Foodie’s dream tour coming to Natirar

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 6/20/17

PEAPACK-GLADSTONE – Natirar, a 500-acre property once owned by a former king of Morocco, is a not-so-hidden gem of Somerset County.

The area includes Ninety Acres, an award-winning restaurant, a gala event venue, a farm, a cooking school and lush green space in Peapack-Gladstone, Far Hills and Bedminster.

And now, with the upcoming Epicurean Adventure at Ninety Acres at Natirar, which will feature a tour of the Farm at Natirar, an interactive cooking demo and tasting at the Ninety Acres Cooking School and a specially prepared lunch in the main dining room, visitors can see all that the property has to offer in one visit.

“Anyone who is interested in wellness, nature and sustainability would enjoy this kind of event,” said Michelle Mitterer, director of sales and marketing at Natirar. “We like to connect our visitors with the origin of food and educate them on the process behind the art of cooking.”

The front entrance of Ninety Acres, Natirar’s highly-acclaimed destination restaurant complex. ~ Courtesy of Alicia Savoly

About 25 spots are still available for the 60-person outing costing $155 per person, hosted by the Heather Twig of the Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation, which will also provide round-trip transportation from the JFK Medical Center at 65 James St. in Edison for the event that will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, July 20.

Lorraine Mulligan, auxiliary member, and Sheila Ruegger, co-president of the Auxiliary of JFK Medical Center Foundation, said that tickets are expected to sell out quickly, so those who are interested should make reservations as soon as possible.

Reservations can be made by sending a check payable to The Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation with attention to Lorraine Mulligan at The Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation, 65 James St., Edison, NJ 08820. For further information, call 732-321-7085.

Guests will enjoy a bucolic “table-at-the-farm” experience at Ninety Acres in Peapack-Gladstone. ~Courtesy of Ninety Acres

Once the group arrives at Natirar around 11 a.m., they will split up into two groups. One group will get a tour of the 12-acre farm for 45 minutes, focused on sustainable farming techniques, vegetable harvesting and introduction to livestock, while the other group will receive a hands-on, interactive cooking demonstration and tasting of seasonal hors d’oeuvres. Then, they will switch.

Following the cooking school demonstration and farm tour, the groups will meet for a luncheon in Natirar’s main dining room, where they will dine from a menu featuring locally raised poultry, natural seafood, salad and nonalcoholic beverages.

Mulligan said, “Anyone who is interested in the unique history of the property, a foodie or someone who wants to experience farm-to-table dining and locally sourced produce would enjoy this outing.”

The cooking school at Ninety Acres. ~Courtesy of Natirar

Ruegger added, “The interactive portion of this is something people don’t normally get to do when they go to a restaurant.”

About $25 per ticket will directly support the JFK Medical Center, making for a donation ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on ticket sales. Following the event, the Auxiliary will vote on where the money should go, based on a list of items of need laid out by JFK Medical Center.

Although the by the Heather Twigs have never done a fundraiser partnered with Natirar, they have done many others, including a donation to the JFK Adult Medical Day Program for subsidies to extend days of care for low-income families, pink robes for patients at the JFK’s Breast Center and transportation for the Haven Hospice Children’s Bereavement Program.

A dish at Ninety Acres in Somerset Count of short rib and scallops served with fermented faro and snow peas and sugar snap peas. ~Courtesy of Ninety Acres

For this fundraiser, the Heather Twigs chose to partner with Natirar because Mulligan and Kim and Bob Wojtowicz, founders of Natirar, go way back — the three grew up together, and when Mulligan needed a venue for her newest fundraiser, this seemed like the perfect fit.

“We’re very pleased to welcome the JFK Medical Center Foundation to the property,” said Mitterer. “We have worked together to design a wonderful day for their guests that showcases the best of Natirar, from exploring our farm to working with our team in the culinary center. It will be an engaging way to support the foundation.”

An Epicurean Adventure at Natirar

Where: Departs from the JFK Medical Center at 65 James St. in Edison

When: Thursday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Cost: $155

Includes: A tour of the Farm at Natirar, an interactive cooking demo and tasting at the Ninety Acres Cooking School and a specially prepared lunch in the main dining room

Reservations: Send a $155 check made out to The Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation addressed with attention to Lorraine Mulligan at The Auxiliary of the JFK Medical Center Foundation, 65 James St., Edison, NJ 08820. 

Contact: Call Lorraine Mulligan at 732-321-7085

 

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