Cugine Corner - The Johnny Meatballs Blog
Cugine Corner - The Johnny Meatballs Blog
Second Helpings Coming in 2012!
All summer long when we were out and about with the meatball cart, people would ask us where our store/restaurant was located. We always told them that they were already standing in front of it!
Being a mobile food concession, we did not have a permanent storefront (even though we were always still carefully searching for one). Now, with the cart parked in the garage for 2011, we are excited to annouce that in 2012, we will be trying out our first stationary "satellite location." For those of you not familiar with this term, what this will be is a partnership with a local establishment where our meatballs will be available hot to the public, just like they've been off the cart all season.
But this won't just be a place where the establishment will simply be buying my meatballs from me and serving them, see I will also be present there--hanging out and dishing them out. This is a unique concept, especially popular on the west coast. And it will hopefully serve as our introduction into our very own Johnny Meatballs Cafe. But we are taking one step at a time before we totally jump out on our own.
So I bet you all want to know where this local spot is don't you? It's funny, the place is actually called Cuzin's Corner! Was it fate that this very blog is called Cugine Corner? Perhaps. When I first met the owners and discussed this idea with them, it seemed like the perfect fit. Cuzin's Corner is an Italian-American deli run by two cugines who currently are open for breakfast and lunch. A real red sauce joint with all the comfort food classics. Johnny's Meatballs will be introduced on their menu for lunch and we plan to stay open for dinner and eventually on Sundays as well. The address is 580 McBride Avenue in Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson), centrally located on a busy road but there's plenty of parking and seats inside. I will make the official announcement soon about when you can come and mangia and MEAT the Meatball Family at Cuzin's Corner.
This is just the beginning of many, many new and exciting things in the works for yours truly. Tune in next Thursday night to the Gregg Carlucci Show at www.thecarluccishow.com from 7 to 9pm where I'll be talking about some of the stuff I have planned for the new year--including a huge prime time return to network television! Below is a summary of my jam-packed 2011 and all the meatball madness that came with it. We were lucky to get tons of coverage in various newspapers and online publications and I made several radio and TV appearances over the last twelve months. I met lots of great celebrities and great people in general. I can't say I've had one bad experience and got nothing but rave reviews and compliments.
So here's the timeline recap of Johnny Meatballs in 2011...
January 1 - My article about the crazy adventures Megin and I had in filming the Vh1 reality show "My Big Friggin' Wedding" (while planning our real wedding) was published in the winter edition of "Weddings Sites & Services" magazine
January 3 - The much anticipated wedding episode of me and my bride Megin aired on "My Big Friggin' Wedding" (which happened to be the highest rated episode of the series.) It concluded the Meatball Family's nine episode run of the ten episode program which would later make its first-run airings in England, Ireland, Australia and later in syndication back in the U.S. on LOGO Network
January 12 - Megin and I went to Manhattan's Club Sapphire for a wild TV interview on "The Chaunce Hayden Show"
January 16 - Famed food & wine reviewer Warren Bobrow visits the Meatball home to dine on my signature specialty. He proclaims them "they best meatballs he's ever had"
March 2 - "The Ultimate Wingman," Ryan Hohman visits the Meatball House as one of his stops in his journey to eat 2,011 chicken wings in 2011. (FYI - He accomplished his goal!)
March 16 - I traveled to Brooklyn to film an interview about entrepreneurship on the "My Path Builder" show
March 18 - I traveled to Montclair to the home of Melody Kettle of "Hot From The Kettle," cooked meatballs on her show and told her about the upcoming Johnny Meatballs related projects in the works
March 24 - I was honored to be interviewed by Christine Vitale at the Bergenfield Sons of Italy, where I served meatballs and chatted about Italian-American culture to the audience
March 28 - Construction begins on "Johnny Meatballs On A Roll - The World's First Mobile Meatball Cart," and is finished just in time for our first event only a month later
April 29 - JM ON LOCATION - The unveiling! Johnny Meatballs On A Roll is rolled out, making its world debut at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Star Ravioli in Moonachie. (As seen on EatItalian.com)
May 1 - JM ON LOCATION - The Haworth Street Fair, our first official feast of the season sponsored by the Haworth Woman's Club
May 10 - I got contacted by two separate television production companies interested in collaborating on two different Johnny Meatballs related TV projects and I signed development deals. (Stay tuned for the Johnny Meatballs return to the small screen in a big way beginning in early 2012!)
