Ariane Duarte, the chef and co-owner at Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona, has been named a finalist in the Outstanding Chef category for the 2018 Garden State Culinary Arts Awards (GSCAA). The awards will be presented by The Garden State Culinary Arts Foundation in a ceremony and reception to be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 at Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel.
Nominees for the Outstanding Chef category must be a chef in a professional capacity in New Jersey for at least five consecutive years whose accomplishments have served to inspire, educate and set standards in both the state and the industry. In addition to Duarte, the other two nominees for this category are Shigeru Fukuyoshi of Sagami in Collingswood and Dan Richer of Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City.
Ariane Duarte and her husband Michael owned the high-end CulinAriane restaurant in Montclair from 2006 to 2014, before closing it down to open the more casual AKB in Verona at the end of that year.
The independent juried culinary awards program is the only one of its kind in New Jersey to honor achievement and excellence in a variety of culinary arts enterprises in the Garden State. During the past year, the nine-member GSCA Awards Committee and a statewide body of some 150 judges mined New Jersey for candidates for consideration for the awards. After winnowing down the names in each category to 10 nominees, the committee and judges voted in a first round of independently tabulated balloting.
The awards ceremony announcing the winners will begin at 6 p.m. A gala reception, with dishes that focus on New Jersey ingredients, will follow from 7:15 to 9 p.m. under the direction of 2017 Outstanding Chef winner Drew Araneo, of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport, and 2017 Rising Star honoree AJ Capella, formerly of the Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station. Students from New Jersey culinary schools will assist the chefs and their culinary captains with prep work, cooking, plating and serving the dishes.
A limited number of tickets to the ceremony and reception are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets. If purchased by Friday, April 20, tickets are $75 per person; if any tickets remain available after that date, they will be sold for $100 per person. To purchase tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3395757.