to put the cold weather and comfort foods behind us”), nationally noted nutritionist Diane Henderiks commandeers the kitchen — Jon and Dorothea Bon Jovi’s JBJ Soul Kitchen, that is — for a special Tuesday evening event during which “America’s favorite culinary nutritionist shares her expertise, tips and secrets of how to cook healthy without sacrificing flavor.”
Stuart Jensen and Vinnie Sarullo of Navesink Hook and Ladder with their potful of chili at JBJ Soul Kitchen’s chili cook-off. Below, Union Beach Fire Company’s entry won first place. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)[See clarification below]
By SUSAN ERICSON
Firetrucks and EMS vehicles crowded the area of the JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank this weekend, but the only thing on fire was taste buds.
Kicking off its three-year anniversary, the pay-what-you-can Monmouth Street restaurant hosted a chili cook-off Saturday, inviting local firefighters and EMS squads to serve up their fiery best.
It’s like something straight out of a Busby Berkeley musical: farm girl comes to the big city; goes from unknown to Broadway lead, and back to struggling trouper. Takes her career into her own hands by calling up her fellow under-employed ladies of the stage and crafting “an all-female revue with a sexy rock n’ roll twist” — one that becomes an international touring sensation, from here to such faraway whistle-stops as China and Dubai. Call it The Broadway Dolls and you’ve got a surefire hit.
Created by and co-starring former Hairspray lead Hollie Howard, the project known as Broadway’s Original Girl Group brings its mix of vintage showtunes, 60s girl group oldies and 21st century radio pop to Red Bank’s historic Molly Pitcher Inn on Monday, September 22 for “A Taste of Broadway on the Promenade,” a gala dedicated to the benefit of an array of locally based charities — and spotlighting the wares of several star-quality staples of the Monmouth County culinary landscape.
Ask any rock star you happen to see: Chicken of the Sea’s traveling mermaid will present Jon Bon Jovi’s JBJ Soul Kitchen with a “100 Years of Good” donation, in a Wednesday afternoon ceremony at the restaurant.
Press release from Belfer Communications
This Wednesday, August 20 at 2 pm, Chicken of the Sea will present a $10,000 Great American Gratitude award to the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to help support JBJ Soul Kitchen, at 207 Monmouth Street in Red Bank.
As part of the brand’s 100th anniversary celebration, Chicken of the Sea Mermaid “Catalina” will present JBJ Soul Foundation and JBJ Soul Kitchen representatives and volunteers with an oversized check. The award is part of Chicken of the Sea’s “100 Years of Good” campaign. As a way of thanking seafood fans for making it a mealtime staple for 100 years, Chicken of the Sea is investing $1 million in 100 local charities and grassroots nonprofits throughout 2014.
Also featured will be a cooking demo of a dish using ingredients fresh from their garden and prepared by Soul Kitchen chefs and TV personality Diane Henderiks, host of The Daily Meal Video Network’s Chef Inspired Healthy and a resident of Monmouth County. Media will be able to tour Soul Kitchen until 4 pm, and more info on the “100 Years” program can be found here.
Its famous stage has hosted everything from Hollywood royalty and hall of fame rockers to high school revues — but Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre seems to have hit upon a fresh recipe for success, with the new breed of live shows built around celebrity chefs.
Such culinary cable stars as Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Robert Irvine and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro have done boffo box office at the Basie. And with the arrival of this weekend’s ‘Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience,’ casual fans and full-fledged foodies can feast on a two-night/two-day excursion that’s highlighted by two superstars of the video-victuals circuit.
A four-course affair running from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, the second annual edition of Appetite also features tie-ins to the good works of some popular hometown favorites.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
The phrase “lazy days of summer” does not apply to Red Bank Regional High School — at least in the mornings when the school is abuzz with various programs to maintain and sharpen student skills for September.
The largest program is Summer Slam, with over 90 students representing all sending towns of the regional school district. This year marked Summer Slam’s 14th year of operation in preparing incoming freshmen for the very different world of high school. The program runs throughout the month of July, for four mornings a week. It is operated by the Source, RBR’s School-Based Youth Services program, and supervised by the Source Director Suzanne Keller. Ms. Keller is also the director of the RBR Freshman Academy, which provides continuity for the school’s newest students once they begin their high school careers.
