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04-17-16 Small Bites with Scott Macom and Derek Timm of

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Small Bites with Scott Macom and Derek Timm of on Wildfire Radio we had in studio NBC News/NBC Latino recognized Chef Hugo Campos of Philabundance PCK, well known and respected Philadelphia based actor John DiRenzo who was a restaurant owner , caterer, and consultant with 30 years experience and you may have seen him in House of Cards, The Following, After Earth, Paranoia Movie, the lastest Sylvester Stallone Rocky movie Creed as one of the judges, and in Philadelphia —’s national ad campaign and many other films like Deadly Gamble which you can see acting in a scene with John DiRenzo. Deadly Gamble is from director Mario Cerrito III who will also be in studio and just wrapped filming The Listing and is currently filming The Philly Offensive for Netflix. As usual we will also have segments from Chef Barbie Marshall a Hell’s Kitchen finalist, Courier-Post correspondent John Howard-Fusco, and food joke of the week from Jackie Martling.

To listen CLICK HERE

Mario Cerrito presents “Evening with the Masters”

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(The following is a special series on written by guest contributing writer Mario Cerrito. He is an accomplished director, actor, screen writer, and author. His latest movie “Deadly Gamble” is being release this summer CLICK HERE for more info and he has just started production as director of his latest film “The Stall”. Hope you enjoy his perspective on all things food and drink.)

Being asked to cover the event “Evening with the Masters”, by the Derek Timm aka The BlueJean Food Critic was an honor. Instantly I knew that I was going to be surrounded by tasty meals and an overall great time. The event held on Friday May, 25th by Meals on Wheels in Wilmington, Delaware at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel absolutely exceeded my expectations. I was accompanied by my beautiful girlfriend and the night was spectacular. Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff members and showed where the event was being held. Our first stop was into the beer garden to try out some craft brews. Personally, I am a rather simple beer drinker myself, but trying some different beers was refreshing. Some of them were not what I would go to the store and buy for myself, but great for a tasting. The anticipation of seeing the rest of the event had my girlfriend demanding we go into the main room where the wine and vodka were, and we all know wine and vodka are a woman’s best friend.

movie vodka

We made our way into the main room where it was packed. People were dressed to impress and it had an overall good vibe to it. There were tables set up everywhere around the big room and a live disc jockey spinning some quality tunes, making the room upbeat. Saving my appetite all day for this event, I couldn’t wait to dig in. The tables were set up next to each other and each had their display of the foods they were presenting for the evening. I was pretty sure that these talented chefs were giving their best shot tonight and who was I to say no.

The first table my girlfriend spotted was a table that had about 5 huge vodka bottles on it. The company name was American Harvest. The vodka happened to be organic which I thought was pretty unique. I do like vodka but usually when it is mixed with something else. This company was serving it straight without any mixer which I thought was strange at first but after I tried it I understood just why they were doing it. It was some of the smoothest, cleanest vodka I had ever tried in my entire life that needed no mixer at all. It went down as easy as water. Their was no kick in it whatsoever. I highly recommend American Harvest to any vodka drinker. In the near future I can see American Harvest being the top shelf in bars and high-end clubs.

american harvest

The next stop we made while wandering around the amazing setup was Tutto Fresco. Tutto Fresco is an Italian eatery located on Philadelphia Avenue in downtown Wilmington Delaware. Since I am Italian, I knew that this spot would be one of my favorites of the night. They served us some homemade gnocchi. Gnocchi has always been a personal favorite of mine and with the homemade sauce of Tutto Fresco it put it out of this world. The sauce was made just the way I like it with a hint of garlic and fresh basil. The gnocchi was perfect as well. Some places tend to not cook them long enough, but Tutto Fresco did them just the way I prefer them. The owners were very friendly and I vowed to visit their restaurant next time I was in Wilmington.

Overall the night was a great experience, from the atmosphere to the food it was an event that I  more people need to come out to attend and support this fantastic organization Meals On Wheels Delaware. I am very thankful and gracious to have had the opportunity to attend this event and hopefully get to go back next year. If anyone is on the fence about whether they should go or not I hope they take my advice and climb the fence. Get out to “Evening with the Masters” and experience the same greatness I did.

