Enjoy the Gift of Surprise

Chris Brandl - Monday, December 21, 2015

The holidays are always full of surprises - gift giving, holiday parties,unexpected guests, and this year: the constantly changing weather. It can be a quite an adventure trying keeping pace with this exciting and demanding season. 

As a father to twin 5 year-old girls, I find the only way to survive happily is to just go with the flow and embrace the unforeseen. No other time of the year affords such an amazing opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. So, when your old college buddy, or in-laws suddenly show up on your doorstep - poor a glass of holiday cheer, relax and enjoy it!

With very little planning, you can whip up a quick snack and amaze your guests at a moments notice. Here are 2 of my time saving secrets: I always like to keep puff pastry in the fridge because it’s such an easy way to a seemingly “fancy” hors d’oeuvre. Also, I like to cook up a batch of caramelized onions ahead of time to keep in the fridge. Making these ahead of time allows you to add an exceptional level of flavor to just about anything. When paired with the versatile puff pastry and a few items from your pantry, your possibilities are endless. Get creative! 

Here are some of my simple holiday favorites, to get you started. 

Wishing you good food, good health, and much happiness in the coming year.

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Autumn...Soup Season

Chris Brandl - Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Ah, the comfort of a hot, hearty bowl of soup on a chilly day. Is there anything more satisfying? It’s the ultimate feel-good, warm-up food. Whether as a meal accompanied by fresh, crispy bread, or as a starter, Fall soups satisfy!  ...Continue Reading...

Back from the Big Easy

Chris Brandl - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Orleans, that amazing and resilient city has a personality all its own. The history, the culture, the architecture, and the food - the unbelievably incredible food - are all uniquely special to the Crescent City. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. 

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Everything old is new again

Chris Brandl - Tuesday, June 09, 2015

We’ve come a long way baby.  ...Continue Reading...

My take on Mother’s Day

Chris Brandl - Thursday, May 07, 2015
Chef Chris Brandl and Mamma B. Mother’s Day is an annual holiday, typically falling on the second Sunday in May, that honors the institution of motherhood. In observance of Mom’s special day, gift giving is routine, and often includes cards, flowers, and other presents.  ...Continue Reading...

A most rewarding experience working with the Common Ground Grief Center

Chris Brandl - Saturday, April 25, 2015
I’ve recently had the privilege of hosting two young clients of the Common Ground Grief Center for a ‘hands on’ cooking demonstration held right here in the Brandl kitchen. The Common Ground Grief Center, located in Manasquan, provides support for children and teens who’ve experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or friend.   ...Continue Reading...

Don’t start your diet until after Jersey Shore Restaurant Week April 17th - 26th

Chris Brandl - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It’s that time of year again, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be part of JSRW again this year. The concept for the annual event has been embraced by foodies all across Monmouth and Ocean counties. And why not? It’s a 10-day food festival for fans of every type of cuisine. You can start getting into swim suit shape after April 26th. That still gives you a month until Memorial Day! 
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Will Spring Ever Arrive?

Krista Sperber-Held - Friday, March 20, 2015

It seems like we’ve all been asking ourselves the same question lately. Technically, Spring arrives today at exactly 6:45pm. But who’s counting?  ...Continue Reading...

Restaurants "Put their best food forward" for 7th Annual Belmar Restaurant Tour

Krista Sperber-Held - Thursday, March 05, 2015

When I started the Belmar Restaurant Tour seven years ago, I could only hope that it would become the awesome event it is today. The tour began with only a handful of restaurants, and now it’s grown into an annual affair with over 25 participating businesses.   ...Continue Reading...



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