May 11 - My 30th birthday and the release day of "My Big Friggin' Book," a collection of stories & recipes on growing up Jersey-Italian
May 14 - JM ON LOCATION - The Franklin Lakes Fine Arts & Crafts Show, sponsored by the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation
May 15 - JM ON LOCATION - The Hasbrouck Heights Street Fair, organized by Cliffhanger Productions
May 22 - JM ON LOCATION - The Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital Adoption Day, a great cause which led to record numbers of pet adoptions
June 3 & 4 - JM ON LOCATION - The Fullerton Festival in Whitehall, PA, our first out-of-state journey with the meatball cart
June 5 - JM ON LOCATION - The Fort Lee Arts & Music Festival, the first of four events we'd do in Fort Lee. We had a special visit from a group of students from the University of Gastronomic Studies in Italy
June 20 - JM ON LOCATION - A visit to News 12 New Jersey, where we served the entire staff live on TV!
June 21 - JM ON LOCATION - Our debut at the Hasbrouck Heights Farmers Market, a spot we'd be set up at every Tuesday until October
June 24 - JM ON LOCATION - Our debut at the Englewood Farmers Market, a spot we'd be set up at every Friday until November
June 26 - JM ON LOCATION - The Hackensack Car Show on the campus of William Paterson University
June 27 - I filmed a cooking and interview segment on the new celebrity talk show, "Who's On Deck with Leah Guy"
July 9 - JM ON LOCATION - Our debut at the Fort Lee "Movies & Music Under the Stars" at the Community Center, a spot we'd be set up at every Saturday night until November
July 10 - JM ON LOCATION - Our debut at the Fort Lee Farmers Market at the Community Center, a spot we'd be set up at every Sunday until November
July 23 - JM ON LOCATION - Our first private catering party with the meatball cart in South Jersey
August 3 & 4 - JM ON LOCATION - The Fort Lee Feast of Saint Rocco, our fourth event in Fort Lee. We had a special visit from "Uncle Floyd" Vivino
August 6 & 7 - JM ON LOCATION - The Montclair Feast of Saint Donato, our first of two feasts in Montclair. We had a special visit from Anthony Lombardi of "Jerseylicious"
August 18 - My debut on "The Carlucci Show," a radio show taped in the studios of the Connecticut Broadcasting School where I'd become a recurring guest
August 25 & 26 - JM ON LOCATION - The Montclair Feast of Saint Sebastian, our second event in Montclair. Cut short by Hurricane Irene, but still a grand success
September 18 - JM ON LOCATION - The Lyndhurst Vendor Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association
September 19 - Our second catering party, this time we left the cart behind and prepared meatballs (and lots more) in the kitchen of the St. Donato Church for their Padre Pio dinner
October 17 - Round one of the "Iron Chef Bergen County" competition of Team Johnny Meatballs vs. Team Ooh LaLa Catering at Chef Central in Paramus
October 22 - JM ON LOCATION - The Saddle Brook Flea Market, sponsored by the Saddle Brook High School girls softball team
November 10 - The Charity di Vino event at the Sheraton Crossroads in Mahwah where we squared off in a meatball throwdown (and won!) against Chef Ninamarie Bojekian
November 26 & 27 - JM ON LOCATION - Ground Assault Paintball Park, where we served meatballs in the Meadowlands to paintballers and tailgaters
December 22 - JM ON LOCATION - The Closter PBA Toy Drive, our final event of 2011, where all our meatballs were donated in exchange for toys
December 27 - Today marks two consecutive years of this weekly blog, an accomplishment I am very proud of!
I'd like to take this time to thank everyone who was involved in the year that was and thank everyone who supported me in all my endeavors. Happy New Year and stay tuned. You aint seen nothin' yet!!!