Which N.J. reality star just won a national contest for home chefs?

Which N.J. reality star just won a national contest for home chefs?

Hallmark Channel’s morning show “Home & Family” has crowned New Jersey food blogger Dina Deleasa-Gonsar the winner of its Best Home Cook Contest.

(If Deleasa-Gonsar looks familiar, that’s because she appeared alongside her sister Danielle and brother-in-law Kevin Jonas on the E! reality show “Married to Jonas.”)

Among the recipes that impressed the judges: carrot cake pancakes with brown sugar and cream cheese icing, butternut squash, goat cheese and sage lasagna, and in the “Chopped”-style cook-off challenge, a jasmine coconut rice with mango salsa. After her win was announced, Deleasa-Gonsar also whipped out her grandmother’s chicken marsala kicked up with a pancetta cream sauce. 

You can find these recipes and more on Deleasa-Gonsar’s “Dish It Girl” website. Deleasa-Gonsar, who grew up in Parsippany and now lives in Cedar Grove, has taken courses at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education and Peapack-Gladstone’s Ninety Acres Culinary Center, but she credits her mother and grandmother for her formal training. 

In addition to the national exposure, she also won a week-long cruise and $1,500, which she plans to donate to her church’s soup kitchen for the elderly.

“My friends and family see the day to day and week to week of what I been trying to do career-wise,” Deleasa writes on her blog. “The risks that took me years to get enough confidence to take. … Although there were times where I was unsure or wanted to give up, I finally stuck it out with God’s strength. During the show’s cook-off they handed me a bunch of ingredients and gave me 45 minutes. That was my worst fear! If I had known that was part of the competition I may not have seen it through. I said a prayer and he led me through it.”

Vicki Hyman may be reached at vhyman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @vickihy or like her on Facebook. Find NJ.com/Entertainment on Facebook, and check out TV Hangover, the podcast from Vicki Hyman and co-host Erin Medley on iTunesStitcher or listen here.

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Published at Fri, 07 Oct 2016 13:45:00 +0000