IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
October 23, 2017 www.nj.gov/agriculture
PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330
P: (609) 633-2954
C: (609) 433-1785
(TRENTON) – Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced that the Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Jersey Fresh Love photo contest is Nicole Gaffney, a chef, recipe developer, blogger, and videographer who also owns Soulberri Restaurant in Brigantine.
The grand prize for Gaffney was a $500 gift card to a Jersey Fresh restaurant. Her restaurant of choice is Steve and Cookie’s By the Bay located in Margate. The restaurant sources Jersey Fresh produce from several local farms including corn and tomatoes from Liepe Farms; greens, beets, peppers and herbs from Marolda Farms; peaches and apples from Wm. Schober Sons; tomatoes, cucumbers and basil from Happy Valley Berry Farm; and heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers from Cherry Lane Farms.
Throughout the 2017 season, Secretary Fisher encouraged Jersey Fresh fans to submit photographs from all over New Jersey that highlighted: favorite fruits, vegetables or dishes; a local farmer, farmers market or roadside stand; a favorite restaurant that serves Jersey Fresh dishes; or a visit to a New Jersey winery, pick-your-own farm or agri-tourism activity.
“I am all about Jersey Fresh with everything and I love supporting the movement,” Gaffney said. “I’m a big gardener and I do a lot of food photography. If I make something with Jersey Fresh produce I use the Jersey Fresh Love hashtag, #jerseyfreshlove.”
The winning photo featured tomatoes and Gaffney says she enjoys making a wide range of recipes with Jersey Fresh tomatoes.
“I love that I won for tomatoes because tomatoes are my favorite ingredient,” she said. “I have a ton of tomato dishes I like to make at home. When you are dealing with a good Jersey Fresh tomato, you don’t have to do much with it. They have so much flavor on their own.”
Participants entered the contest by sharing photos on Instagram from June 1 through August 31 with the hashtag #JerseyFreshLove. Each week one photo was chosen to receive a prize pack that included a Jersey Fresh apron and other items bearing the Jersey Fresh logo. At the end of the contest, the Grand Prize winner was chosen for originality, creativity, photo composition and relevance to Jersey Fresh. Jersey Fresh Love contest participants shared 1,600 photos.
“For all who participated in the #JerseyFreshLove photo contest, we appreciate seeing your favorite Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, visits to Jersey Fresh markets and restaurants, and agri-tourism adventures,” Secretary Fisher said. “Thank you for the ongoing support of local New Jersey farmers, markets, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and more.”
Gaffney opened Soulberri last spring. It is a unique and forward-thinking brand serving fun, healthy and family friendly food in the central business district of Brigantine. The menu is small and consists of fresh homemade Acai bowls, creative fruit/vegetable smoothies, and high quality, locally roasted coffee drinks. Soulberri sources local Jersey fresh kale, blueberries, and honey for use in their menu items. The restaurant is open on weekends through October and then will re-open in April.
About Steve and Cookie’s
Steve and Cookie’s By The Bay is owned and operated by Steve and Cookie Till and is an acclaimed New American restaurant serving upscale fare including seafood, salads and pasta as well as a wide range of homemade desserts and a raw bar.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.