Chefs to pair with students at two S. Jersey restaurant week events

Posted: March 13, 2013

SJ Hot Chefs, an all-star lineup of the South Jersey Independent Restaurant Association, kicks off its annual Spring Restaurant Week on Sunday to showcase the region's abundant culinary talent.

At events that continue through Friday, more than 35 restaurants in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties will offer four-course menus for $25 and $35.

This year, chefs also are pairing with culinary-arts students for two demonstrations Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. in Voorhees and Sewell.

Chef Mirko Loeffler, owner of Mirko's A Taste of Europe in Voorhees, will work with Emilee Buckman, 18, a Cherry Hill High School West senior who will attend New England Culinary Institute in Vermont next fall. The duo will set up outside Mirko's, 910 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd. in the Ritz Shopping Center, to prepare and serve samplings of spaetzle with various sauces.

The second demonstration will be at Duffield's Farm Market, 280 Chapel Heights Rd., Sewell. Chefs there will be paired with culinary students from Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

Fred Kellermann, chef/owner of Elements Cafe in Haddon Heights and president of the association, said the group wanted to dispel the notion that restaurants only employ foreigners and outsiders.

"We're run by family and friends and people from our community," he said. "So by taking an opportunity this year to work with promising young student chefs at our March tasting events, we hope to inspire their professional ambitions. And maybe, along the way, we'll meet someone who would be great for our future kitchen staffs."


Contact Kathy Boccella at kboccella@phillynews.com, 856-779-3812 or follow @kathyboccella on Twitter.

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