Audubon has food, movies, and Flacco

Crux Cafe – Audubon, NJ

“Deadly Gamble – The Movie” Written, Produced, and Directed by Mario Cerrito

Seems Audubon, New Jersey has been the epicenter of Southern New Jersey greatness recently. It began with Audubonian Joe Flacco, quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl and crowed MVP of the game shining the spotlight on this tiny town. Then over the past year Audubon’s downtown has started a culinary revival with two recent restaurant openings The Kove and Crux Cafe creating an influx of hungry new visitors. Now Audubon native Mario Cerrito is hoping his hometown has what it takes to not only provide dinner, but possibly a movie people will enjoy as well. He started things off October 3rd, 2013 self publishing a book titled “Chasin’ Brandy”. The book was just his warm-up for what he really hopes will keep Audubon in the news all the way through to a Fall 2014 release of his movie “Deadly Gamble” filmed mostly in and around Audubon, New Jersey.

In order for me to find out more about this town’s dining options and starring role in a movie, I headed right to the source. I had dinner at Crux Cafe and was joined by Mario Cerrito himself.

Mario is no stranger to the movie industry. He has written many scripts with one of the most recent to be picked up and filming to begin in Spring of 2014 called “Cornfield Massacre”. He is also currently working as a Producer on two projects, “Arisen” a horror movie and “I Saw” a short film. Both currently in production and scheduled to be released in 2014.

We sat inside Crux Cafe the latest endeavor of Chef Joe Stewart, previously the Executive Chef at La Campagne and GG’s Restaurant. Chef Stewart is also a five time Make-A-Wish Foundation “Wish Dish of the Year” champion and won Ed Hitzel’s Excellence Award during his tenure at GG’s. With that kind of experience, he brings high hopes and expectations to a town not known as a dining destination. I decided to start with hazelnut encrusted shrimp, one of Chef Stewart’s well known dishes from his past. It was three colossal shrimp, encrusted with toasted hazelnuts, deep fried and served with a Frangelico dipping sauce.

crux cafe shrimp

The appetizer was an interesting mix of flavors, but not worthy of calling it a signature dish or must try by any means. The shrimp were slightly dry and a larger serving of dipping sauce could enhance it immensely. I commend Chef Stewart for exposing a new clientele base to something new and out of the ordinary, but not when it should have been executed better and could possibly add a few more shrimp for the price point he has settled on for this dish.

After enjoying his appetizer, Mario shared with me what has become his main entree, “Deadly Gamble”. It started by working with Renoly Santiago, an actor in big Hollywood films such as “Dangerous Minds”, “Con Air”, “Daylight”, and “Hackers”. They co-wrote a script for a television pilot called “Union City Streets” in June/July 2013. During that time Mario shared the script of “Deadly Gamble”with Renoly who fell in love with it. Mario was able to get “Deadly Gamble” financed by a Chicago businessman and made into a film with him being the writer, producer, and director of the film. Mario is in charge of a production crew of fifteen and over thirty cast members. Renoly was originally slotted as lead role in the film, but unfortunately his schedule prevented him from working on the project. Even though Renoly was unavailable, Mario was still able to land well known and talented actress Lyssa Roberts who just worked with Richard Gere in the movie “Franny” that filmed recently in Philadelphia.

Now the time had come for me to enjoy some duck, my main entree at Crux Cafe. It was seared duck breast, accompanied by duck leg risotto, baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms and orange gastrique.

crux cafe duck

Any missteps Chef Stewart may have had with the shrimp, were immediately erased out of my memory with his duck entree. Every piece of duck was succulent and tender, not rubbery or greasy at all like so many duck dishes I have had at other establishments. The duck leg risotto really was a highlight. Nice large pieces of duck meat floating about in a risotto that was cooked and seasoned to perfection. The baby bok choy and shitake mushrooms really enhanced the overall flavor profile creating a unique taste in every bite while the orange gastrique throughout pushed it from great to grand. With this dish I now see why Chef Stewart  has been able to win so many cooking competitions.

With blink of an eye, the end credits started to roll at Crux Cafe. Plates were cleared, check was paid, and pleasantries exchanged all around. It was the perfect way to end the night in a town and people looking to make a name for themselves in many different ways. Can Audubon keep up the pace and continue to stay in the headlines? Only time will tell, but what I can tell you is that with professional athletes such as Joe Flacco, restaurateurs like Chef Stewart and movie maker Mario Cerrito at the helm, Audubon is becoming a bigger star than it could have ever imagined for itself.

Crux Cafe Overall Rating – Three and Half Stars out of Five

Potential of movie “Deadly Gamble” – Two Thumbs Up

More information and updates about “Deadly Gamble” can be found here

For more information on Crux Cafe can be found