Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fashion Forward: Maxi-mize Your Spring Look

By Leigh Boriskin

One of Spring's freshest looks is the easy, breezy, and oh-so-pretty maxi dress. With a long and lean shape, the maxi will be your go-to frock when you just don't know what to wear.

For a cool shade of color, purchase this Aqua Printed Max Shirred Tube dress, available at Bloomingdales. This fashionably frugal must-have, at a mere $98, will be perfect for a ladies lunch during the day, or a summer evening down the shore, when minimally accessorized with a pair of silver flat sandals, a thin hoop earring, and a brightly-hued clutch.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New and Noteworthy: Chef's Coffee Company

By Kimberly Baldwin

If you live in New Jersey and enjoy fine dining, then there's no doubt you are familiar with Chef Craig Shelton and his former venture, The Ryland Inn, the world famous top Zagat- and New York Times-rated restaurant featuring superb cuisine and an impressive 1,000-bottle wine list.

Ryland Inn customer's were quite passionate about food, and even more so about coffee -- so much, in fact, that there were so many requests to buy the coffee, Chef Shelton decided to launch the Chef's Coffee Company to market and sell this original blend. This effort has since expanded beyond his initial expectations and includes additional unique blends like the Yachtsman (a bold, robust blend that holds its flavors in outdoor marine environments) and the Mountain (a specially formulated blend suitable for higher elevations).

Using his culinary and biochemistry knowledge (he did, after all, graduate from Yale with degrees in
molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry), Chef Shelton has created truly amazing taste combinations where the coffee blend reacts to different environments, tailoring the coffee taste to the lifestyles and surroundings of the coffee drinker. As the Chef says, "What makes us different is that we recognized long ago that the environment can dramatically change the taste of the coffee. The same cup of coffee will taste completely different on a beach, a mountain top, at a horse race, or at a restaurant. So we take that into account as we formulate proprietary blends and roasting techniques to create specific blends for various situations. Each blend we have created is designed to shine in a particular surrounding. This is an outgrowth of my 25 year passion for marrying food and wine".

The gourmet blends and perfectly paired chocolates and biscotti are available through or at fine retailers like
Chef Central (Paramus) and Wine Library Springfield.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Monday Muse: The Aljira Fine Art Auction 2008

By Kimberly Baldwin

Aljira, the premier Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, is set to host its hugely popular annual Fine Art Auction on Thursday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m. in its Newark galleries.

This year’s auction will feature 120 works, including those by artists from New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, such as Willie Cole, Cindy Sherman, James Siena, and Catherine Opie.

As in previous years, the live portion will be under the rousing gavel of Harmer Johnson of the popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Master of Ceremonies will be Jeffrey Norman, Vice President, Public Affairs at Newark’s own New Jersey Performing Art Center.

The auction will take place via online, silent, and live platforms. The online auction will feature 40 works available exclusively through Additionally, all of the works featured in the live and silent portions of the auction will be on view and available for advance bids online.

On the evening of Thursday, April 3, the silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m., 591 Broad Street in downtown Newark. The live auction will begin at 7 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $75, and can be purchased by calling Aljira at 973.622.1600 or e-mailing

All proceeds from the auction support Aljira’s exhibitions and public programs.