6th Annual Crystal Springs Wine & Food Festival

The world’s top winemakers and chefs recently assembled in Sussex County, New Jersey at the wildly popular Crystal Springs Resort Wine and Food Festival!

The festival featured some of the world’s best wine and winemakers, while also embracing talented chefs on the local and national level. Funds were raised to support the James Beard Foundation to provide educational programs to inspire America’s diverse culinary heritage.

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino wined and dined with Michelin Star Chef David Bouley, who was the event’s Guest of Honor and wowed patrons with his savory dishes.  We also chatted with Featured Winemaker Axel Heinz of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia; Jersey native Chef David Santos; #NJWFF founder Robby Younes, and many more!

Amazing drinks, sensational food, breathtaking visuals, great vibes…this festival summed up the Garden State in a nutshell!



Peter’s of Millburn Hosts Chef Ryan DePersio

Two powerhouses of the New Jersey restaurant scene joined forces in this latest edition of #HipNJ!

#HipNJ’s own Peter Falzo, of Peter’s of Millburn, invited Chef Ryan DePersio for their “Guest Chef Night”. DePersio is the owner of the Zagat rated Fascino of Montclair, the Executive Chef of Jersey City’s Battello, and runs Nico Kitchen + Bar at NJPAC in Newark (whew!)  He took time out of his busy schedule to treat Peter’s patrons with a delectable, 5-course “Italian without Boarders” specialty meal.

DePersio, who has appeared on “The Today Show” and “Chopped”, gave #HipNJ a taste of how he became the critically acclaimed master chef that he is today. Although he comes from a traditional Italian family and his food is considered fine Italian cuisine, DePersio’s professional experience in the kitchen is deep-rooted in a French background. The idea of “Italian without Boarders” came about by intertwining a French technique to Italian cuisine.

For guest chef night at Peter’s, DePersio featured some of his prime specialties such as his ricotta gnocchi (nicknamed “pillows of heaven”) and bone marrow brioche steak. From the way DePersio passionately describes the preparation and ingredients that go into creating these specialty dishes, it’s no wonder his restaurant has been named one of the Top 10 Classic Restaurants in New Jersey.

Bon Appétit!


Imagine yourself living in conditions where you could barely afford to keep a roof over your head, let alone have enough means to feed yourself….now imagine throwing a child into that equation.

Millions of children worldwide miss out on their childhoods as a result of poverty. All children are completely dependent on others; therefore they don’t have any viable options to escape the underprivileged life that they were born into.

Jonathan Lopez, world traveling DJ and founder of the Live.Love.Dance Organization, has created a way to help solve this issue.  By utilizing the art of music and dance, his charity appeals to the hearts of donors who want to change the lives of underprivileged children all across the world.

HipNJ’s Gina Cernielia worked the red carpet at their fundraising gala at Fiesta of Wood Ridge. During the event, she chatted with Jonathan and received some insight on how he started Live.Love.Dance.

Through his words, you can clearly tell that Lopez has always had a philanthropic mindset. His career afforded him the opportunity of traveling the globe and seeing first hand how people, especially children, all over the world suffer from the harsh effects of poverty. His passion in life is bettering the lives of impoverished children all over the world.

“All children need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody who believes in them,” explains Jonathan.   And with a little contribution, YOU can too. Too find out more information about the organization or how to donate, please visit their website.

Today could be the day that YOU change the life of an underprivileged child.

Live Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard.