Explore Ocean 2017 Photo Winners


eo-both-winners1st Place – LBI Girls by Claire McCarthy
2nd Place – Sailboat by Bob Cuthbert
3rd Place – Seaside Beach by Kim Palumbo
There were so many wonderful photos and we would like to thank all who entered. A lot of the contestants photos will be featured in the magazine, due to be out to the public in January.


Visit Monmouth 2017 Photo Contest Winners



both-winners1st Place – Fireworks by Jess Naylor of Jess Naylor Photography
2nd Place – Asbury Park by Michael S. Miller Photography of Visions Photographic Workshops
3rd Place – Long Branch by Jenifer Rutherford Photography
There were so many wonderful photos and we would like to thank all who entered. A lot of the contestants photos will be featured in the magazine, due to be out to the public in January.


Latest News

NJ Photo Contest – Monmouth & Ocean County

photo contest

Calling all professional, amateur and enthusiastic shutterbugs…Two major Jersey Shore tourism organizations, the Ocean County Department of Business Development and Tourism and Monmouth County Tourism have partnered with Spark Market Solutions, LLC of Red Bank, NJ to produce Explore Ocean ’17, and the 2017 issue of the Visit Monmouth Guide. These two power house high-end travel and tourism guides will highlight both regions as vacation destinations. Spark Market Solutions is looking for diverse, artistic photos of your favorite areas of Ocean & Monmouth Counties. Think beach, surf, family fun or what makes people come to the Jersey Shore. Please remember releases will be needed for children.

Images chosen for these publications will be featured with full photo credit, and the grand prize winner will appear on the cover and receive a $250 cash prize, plus an “about” photography blurb.

There will also be cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place.

Photos submitted may be used in Visit Monmouth and Explore Ocean. Photographers will get credit for any photos used along with their name and contact info listed in the front of the magazine.

Please note that model photo releases will be needed for any persons recognizable appearing in the photos. CLICK HERE

Submit all high resolution (at least 300 dpi) photos via email to:

Please name all files individually with your name part of the file name

Latest Uncategorized

Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival FAQ

MP Food Truck

When: Memorial Day Weekend, May 28, 29 & 30, Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm, Mon 11:30am-5pm

Where: Monmouth Park Race Track, 175 Oceanport Ave., Oceanport, NJ

How much is admission/Parking? $5 pp, kids 12 and under are free. Parking $5

Can I take the train there? Yes. There is a NJ Transit stop at Monmouth Park. Check

Is the food free? No. Menu items are priced individually. For example an empanada is $4 and a Crab Cake sandwich is $10. Menus will be available at the Spark tent.

Will there be VEGAN/VEGETARIAN/GLUTEN FREE options? Yes, with 50+ trucks we have it all.

Do the trucks take credit cards? Some do, but we recommend bringing cash. There are also ATMs.

Will there be lines? Yes, food trucks make their food fresh and to order. That what makes them special. But please be patient, good food takes time, but is worth it.

Are dogs allowed? No sorry. Dogs are not allowed because they can scare the horses.

Can I bring a cooler? Yes. Coolers – no larger than 30″ long by 15″ wide. No hard liquor – beer & wine only

What is family fun day? Sunday & Monday kids can enjoy free pony rides, face painting and a bouncy house.

What should I bring? Chairs, a blanket, cash and YOUR APPETITE!


Food Truck Stories with Dump-N-Roll

pic w truck small

Hi Peter, can you tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special?

We are Dump-N-Roll. We specialize in creative dumpling and spring rolls. Taking inspiration from all cultures, utilizing the world spice rack and letting people experience something unique, familiar and different. Imagine the food you love in bite-size bites. That’s our concept. We are current the only food truck delivering our concept on wheels.

Why did you decide to open a food truck?

In 2003, I was inspired to be one of the best chefs in the world. That fire from within simply burnt out 6 years later. Dedicating so much and feeling as though I had nothing, but some knife skills. I left the culinary side in search of something better. I landed a job as a server for a several years.  A seed was planted and it helped build my confidence in handling the nature of human behaviors more professionally.

