• Summer Magazines

    No one ever said farming was easy: especially farmers.

    Each year is either drought or too rainy, too cold for one crop or too hot for another, and if everything cooperates, if the season is absolutely perfect, then there’s a glut and the prices drop.

    In Cape May County, the amount of land under cultivation has dwindled for years, and in many cases folks whose parents and grandparents or great grandparents were farmers have decided to find something else to do.

  • Summer Magazines

     Doc Adams Through this season, in this space, readers have been enticed, cajoled and nagged to eat local food, and lots of it.

    Not this week.

    Instead, we’ll talk about what once was, and why it’s changed. And why one of the favorite fish for many anglers is now more or less off the menu.

  • Summer Magazines

     Farm markets offer a direct connectionEverything you eat grew somewhere.

    In the meantime, it may have been canned, frozen, broiled, fried or processed beyond recognition, but somewhere, at some time, the last bite you’ve taken was alive, growing, in a field or a hothouse or a pen or a bay.

    It’s funny how easy that can be to forget.

  • Summer Magazines

     pumpkin Almost everything about a pumpkin – the color, the taste, its very presence on almost every other doorstep – says fall is here. They line roadside stands, decorate classrooms, and get carved into a million shapes for Halloween.

    Somehow, those big orange decorations are related to the pumpkin flavor found in pies and seasonal specialty coffees, but it seems as though very few people have witnessed the process of turning a fresh pumpkin into dinner or dessert.

  • Summer Magazines

    The season starts now, but it doesn’t last

    A more mature writer, in a more serious publication, could probably resist a lead like “this is the dawning of the age of asparagus.” 

    Fat chance. 

    The flowers are blooming, the days are long, and those in shorts and flip-flops no longer seem pathological. 

  • Summer Magazines

    Bill Eisele and his grandson Luke Eisele get ready to remove the honey from frames collected from one of his several bee hives.

    Bill Eisele does not seem particularly worried about stings.

    It’s getting on sunset at his Christmas tree farm in Petersburg, and he’s checking a hive, protected only by a short-sleeved golf shirt and a couple decades’ worth of experience working around bees. No smoking, no mesh hood, no apparent concern.

  • Summer Magazines

     spinach You can’t talk about spinach without talking about Popeye, says Ken Thompson, a farmer with a spread out in Tuckahoe.

    It’s a late weekend afternoon, and Thompson is not working on spinach; he’s weeding strawberries, giving the now flowering patch a fighting chance against the competition. In this case, it’s an enormous variety of grasses, stalks, thistles and ivies. Dandelions ready their parachute seeds on white heads, while another shade of green in the tangle explodes on contact, sending a burst of seeds forcefully into the air.

  • Summer Magazines

     Scallop-boat

    Fishing is dangerous work.

    Not that there was any doubt of that, but recent events have made it crystal clear: the men on the boats heading into the open ocean place their lives on the line to bring home the catch, and to make a living in one of the county’s biggest industries.

    This week, the Coast Guard has convened a Board of Inquiry to find out what brought down the Lady Mary March 24, the deadliest fishing accident in New Jersey in years. Of the seven crewmembers out on a multi-day scalloping trip, only…

  • Summer Magazines

     eggplant

    It’s as Italian as parmigiana, as French as ratatouille, and as Arab as baba ghanoush, without even getting started on moussaka, Szechuan-style eggplant and garlic sauce or a few dozen Indian dishes.

    In other words, eggplant tastes like home to a huge swath of humanity, under many names and many, many different kinds of spices.

  • Summer Magazines

    Corny ramblings for a late-summer feast

    When it comes to corn, are you a typewriter or a lathe?

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    So for corn on the cob, a typewriter eats one line…



One Fish, Two Fish brings new flavors to ‘restaurant row’

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The heirloom tomato stack appetizer at One Fish Two Fish is an example of the chef’s focus on local seasonal produce. The heirloom tomato stack appetizer at One Fish Two Fish is an example of the chef’s focus on local seasonal produce.  A new Wildwood Crest restaurant is putting a trendy spin on some dining classics.

One Fish, Two Fish Restaurant at 5290 Pacific Ave. had its “soft opening” a few weeks ago.

“We’re creating dishes people are familiar with, but with a little twist,” said chef and co-owner Ryan Allenbach.

For example, the surf and turf is what Allenbach called semitraditional – it’s a play on scallops wrapped in bacon, but instead of bacon the seared scallops are served with pork belly, which is taken from the same cut of meat, he said. But what sets it apart is the sauce, which is aerated to produce a light, foamy sauce.

The smoked tomato marinara served with the crispy calamari appetizer and the gulf shrimp cioppino entrée, is made with tomatoes that have been smoked on the stove top, Allenbach said.

“No one is making their marina sauce like that,” he said.

The restaurant, which is named after the children’s book “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss, reflects the restaurant’s imaginative dishes, Allenbach said.

“It’s playful, and I think a lot of our food is playful,” he said.

In the restaurant’s “deconstructed cocktail sauce,” for example, the tomato and horseradish are separated on the plate, and patrons can mix the two together to their desired taste.

“I have no problem with playing with your food,” the chef said.

Allenbach said that while many of his dishes play with different textures or unexpected flavors, his touch is more delicate than techniques involved in molecular gastronomy, a modern style of cooking that uses technical innovations to create transformed dishes.

“We’re subtle,” Allenbach said. “There’s no tank of liquid nitrogen in the back.”

Allenbach said he is also taking advantage of the fresh produce and seafood common to South Jersey.

“We have great produce and great seafood in this area,” he said, “and that is what will make a dish great.”

Everything on the menu, including the desserts, vinaigrettes and sauces, is homemade, he said.

“Nothing comes through the kitchen door that isn’t made from scratch.”

Allenbach met his partner, Brian Schroeder, when they were pumping gas together in high school.

Both are from Medford and went on to become chefs, but this is their first cooking venture together.

Allenbach said fine dining is uncommon in Wildwood, where many restaurants are focused on family dining. But despite some of his concerns that the food would be “too out there” for Wildwood, he said the response has been “positive so far.”

The good reception could be in part due to the efforts to revitalize Pacific Avenue, particularly with regard to dining. Restaurants such as Juan Pablo’s Margarita Bar and Gia Ristorante have become staples on Pacific Avenue, while new restaurants like Goodfish Grille and Cattle ’n Clover have helped the strip live up to its nickname, restaurant row.

“Wildwood is no joke in the food scene,” Allenbach said. “We’re right there with Cape May.”

One Fish, Two Fish is open 4-10 p.m. daily. For information or to make a reservation call 609-522-5223.

Surf and turf at One Fish Two Fish features an air-emulsified foam sauce, which the chefs say is a personal twist on a classic. Surf and turf at One Fish Two Fish features an air-emulsified foam sauce, which the chefs say is a personal twist on a classic.

Chefs Ryan Allenbach and Brian Schroeder are the operators of Fish Two Fish in Wildwood Crest. Chefs Ryan Allenbach and Brian Schroeder are the operators of Fish Two Fish in Wildwood Crest.


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