Forget hot dogs!

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:10

Perona Farms invited to cook for Super Bowl’s ‘Taste of the NFL’, By Fran Hardy Sparta — For the first time since it began, the “Taste of the NFL” has invited two New Jersey restaurants to cook for its star-studded Super Bowl-eve event. Perona Farms and the Montville Inn will prepare dishes, along with chefs representing all NFL cities, for 1,500 guests on Jan. 31 at Tropicana Field in Tampa. Launched at Super Bowl XXVI in Minneapolis in 1992, the Taste of the NFL is the “Party With a Purpose,” a charity event that donates to local hunger organizations in the host city, as well as national hunger organizations. More than $6.8 million has been raised for hunger-relief groups since 1992. According to Mark Avondoglio, vice president of Perona Farms, a cooperative effort between several New Jersey companies will sponsor a “Jersey Fresh” theme featuring Jersey shore seafood. Perona Farms Executive Chef Brian Bagley and Montvill Inn Executive Chef John Livera will prepare Bayman’s Pride clams opened by high hydrostatic pressure processing, a processing technique developed by Rutgers University Center for Applied Food Sciences, and Viking Fresh Jersey sea scallops, which are a product of Barnagat Bay. Perona Farms hosted a press event last week during which some of the dishes were presented. They served seared scallops with black pepper sherry vinegar gastriquez and the edible martini, which is a signature Perona Farms specialty comprised of fruit slices infused with apple-tini, pina colada, and other beverages. Perona Farms is a 91-year-old family business that began as a boarding house in 1917. The 40,000-square-foot venue specializes in weddings, special events, catering, and features a weekly Sunday brunch. The Montville Inn sits on the pre-revolutionary war site of the original Mandeville Inn. It re-opened in July, 2007 as the Montville Inn and specializes in a comprehensive wine list and unique food offerings. Avondoglio said Perona’s chef and staff are no strangers to major events like the Super Bowl. In 2005 they were invited to cook for the Children of the United Nations party at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. He said they prepared a nine-course sit-down dinner for 2,000 guests. Although they have been invited back to the Academy Awards each year since then, Avondoglio said they have declined due to contractual issues. Tickets for Taste of the NFL are $600 each and can be purchased by visiting