Then in 2011, I was hired at Jefferson Hospital with the best job I ever held as a Cook and Supply Chain Technician. Unfortunately 3 years later, I was unhappy with being content and the path I foresaw. In mid-2012, during the darkest hours of my life, when all is well and everything felt wrong in my own head. I received my calling to utilize the gift I was given at birth. A gift I’d been honing all this time and after all these years; I’m ready to fully utilize its potential.  Being a “Giver” is my gift. The “giver” role is to give from the heart and expect nothing in return. In return the universe will supply all that is needed. My core mission is to give back to the community, to the world. Mainly the generations of tomorrow. Instilling into them that no matter what circumstances we face. That impossible is actually spelled I’M POSSIBLE!

At that time, the seed that was sowed within me many years ago as a chef reignited more ferocious than ever. Not knowing where to start, I somehow knew I wanted to open a food truck. My original idea was T-N-T “A lil bit of THIS-N-THAT”. On Thanksgiving 2012, during a drunken conversation amongst family, my original idea was blown to piece when my cousin suggested “Dump-N-Roll; dumplings and spring rolls”. At that moment the brightest lightbulb illuminated and I knew nothing will stop me from achieving this goal. After investing over 18 months and 1100 hours, I completed my business plan and saved over $10,000.

I bought my truck with the money I saved and took the business plan to a small business committee called The Enterprise Center. Applying for a loan to get the truck fabricated; The Enterprise Center bought my dream and business plan and funded me a $35,000 loan with no prior history in business. Dump-N-Roll finally debuted to the public with a pop-up event on March 14, 2015. Now, currently 10 months in the making, “we are humbled to be doing better than we can ever imagine”.

What’s your most popular menu item?

Our Far West Wonton is our most popular menu item. It’s life changing to be honest. Just imagine a chipotle turkey bacon cheeseburger in a tempura dipped wonton paired with a smoky honey bourbon bbq sauce. How about the best mac and cheese you ever had, plus a generous portion of crab and roll them into egg rolls?

Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in

It’s amazing how two completely different individuals; with a balanced chemistry and same visionary goals can overcome so many adversities by working in sync alongside one another. Five months into our food truck venture in September 2015 is my most memorable event. Our biggest challenge was to churn out food in a timely manner with lines a half a block long and 2 guys. A seemingly small 3hr event took both my chef and I by surprise. At the end of the day, there was no major mishap nor complaint. I would never imagined, two people can possibly produce that much product in that amount of time, but we did!!! Working so well together, like a well-oiled machine.

 What’s the best part about having a food truck?

It may be cliché. Engaging with some many diverse individuals and the freedom to produce products that can brighten people days with a just a bite is the best part about having a food truck. Investing my energy into a craft that I truly love doing, just to witness a perfect stranger reaction never gets old and to set no limits on what is possible.

Do you do weddings and/or catering?

We service all parties big and small

Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant?

You can find us at malls and outlets throughout PA and NJ. It’s always best to follow us and peek at our calendar on our site to get up to date info.

Thank you Peter.

Stay connected with Dump-N-Roll

Facebook: DumpNRoll

Twitter: DumpNRoll215

Instagram: DumpNRoll

#dumpnroll #thebestndimsum


Food Truck Stories with 1 Potato Two

1 potato two collage

Wink, tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special?

It stems from our signature sandwich, which is the Spudwich. We take an oversized potato and we bake it. We cut it lengthwise and then we scoop out the insides. We deep fry it and then we add one of our special stuffings. We reassemble it and you eat it like a sandwich, where the potato shells act as the bread.

From that, we constantly experiment with all manner of the potato, from simple fries, to a fried potato wrapped in bacon on a stick, to a completely over the top mashed potato bar with toppings that range from the classic, such as broccoli and bacon, to the exotic like a lobster and filet mignon

Why did you decide to open a food truck?

We used to own a bakery in Philadelphia and, quite frankly, we missed it. What we missed most was the great reactions we got from people eating our food. We looked at playing with potatoes, after playing mad scientist for a few weekends, came up with some really tasty items and we thought, “Hey, maybe this could work on a food truck.” Once the wheels were in motion we could think of little else.

What’s your most popular menu item?

