Archive for July, 2011

31
Jul
11

Wellness Wednesday at JCC in Deal Park, NJ


Summertime in Deal is a swell of activity. CS and I stopped by the Deal Park JCC for the Kick-Off Event of their annual Jersey Shore Summer Film Festival. The ‘thought-provoking’ short and full length films feature filmmakers from around the world including Israel, Italy, Canada, Argentina, Australia and, of course, the US. The shorts include selections from the Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts dealing with issues ranging from the conflicts of love, war and religion in Israel to an insider’s look in to the life of a vegetable retailer in the souk to a survivor who lives to dance. Feature films include exciting titles like The Last Marranos, Only a Number and The Quarrel. The festival kicked off on July 27th and will continue until August 7th. For tickets and more info call 732 531 9106.

Stevie Doueck, the Festival’s Founding Director, graciously hosted us for part of the day; it was Wellness Wednesday featuring fitness classes, nutrition advice, the inspirational film Forks over Knives with a health discussion led by Sari Dan and a keynote address by
Dr. Frank Sabatino, a nutrition and wellness lifestyle counselor who incorporates chiropractic alignment, auriculotherapy and nutritional supplements in his private practice (whose work will be featured on the Kosher Scene’s Radio Show, time to be announced).

Jonny Zemmol, led a Laughter Therapy group, judging by the participants reactions during and after it was obviously fun, educational and a true release

We got to sample Fortune Debbah’s healthy salad dressings, which were simple to prepare and simply delicious. I’ve included one of her salad dressing recipes and a variation. The day’s festivities also included a healthy vegan lunch and dinner.

Fortune Debbah shared a recipe and a variation with the audience:


Garlic Basil Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Equal amount of water as juice yield
  • 2 teaspoons flax seed
  • 1 small piece of onion (optional)
  • 5 nuts (walnuts)
  • Sea salt or braggs to taste
Directions
Mix all ingredients in blender and use immediately
Variation
1 cup mint instead of basil, skip the cumin
We hope to bring you an interview with Fortune Debbah very soon, meanwhile, enjoy the salad dressing. Marlene Mamiye from The Jewish Hostess alerted us to this festival and we are glad she did!
SYR
27
Jul
11

This Evening’s Radio Show


This evening’s show will feature cookbook author Poopa Dweck. Her cookbook Aromas of Aleppo took several decades from when she first got the idea until it came to fruition. It is a cultural history of the 2500 year old community of  Jews in Syria.

Photo by: NOAH ADDIS/THE STAR-LEDGER (June 8, 2008)

Mrs. Dweck has devoted her life to celebrating the legacy of her community and preserving it here in the West. This is her fourth cookbook, having first authored three volumes of Deal Delights. As a young woman she felt compelled to write down the recipes she grew up with and which existed only in the minds of older cooks, which led her to to document the Syrian Jewish cuisine with these beautiful produced book.

Poopa Dweck is a very active community leader in Deal, where she lives with her husband and five children, and she frequently lectures and performs cooking demonstrations.  She’s also the founder of the Jesse Dweck City Learning Center – where young men and women from the Syrian Jewish community learn Torah, their traditions their heritage in Deal, NJ, and New York City. She cofounded the Sephardic Women’s Organization.

This evening at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time), we will have Poopa Dweck on The Kosher Scene Radio Show. Please listen to an exciting conversation about a fascinating chapter that spans over more than two and half millennia of Jewish experience, about a community that dates back to the days of King David.

Last week we had two Talk radio shows, if you missed them or would like to hear them again you can do so here: A Conversation with Menachem Lubinsky and Healthy and Delicious versus Delicious at any Cost

Please tune us in this evening on BlogTalkRadioat 8:00 pm (Eastern Time). Hope to see there!

CS

25
Jul
11

Aromas of Aleppo


Poopa Dweck‘s magnum opus is far more than just an ethnic cookbook. In its pages, the author lovingly brings us the history, the culture, the flavors and aromas of over 2500 years of Syrian Jewry.

As the author tells us in the Preface, the book…

…features dishes that are both disarmingly familiar, exotic, and, above all, healthful.

