The new year has pretty much settled in now, and if you’re anything like me you are already sick and tired of your routines. Why not plan something to look forward to and check out some of the upcoming food events you won’t want to miss this month?

Whether you like to be in the kitchen or be served, there are plenty of cool experiences to choose from.

Meadowland Chili Cook Off

Chili is always my go-to recipe when it’s cold out, and it seems to be plenty of other New Jerseyans as well. Coming up on Feb. 5, 20 contestants will be presenting their chili to an audience to see who has the best chili in the state. Every audience member is invited to sample the chili so this is the perfect activity for the chili lovers out there.

Morristown Onesie Bar Crawl

This is a dream night out as there is no makeup, heels, a suit or anything fancy required. Grab your onesie and enjoy the 3rd annual Jersey Club Sports onesie bar crawl. It’s happening Feb. 5 and all you have to do to participate is pay $10 and arrive in your best onesie.

Spuntino Mondays

Every Monday moving forward, Spuntino in Clifton will be selecting wines to be priced half off, which you can join among Italian tapas and good company. The choices will be rotating often, making Monday a cool opportunity to always try something new if you are into wine.

Ryfe’s Chefs tasting table experience

On select dates in February, Ryfe Restaurant, Bar and Event Venue in Atlantic City holds a tasting experience with a Ryfe Concierge guiding you through. You’ll be greeted with a champagne toast & taken on a five-item tasting tour that in the past has included dishes like pepper wasabi crusted Ahi Tuna, bleu cheese seared NY Strip, Scallops Florentine, and Truffled Mushroom couscous. It concludes with a chef-selected dessert item. 609-428-6993 for info.

The Big Brew Beer Fest

Enjoy Northern New Jersey's largest Beer Fest on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Morristown Armory! Enjoy Two Sessions fantastic music, delicious food hatchet throwing, great vendors, and of course over 200 styles of craft beer. Session 1 at 12-4 p.m. will feature Music by The Outcrops. And Session 2 is from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and will have Music by Rock Bottom. There’s a Free shuttle bus to and from the Morristown Train Station with rides starting At 11:30 a.m. and the last ride at 9:30 p.m. from the armory. Get tickets at

Valantine's Day at Calandras

At Calandras Italian Village in Caldwell on Feb. 10, there’ll be a Valentine’s party you won’t want to miss. The prix-fixe menu, which is $65 per person was created by Food Network veteran Chef Francesco Palmieri. Enjoy asparagus flatbread, salmon cake, petite filet mignon, lobster and shrimp Francese, banana bread pudding, and more. The party will start with a mix-and-mingle cocktail hour, with dinner to follow. 973-226-8889 for info.

There are several other events going on in the area, and many more to come!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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