Without a doubt, our most popular item is the Bacon Cheeseburger Spudwich. We take the classic American flavor profile of burgers and fries and stand it on its head.

Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite as all the events are fun and memorable. One that stands out because it is how we usually start our season is the Food Truck Festival in Great Adventure. It’s a great event. All the vendors pull out all the stops, and everyone flexes their culinary muscles, and you’re serving against the backdrop these great roller coasters and rides.

What’s the best part about having a food truck?

The best part is to see the reactions of those eating our food. To see the smiles of our customer is what makes it all worth it. That’s really the payoff for us. We love our customers. They are the most awesome customers on the planet.

Do you do weddings and/or catering?

We do cater events and weddings. For those that want a memorable food experience, that shows a bit of edge and is still budget friendly, we can be your right answer.

Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant?

We’re talking about a having a brick and mortar establishment, but right now it is in the VERY early stages

Thank you Wink.

Stay connected with 1 Potato Two


Twitter:  @1potatotwo



Food Truck Stories with Brandl Boardwalk Cuisine

Brandl Boardwalk cusine

Chris, tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special? We specialize in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches featuring everything from fresh mozzarella to your famous short ribs. We also do fresh hand-cut fries with a constantly changing variety of dipping sauces. Of course we still have our legendary Jake’s crab cakes & crab balls that we have been making for over 25 years.

Why did you decide to open a food truck? We have had the Jake’s food trailer with a giant ten foot crab on it for over 10 years, serving crab cakes and lobster rolls. Then we added the food truck to our line-up when hurricane sandy came and destroyed our crab shack on the Belmar boardwalk. We wanted to do something fun and unique on the truck in addition to our seafood, so we put our spin on the classic grilled cheese, and people have been loving it.

What’s your most popular menu item? Always the crab cake sandwich but a close second this year was the “Cali”. It’s braised chicken with avocado, bacon, & Monterey jack cheese. Last year it was the “Shorty”, which is our braised short ribs, caramelized onions, & Gruyere cheese.

Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in? Memorable/Not profitable was in Philadelphia for when the pope was in town… The setup for the food trucks was not to our benefit. But, our best and favorite event every year is the Belmar Seafood Festival. It’s so great to have such an amazing event in our home town and to see it grow to such a success.

What’s the best part about having a food truck? It’s a really fun environment, especially on the beach front. But we have done special events, and wedding receptions, too. People are really happy to order from it… like an ice cream truck. Or in our case, a frozen banana truck (which we also make fresh and serve)!

Do you do weddings and/or catering? Yes we do lots of both. We cater many events all year round. And we love when people ask for our food truck at their special event or wedding. It just seems to add a extra level of fun to any event.

Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant? We are normally on the beach in Belmar all summer and do other events throughout the year. Our flagship restaurant, Brandl is located on the Plaza in downtown Belmar (703 Belmar Plaza). Also we will be opening Jake’s Downtown in the spring of 2016. Jake’s Downtown, a 20-seat restaurant, will be located in the Beach Haus Brewery Building (801-03 Main Street).

Thank you Chris.

Stay connected with Brandl Boardwalk Cuisine on social media!


Twitter: twitter/BrandlFoodTruck

Instagram: instagram/brandlboardwalkcuisine



Food Truck Stories with Pompier Food Truck

Pompier Food Truck Stories Collage

Scott tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special?

The Pompier Food Truck specializes in chef driven cuisine. We are constantly striving to improve our product and create awesome dishes. Whether it’s something as simple as a hamburger, a chef driven hamburger will only use the best ingredients artfully combined utilizing classic techniques and lots of love.


Why did you decide to open a food truck?

The food truck came into play as an expansion of the catering division. We had quite a few requests for off premise catering and to facilitate that catering I began searching for a food truck. Now our food truck is busy all season participating in many different events.


What’s your most popular menu item?

By far our most popular menu item is Pompier’s Pierogi Flats, offering our signature Pierogi with Hungarian Pulled Pork, Russian Braised Beef, Slab Bacon, and Potato Cheese, plus all the awesome toppings!


Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in?