My community represents a link to a forgotten past. It is one of the few Jewish communities to live through the rise and fall of Moorish Spain and the Ottoman Empire and survive as a modern people in the West while maintaining its venerable traditions. Our soulful culture, with its fervid, tuneful songs and communal celebratory feasts, is at its most vibrant during the Sabbath, holidays, and life cycle events. One of the most artful representations of Aleppian Jewish culture is our food, whose story I have yearned to tell.

By coincidence (is there really such a thing?!?) I was playing Rabbi Moshe Tessone‘s CD Odeh La’El!, as I became engrossed in this coffee table sized, art-book quality tome. The writing is informative and fun, the evocative photography (the colors, the settings, the lighting, the angles, bespeak of a certain rusticity and a sedate elegance at the same time) and the recipes truly introduced me to a world which – as an Ashkenazic Jew – I barely knew. Between this beautiful book and the music I felt transported to another time, to an enchanted region, far from the hustle and bustle of New York and – at least for the moment – life seemed beautiful, simple and far more pure…

Looking through the old photographs, looking at the author’s family, looking at the recipes pictured, almost made me feel as if I was partaking of a holiday meal at her table.

While loeafing though the book I just had to immediately try a recipe. On page 162 I found one that called for some of my leftover matzah meal and tamarind concentrate, which I’d picked up in the nearby Sephardic neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Keftes

Tamarind-Stewed Meatballs

Meatball dishes such as keftes are a tradition all over the Middle East. Some regions use turmeric and others use sumac or lemon and mintas flavoring accents for similar meatballs. Aleppian Jews like to use a combination of tomato sauce and tamarind, the proportions of which can vary according to a family’s preference.

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons matzah meal
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Sauce:
  • One 6 ounce can tomato paste, or two 8 ounce cans tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ou (tamarind concentrate, page 41), homemade or store bought
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. To make the meatballs, combine the the beef, eggs, matzah meal, salt and Aleppo pepper. Mix well by hand. The mixture should be loose and moist so that it can best absorb the sauce and retain a velvety texture. Shape the meat mixture into walnut-size balls.
  2. To make the sauce, combine the tomato paste, ou, lemon juice, salt, 1 cup of water, and, if desired, sugar, mix well.
  3. In a large ovenproof saucepan, brown the meatballs, one batch at a time, in the oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per batch.
  4. Return all the meatballs to the saucepan. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to thicken sauce and allow the flavors to integrate thoroughly.

Variation

For a tangier sauce, increase the ou by 1 1/2 teaspoons and increase the water by 1/2 cup. Or omit the ou altogether for a lighter, more refreshing sauce, especially if you are serving another dish with ou.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! Sifrah daimeh – “May your table always be plentiful”

CS

25
Jul
11

This Week’s Events…


The $32.00 Prix Fixe Special Menu at 18 Restaurant continues:

240 East 81st Street, New York – (212) 517-2400

THE KOSHER SCENE SPECIAL DINNER PRIX FIXE MENU

$32.00 per person, tax and gratuities not included. All wine, beer and alcohol billed separately.
Any item ordered, not on the Prefix will be billed separately

May not be used in conjunction with ANY other special

APPETIZER

Combination Platters:

Humus, Babaganuosh, Turkish Salad, Tahini

Mixed Green Salads

Assorted Breads

ENTREE

Eighteen Mixed Grill Kebob Special Combo Platter:

Chicken

Beef

Side Dishes: Choice of 2

grilled vegetables

french fries

mashed potatoes

basmati rice

DESSERT

Coffee/tea

Assorted Rugelach or Slice of Cake

Cold beverage (non alcohol) included

The food’s delicious, the price is very reasonable, the portions are generous, the ambiance is elegantly casual, a perfect eatery to take your wife, your date or the family. Go ahead, treat yourself! All of you deserve it. (For this Prix Fixe, please print out the following  .pdf)

18 Restaurant
240 East 81st. Street (map)
New York, NY
Telephone 212.517.2400
www.eighteenrestaurant.com

With the Nine Days fast approaching, tonight’s cooking demo by Lévana features:

Monday, July 25th

The meatless feast. Gluten-free

The nine days are almost upon us. Thank Goodness we hear less and less grumbling about being “limited” to meatless dining: Incidentally, this is the way we eat at home all week, so no hardship here, only delicious treats, with sizzling international flavors.