Ms. Keller states of the program, “Summer Slam is primarily an academic program to prepare our kids for the rigors of high school and bridge the skill slide that research shows occurs during school vacations. It is also a great opportunity for kids to meet their classmates from other towns, so they will know just a few more faces, including their teachers, when the doors officially open for their first year of high school.”
Press release from Navesink Business Group
The officers of Navesink Business Group have announced that tickets are on sale for the organization’s annual Waves of Support fundraising gala benefitting locally based charities.
Presented under the theme “A Taste of Broadway on the Promenade,” this year’s event will take place on Monday, September 22, 2014, at the historic Molly Pitcher Inn. The evening begins with cocktails at 6 pm, and includes a silent auction, spectacular entertainment, and a five-course dinner featuring selections from some stars of Monmouth County’s culinary landscape.
Headlining the evening’s entertainment will be a performance by The Broadway Dolls, the dynamic “girl group” founded by Hollie Howard, and featuring cast members from such Broadway hits as Mamma Mia, Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys.
Dinner will include hors d’oeuvres and several courses prepared by some of Monmouth County’s top dining spots, among them Ama Ristorante, Danny’s Steak House, David Burke Fromagerie, Soul Kitchen, Teak, The Bistro, The Cheese Cave and Zoe, in addition the executive chefs from The Molly Pitcher Inn and The Oyster Point Hotel.
Press release from JBJ Soul Kitchen
On Saturday, May 17, the JBJ Soul Kitchen will be hosting a World Hunger Awareness event in the front gardens of the community restaurant. From 3 pm to 7 pm, the Soul Kitchen will be hosting interactive, fun and informative events with some of their local community partners to help bring awareness to the issues surrounding hunger in their community.
Amanda’s Easel will unveil garden artwork, Five Steps to End Hunger. Pilgrim Baptist Church will introduce the Share NJ Program, which will be available to the Red Bank community, and Soul Kitchen will display its “Line of Hope” interactive exhibit.
Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
This evening, February 12, chef and Red Bank Regional High School culinary teacher Pete Roskowinski and his culinary art students will be making their debut as guest chefs for the JBJ Soul Kitchen, 207 Monmouth Street in Red Bank.
In this special fundraising effort to benefit the Soul Kitchen and its mission, patrons pay $25 for a five-course “Hope is Delicious” gastronomic event. There are two seatings, at 6 and 7:30 pm, and reservations can be obtained by emailing Chef Roskowinski at email@example.com.
The event will provide free medical screenings, flu shots and HIV testing. Coats, Clothing and Toiletries will also be available to all participants at no cost. Representatives from Social Services (food stamps), Medicaid/Medicare, Employment & Training, Veterans Affairs, and other agencies will be on-site to assist individuals and families.
All are welcome at the event , which takes place at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 172 Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, from 9 am – 2 pm. All in attendance will have an opportunity to be a guest for a complimentary lunch at JBJ Soul Kitchen, 207 Monmouth Street. For more information, please call (732)683-2102 or (732)747-2343.
While Jon Bon Jovi’s pay-what-you-can restaurant JBJ Soul Kitchen has made it a core part of its mission to feed hungry bodies on and around the Jersey Shore, every so often it becomes necessary to Feed the Soul — and on January 16, an alliance of professional organizers, party planners and performers is throwing a bash for the benefit of Soul Kitchen and other area nonprofits.
Presented by the business-to-business networking organization Monmnouth County Referral Group, the third annual “Night of Hope to Feed the Soul” returns to The Downtown for an evening of live entertainment, auctions and refreshments — all dedicated to the ongoing endeavors of Soul Kitchen, as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County. Comedian John Svenda is joined on the West Front Street nightspot’s upstairs stage by musical guests Scott Elk, Courtney McManus, Strumberry Pie, and Almost Easy.
Tickets to the 7 pm event are $75 per person (a limited $500 VIP package includes four tickets, two bottles of wine and preferred seating), and the club will be offering cash-bar drink specials for the duration of the three-hour affair. Take it here for full details.