In March 2015 we were booked to do a street event in Rahway NJ. The day before the event we had a snow storm that buried our food truck. At 8:00 am the next morning the sun came out, and we climbed on the roof of the truck and dug it out of the snow. We made it up there to Rahway and BAM the people came out. It was a great way to start the season!


What’s the best part about having a food truck?

Freedom of food expression!


Do you do weddings and/or catering?

Yes, we sure do and have for many years with great success. Pompier has a brand new food truck that will be devoted to long halls, weddings, and specialty events.


Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant?

New street location to be announced for the 2016 season. Follow us on Facebook to find out what events we will part of.

Thank you Scott.


Twitter: @chefbelgard


Food Truck Stories with Fed by Ed

Fed by Ed Collage

Ed tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special?

The concept of Fed by Ed, beyond the silly rhyming of the name itself, was new twists on familiar flavors. It wasn’t enough to make good food, it was about making good food that was interesting as well, the kind of thing that would not only draw curious eaters in, but get them excited about trying something that’s recognizable and being presented in a whole new light. Distilled, we make sandwiches and chips. It’s simple enough, but it tells only part of the story. We pride ourselves on fresh ingredients and making as much as we can from scratch. From our bleu cheese dressing to our 14-hour slow roasted pulled pork to slicing potatoes the day of an event and cooking as much as we can to order, we pride ourselves on making sure the food we sell is of the highest quality. If it’s something we’re going to demand when we dine out, we make sure it’s something we’re willing to do as well.


Why did you decide to open a food truck?

The decision to open a mobile food business came following a long time away from commercial kitchens and nearly a decade in another professional field. The fond memories of working in a kitchen as a teenager never left me, and even though I was no longer making money selling food, I spent a large portion of my free time in my own kitchen, cooking and learning as much as I could, making the best tasting and most interesting food possible. When I decided on a career change, I thought my eventual goal – after getting back into commercial kitchens and relearning the ropes – would be opening my own restaurant. However, the freedom of mobile dining just wound up offering the most flexibility and opportunity, both in terms of selling food and menu creativity.


What’s your most popular menu item?

The popularity of a menu item largely depends on the event. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to what sells the most during a given event and we’re sometimes puzzled as to how extreme the variance between popular and unpopular is for a specific item from one day to the next. There is, though, one sandwich I’ll always recommend to curious diners if it’s on the menu that day. The BBQ-glazed meatloaf. I’ve always been an avid fan of meatloaf at home both as a child and an adult, particularly of leftover meatloaf because of the opportunity to turn it into a sandwich. Like all Fed by Ed sandwich creations, we wanted to take something people knew and give it a little twist. The meatloaf sandwich was actually the first item conceived and tested on our menu. The combination of spicy molasses BBQ sauce, hearty meatloaf, jalapeno jelly and apple cider vinegar coleslaw – all of which is homemade – seems to hit all the right marks. It’s sweet, spicy, savory, creamy, crunchy and has just the right amount of acid to balance it all out. It may not always be the best seller, but when customers buy it they’ll regularly come back to us just to tell us how much they enjoyed it – and often times to buy another!


Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in?

All the events we’ve been to have been memorable for one reason or another, but, like they say, you always remember your first. It was a small Saturday event in May at a flea market in Manahawkin – the first event of ours that invited the public to come try us out. It was a busy day and there was plenty of positive feedback. What made it so exciting was that, more than anything, it was proof of concept. This brightly colored trailer with the giant food mural was finally out there selling food and visitors were willing to try it. We left the event that day feeling good about our food and about our chances at making a go at this thing. We also lost a tire on our way back home on the Garden State Parkway and spent an hour on the side of the road as traffic whizzed by. Not the best finish to the day, but a helpful reminder of the challenges that every risk carries.


What’s the best part about having a food truck?

Despite the seemingly endless non-food related aspects of the business, including the paperwork, the permits, the inspections, and the forms associated with mobile food business in New Jersey, a food truck truly does represent freedom. There are plenty of brick and mortar restaurants that sell great food but never have a chance because of their location and fixed menus. In a food truck you’re able to circumvent the biggest hurdle in the food industry and bring your eats directly to the people. There’s also creative freedom. The ability to amend your menu, to drop items add new ones, to take food risks is extremely welcome. And those who become your fans and seek you out are often rewarded by being able to try new food every time they see you.


