Community support flows both ways at Jah’s farm

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Submitted/John Manzione, executive chef at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, left, welcomes newly harvested greens and herbs from local organic farmer Matthew Bruckler III of Jah’s Creation in Egg Harbor Township. The pair partnered up to feed construction workers who are rebuilding Steve & Cookie’s restaurant in Margate after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Submitted/John Manzione, executive chef at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, left, welcomes newly harvested greens and herbs from local organic farmer Matthew Bruckler III of Jah’s Creation in Egg Harbor Township. The pair partnered up to feed construction workers who are rebuilding Steve & Cookie’s restaurant in Margate after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – It seems the local culinary community sticks together through thick and thin as well as through soggy and dusty.

Like many local restaurants that have been helping to feed construction workers laboring to rebuild Steve & Cookie’s restaurant in Margate after it sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy, Matthew Bruckler III, owner of the Egg Harbor Township organic farm Jah’s Creation, and John Manzione, executive chef at Hidden Creek Golf Club, partnered up to help their fellow foodie, Steve & Cookie’s owner Cookie Till, take care of the workers.

The farm operates a community supported agriculture program. Restaurants and individuals can purchase a share, helping fund the farm, and in return they have access to the farm’s fresh harvests.

“Cookie was one of the first people to sign onto our CSA,” Bruckler said. “We’re picking greens for her workers, and chef John is putting it together – without him we wouldn’t be able to bring this to the table,” he said.

The men delivered the farm-fresh meal on Tuesday, Dec. 4, but the preparations began Saturday, Dec. 1 when Bruckler began harvesting the produce from his Spruce Avenue plots.

Butternut squash, red mustard greens, beets, Boston bibb lettuce, fresh herbs, broccoli, scallions, bok choy, savoy cabbage and other items were harvested from the fields and brought straight to the kitchen at the Hidden Creek Golf Club tucked away at the end of Asbury Road in the Scullville section of the township.

From there, Manzione crafted a three-course meal of roasted butternut squash bisque with spiced pumpkin seeds, a field greens salad with dried cranberry vinaigrette, and a crispy organic tofu stir-fry on a bed of Minnesota wild rice served with a citrus ponzu sauce.

“Chef John and Hidden Creek are customers of ours, too. We sell produce to him all year, so when I wanted to do something to help Cookie, I emailed a couple of chefs and a few CSA members who do small-scale catering to see if they would want to help,” Bruckler said. “I know it is a busy holiday season, but John jumped in right away. He’s been a great help and support for this.”

 Manzione said he was happy to help and did so with the full support of the club’s corporate ownership, Ole Hanson & Sons Inc., which also owns the Margate Bridge. Ole Hanson allowed Manzione to use the club’s kitchen to prepare the meal.

 “I don’t think we are ever presented with enough opportunities to help the community,” said the chef, who also belongs to Shore Fellowship Church on Ocean Heights Avenue, one of the main clearinghouses for Hurricane relief efforts.

“We are always looking for ways to help and serve. So if it means we can get their bellies full and give back, that’s great.”

Laura Stetser Egg Harbor Township farmer Matthew Bruckler III, owner of Jah’s Creation, an organic farm on Spruce Avenue, carries a box of produce in from the field.  Laura Stetser Egg Harbor Township farmer Matthew Bruckler III, owner of Jah’s Creation, an organic farm on Spruce Avenue, carries a box of produce in from the field.


blog comments powered by Disqus