Friday, August 4, 12:00 noon
Members $60, guests $75
After Bruce Lefebvre took over as the executive chef of the Frog and the Peach in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 2001, the Star-Ledger’s Cody Kendall awarded the place four stars, citing it as the perfect place for “an evening of delightful surprises,” while Karla Cook of the New York Times praised the chef’s “creative and vibrant new American menu.” During his tenure, Lefebvre has maintained the restaurant’s long-standing stellar reputation while still managing to introduce innovative dishes of his own making.
This summer marks the restaurant’s second annual Peach Festival, or “Frog à la Pêche,” as it is dubbed, both a winking tribute to the eatery’s name and a celebration of the famed local crop, which Lefebvre sources from Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick, New Jersey, run by tenth-generation farmers Peter and John Melick. Inspired by the brothers’ wide range of peach varietals—including Garnet Beauty, White Lady, and Red Haven—Lefebvre creates dishes and potables that highlight the wonderfully enticing aromas and flavors of this succulent stone fruit.
A New Jersey native, Lefebvre is extremely familiar with his home state’s fine produce. He grew up in Sea Girt along the Jersey Shore, and at the age of 15 started working as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. After graduating from Wake Forest University and traveling around the country, Lefebvre realized that he had a passion for food and enrolled in the CIA, apprenticing at the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in Atlanta as part of the school’s externship program. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to New Jersey, landing at the Frog and the Peach under chefs Stanley Novak and Eric Hambrecht. Lefebvre’s next assignments took him through the famed kitchens of Manhattan’s Aureole, Daniel, and Lespinasse, before a stint as sous-chef at Dan’s on Main in Metuchen, New Jersey. In 2000 Lefebvre returned to the Frog and the Peach as executive chef.