Do you do weddings and/or catering?

We love to do parties of all sorts, especially when it allows us to work with directly with customers to come up with creative options that suit their needs. While we specialize in gourmet sandwiches and chips, our ultimate goal is for you to get Fed by Ed. Sometimes that’s a bacon and onion cheeseburger and chips nightcap after a marathon wedding reception, sometimes it’s a sensible but immensely flavorful chicken satay and pickled vegetable wrap in the middle of the work day. It all works. We configured our business to be as flexible as possible and we’re never planning on running out of unique and clever food ideas to service any event.


Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant?

In our first year of operation we focused on special food events, hitting all corners of New Jersey along the way. In our second year we’re doing more of the same, loading up our weekend calendar with exciting food-related events all over. In the meantime, you can follow us on social media to see where we’re parked between those events during the week.

Thank you Ed.

Stay connected with Fed by Ed






Latest News

Food Truck Stories with Fired Up Flatbread


PicMonkey Collage2

Marc tell us all about your food truck, what makes you special?

Fired Up Flatbread takes pride in sourcing our products locally to create unexpected as well as traditional creations.  Most of the farms we work with are located in Hunterdon, Mercer, and Bucks counties.  We are always looking to work with new farms and ingredients.  Our pizza is naturally leavened using a sour dough that originated from the isle of Ischia in Italy.  It is baked in the Neapolitan tradition, which means it is baked in a wood burning oven around 900 degrees for 90 seconds.  Each pizza is hand stretched and baked to order.

Why did you decide to open a food truck?

I am a classically trained French chef that left the fast-paced restaurant industry in late 2000.  Shortly after my departure, I realized that I missed the culinary world and its creativity.  As the years passed and the popularity of food trucks exploded, I realized there was an opportunity to get back into the world of cooking.  In May of 2014, I was fortunate to form a business partnership with some wonderful people who believed in me.  With that opportunity and lots of hard work, the Fired Up Flatbread Company.

What’s your most popular menu item?

Fired Up Flatbread’s most popular item is definitely our Margherita pizza (San Marzano tomatoes, local, fresh mozzarella, and organic basil).A close second in popularity would be our breakfast pizza.  This pizza features seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, swiss chard, summer squash, and kale as well as a cheddar and Monterey cheese blend, quail eggs, micro greens, and a locally uncured smoked bacon.  Some of our more unique offerings feature beets, lamb, snap peas, and even edible flowers.

Tell us about a favorite or memorable event you’ve participated in?

Fired Up Flatbread’s most memorable event was a large rehearsal dinner that had guests coming from such faraway places as South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.  The hosts wanted their guests to experience something American, but with a twist, so I created a pizza using Boerwors, a traditional South African Sausage! They and all the guests thoroughly enjoyed this pizza.  Interacting with this diverse group of people and seeing them enjoy everything we prepared.

What’s the best part about having a food truck?

The best part about operating a food truck also makes it one of the most difficult.  We are given the freedom and flexibility to operate just about anywhere we can park our truck.  We get to meet tons of people, interact with them, and introduce them to our pizza.  This makes operating a food truck difficult in the sense that we are so dependent on good weather and location.

Do you do weddings and/or catering?

Yes, Fired Up Flatbread caters just about any type of event! From simple drop off catering to on-site food truck catering, we will work with customers to plan your perfect event.  We have catered corporate gatherings, non-profit events, wedding rehearsals, weddings, birthday parties, and other memorable occasions!.  For more information you can call us at (908) 905-0070 or email

Where can we find you on the street or do you have restaurant?

We are excited to announce that as of 2016 the Fired Up Flatbread Co. food truck will be operating on a full time basis! You will be able to find us at corporate parks, wineries, breweries, farmers markets, food truck events, and festivals throughout the state.  Follow Fired Up Flatbread on Facebook, Twitter, and, coming soon, on our brand new website,

Getting Fired Never Tasted So Good!

Thank you Marc.

Stay connected with Fired Up Flatbread Co.


Twitter: @firedupflats

Instagram:  @firedupflatbread