Go Beyond the Plate!
At Beyond the Plate, our mission is to foster community and connection through food, highlighting NJ’s diverse and delicious food scene in a fun and exciting way.
Previously Jersey Girls Food Tours, we’ve been touring Jersey City since 2013, expanding to Red Bank, and Somerville in the last few years.
Come discover and share the stories BEYOND THE PLATE!
Meet our Founder
Chief Eating Officer and Tour Guide
Like most college graduates, Alessia dabbled in various fields of work after graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Journalism. She moved from New Brunswick to Jersey City in 2011 and was a star saleswoman at both Hale and Hearty Soups and Yelp Inc. Despite success, she realized this wasn’t the career path she wanted. She took some time to travel and upon her return, held various jobs at restaurants in the NYC/JC area, and later became the director of tourism marketing for Hudson County. Alessia always knew she’d be an entrepreneur, and after taking numerous food tours during some of her travels, she realized she needed to bring this concept to New Jersey, starting with Jersey City. Her favorite part is being able to build lasting relationships with restaurant owners and experience the joy of food through the lens of her guests. When she isn’t frequenting the best local restaurants or foodie events, you can catch her planning her next dream vacation, dancing salsa, reading or meditating. Her favorite cuisine is Peruvian and she’s most inspired by her sister’s creative and sustainable approach to cooking delicious farm-to-table food. Alessia is only one of seven tour operators in the entire state of New Jersey to offer food tours, and only one of two who are full-time! Check out our press page for some of her proudest moments.
Favorite Food: One of my favorite things I’ve ever had were these beautiful white anchovies in vinegar I found while in Malta! I dream about them often. And since I have a sweet tooth, Italian rainbow cookies or Sicilian Casatelle. No one does pastries like Sicily!
Meet Our Tour Guides
Heather is a Jersey City expert and food fanatic! For the last 15 years she has managed many of our favorite restaurants in downtown Jersey City before moving to a career as a real estate agent, giving her a unique perspective full of food and fun knowledge!
Favorite Food: “Crabs! Give me a bib, some butter, and a few friends to share with, and I’m the happiest gal in the world!”
Follow Heather @localheatherjc
Living in a multi-cultural house has meant getting to experiment with different menus, combining European and Latin American cuisines. Melissa’s week is spent working at her local chamber and tourism bureau or finding the great places to hike with a great bite and a drink afterwards.
Favorite Food: “I’m obsessed with tacos, but I’ll never turn down steamed clams.”
Follow Melissa: @centraljerseyfoodies
Jonny has always found comfort in food, discovering it to be the fastest and most profound way to learning about a people and their culture. He spent time living in New York, Boston, Israel, and New Orleans, where he honed in on his passion for food, working in venerable establishments like Commander’s Palace and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Jonny frequently travels and has been to over 30 countries, tasting everything from camel to kielbasa. During the day, Jonny is in charge of restaurant growth for a food delivery startup, STADIUM. He also owns his own culinary itinerary business called Your Global Foodie.
Favorite Food: “I love pizza more than anything ever, but I also love shrimp rice noodle rolls.”
Follow Jonny @yourglobalfoodie