HipNJ: #TBT: Prelude to a Cure

This Thursday we’re throwing it back to the Prelude to a Cure Cancer Event at the Mount Holleran Towne Tavern in Parsippany-Troy Hills where #HipNJ’s very own Gina Cerniglia went behind the scenes to speak with none other than founder Claire Mattern along with actors Vincent Pastore and Louis Vanaria!

Claire tells #HipNJ The Prelude to a Cure Cancer event is to benefit lung cancer and the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She says it was wonderful to start such an amazing event for such a good cause. Claire’s sister, Linda, died of lung cancer at the age of 28. She tells #HipNJ there are not enough research dollars for lung cancer and Claire really wants to make a difference. There is a stigma attached to lung cancer that if you have the disease it’s because you chose to smoke and caused it yourself; this is not necessarily true.

#HipNJ was also given the honor to speak with actor Vincent Pastore, Bug Pussy” of The Sopranos. He says he is here to support the cause and to make people more aware of what it’s all about. He also shared with us that people do still call him “Big Pussy” to this day!

Actor “Crazy Mario” of A Bronx Tale, Louis Vanaria, also allowed us to speak with him at this event. He is here in support of Claire’s sister as well and his friends invited him to come along to the event. Louis tells #HipNJ that he will be reoccurring on CBS’s hit television series Person’s of Interest!

One woman at the event tells us “people have come out to lend a helping hand and are doing it because its a good thing to do”. It’s really great to see #HipNJ supporting such a great cause! For more information on this event visit www.PreludeToACure.org!

#HipNJWeddings: “Jersey Boys” Actress Renee Marino and Paul Anthony Events

#HipNJ has gone behind the scenes of an incredible New Jersey wedding. Our own Kelly Dillon was with actress and Jersey Boys movie star Renee Marino– now officially Renee Lopez-Calleja!- on her special day!

Renee looked outstanding at her wedding, wearing a Demetrios gown.  She planned the entire wedding herself, and the most important element she needed her guests to have was great entertainment.  She knew her friend Paul Anthony of Paul Anthony Events was the perfect person to fit the bill.  “He is one of the sharpest men I know,” Renee tells #HipNJ.

Paul Anthony Events has been servicing #HipNJ events for years. They do everything, from DJing to lighting to live music. He understands how to give people a classy and formal, yet fun time!

Renee’s wedding capped off an incredible year for the Linden-born Hollywood starlet.  Clint Eastwood– directed “Jersey Boys” was her first movie.  Representing Jersey in a film about Jersey was a dream come true in more ways than one!

The groom is equally as busy and successful.  Michael Lopez-Calleja owns Devotion Vodka, voted the #1 Growing Vodka in the Country.

Watch now for more on Renee and Michael’s special day!

#HipNJ: The Iron Shaker

R&R Marketing and New Jersey Monthly staged a #HipNJ cocktail competition for the ages!

On October 9th, the Garden State’s best mixologists faced off at Trump Taj Mahal for the Iron Shaker finale.  Participants included John Jansma of Restaurant Serenade (Chatham); Jonas Koep of Stone House (Warren); Matt Brown of Pig and Prince (Montclair); Rob Sorenson of Lefty’s Tavern (Barnegat); Lenny Schafer from The Iron Room (Atlantic City); Steve Fette from Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club (Bedminster); Shawn Warren of The Downtown (Red Bank); and Kevin Lauter from Sirena (Long Branch).

The creative libations on display included a camomile tea cocktail; Belvedere Vodka– garnished with cotton candy and Pop Rocks; and “Remember the a la Mode”, which featured Hennessy Black, homemade root beer, Averna, lemon juice and club soda,  topped with homemade cinnamon whipped cream.

Who did judges Deb Smith (Jersey Bites), Melody Kettle (Montclair Food and Wine Festival) and cocktail expert and author Warren Bobrow crown the Iron Shaker?  You have to watch the sizzle reel- produced by our production company exclusively for the event- to find out!

However, the real winner in #HipNJ’s eyes is YOU for having these great mixologists in your neighborhood!  Events like this showcase the booming cocktail and nightlife culture of our great state.

For more on the Iron Shaker, visit their Facebook page.

Live Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard.