The 2017 annual Great Tomato Tasting event took place on August 30th at Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown, NJ. A highlight of the event was a chef demonstration by Rutgers University’s Dining Services. Chef John Ackermann and Chef Tommy Alicino, accompanied by Rutgers Healthy Dining Team (HDT) members/IFNH Student Ambassador Madeline Holt and Carly Harris, entertained the crowd with a taste testing of delicious and creative tomato recipes and tomato trivia. Each chef demonstrated a recipe that showcased tomatoes in innovative ways.
Chef John demonstrated a Sweet NJ Corn Custard topped with Smoked Snyder Farm Tomato Balsamic Glaze and Shaved Smoked Dehydrated Tomato followed by a taste testing of the recipe. People in the crowd could not resist coming back for seconds of this sweet and savory treat. The delectable corn custard was drizzled with a delectable balsamic glaze and topped with a sprinkle of dehydrated tomato.
Chef Tommy’s recipe, Intensified Jersey Roma Tomatoes with Puffed Farro and Herbed Feta, showcased a fun and tasty way to enjoy a nutritionally dense ancient grain. Puffed farro, feta cheese, and different herbs filled a roasted tomato. It was served atop a bed of arugula and finished with a balsamic dressing.
In between the chef demonstrations, Carly Harris and Madeline Holt, two members of RU HDT and the IFNH Student Ambassador program, entertained the spectators with Tomato Trivia. Carly and Madeline quizzed the crowd on everything from tomato fun facts, tomato nutrition, tomato recipes, and even some bonus questions about Rutgers then and now. When a participant answered a question correctly, he or she would win a prize. Prizes donated by the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences included Rutgers-themed pens, wallets, mugs, and even umbrellas.
Rutgers alumni, agricultural enthusiasts, and children of all ages had a chance to enjoy this year’s Great Tomato Tasting Event.