  • White gazpacho
  • Artichokes and carrots in lemon sauce
  • Mock crab cakes with red pepper coulis
  • Linguini with roasted cauliflower and bread crumbs topping
  • Green fruit salad
  • Pecan lace cookies.
Enjoy 18 Restaurant and Lévana’s Dinner and Show, gentle reader.
CS
21
Jul
11

This Evening’s Radio Show, Yesterday’s Superb Lunch


If you missed last evening’s very informative show: A Conversation with Menachem Lubinsky, you can hear it here.

Yesterday Alessandra Rovati (from dinnerinvenice.com), Esti Berkowitz (from primetimeparenting.com), Geilah Hocherman (author of upcoming cookbook The Kosher Revolution), Kim Amzallag (from Kosher Inspired/Mishpacha Magazine), Suzannah Raff (from koshershopaholic.com) and yours truly met at Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum‘s (from levanacooks.com) place.

We started the session with an incredible Moroccan lunch feast prepared by Lévana, of course. It consisted of:


  • Cold avocado cucumber soup
  • Spicy olive lemon salad
  • Celery remoulade
  • Moroccan tomato salad
  • Hummus-Tehina with za’atar
  • Lamb-stuffed artichoke bottoms
  • Chicken roasted in dry spice rub
  • Chicken Pastilla
  • Hot and sweet parsnips
  • Potato, tomato and olive tajine
For dessert she made us:
  • Spicy nut truffles
  • Date nut roll
  • Chocolate “salami”
  • Chocolate espresso bark
  • Coconut cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Quick halvah

After the meal we started our discussion, Suzannah Raff put it on video (she will have it up on YouTube soon!), while I taped it for this evening’s radio show. After such a rich, healthy, scrumptious meal you can bet our discussion was lively, entertaining, informative.

The topic of our discussion was Healthy and Delicious versus Delicious at any Cost. This pretaped show will air it this evening at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio. Please tune us in this evening, we’ll be wait’n for ya!

CS

20
Jul
11

Going Paprikash


Ofer Vardi‘s Going Paprikash is a nicely organized cookbook in the form of an app for the iPhone and iPad…

Above are the title page and the index as they appear on the iPhone.

Ofer Vardi is a journalist with 25 years of experience, currently the Life Style Editor at Israel Hayom. Having always been a foodie who’s been gravitating more and more to write about Israeli and Hungarian cuisines, this app is a loving tribute to his late Hungarian grandmother whose food and kitchen aromas he grew up with. It is based on a well worn notebook of recipes he found after she passed away.

Here are two recipes from this app:

Last eve I broke the fast with the following soup, a perfect summer dish:

Dud-va-vanil’ Soup

Grandma passed away on a Saturday afternoon. Her apartment remained empty for many long days afterward. The aroma of her cooking was no longer there, and the fridge, where we’d always rush on a Friday afternoon to see which cake awaited us for dessert, was now bare.

On the balcony table sat her well-worn notebook of recipes, with which she’d concocted her delicacies like only a grandmother can. The yellowed pages are still adorned with her notes and comments. Five eggs instead of eight, she wrote alongside the ingredient list for a chocolate cake. Here, it turned out, is where the secrets of her success were hidden.

We called her Nana; this was the name I gave my grandmother the day I started to speak, and that’s what it remained, though her name was actually Rózsi.

Armed with this culinary inheritance that Nana left behind, along with countless memories, I embarked on a quest: to try and recreate the beloved flavors of a time gone by.

I gained a lot over a year spent in Budapest, and not just when it came to my weight. During my long stay in the Hungarian capital I became even more connected to one of, if not the, world’s best cuisines.

Grandpa, who passed away when I was four, was known as a ‘leveses’ – ‘soupy’ or ‘soup lover’ in English. That’s how Grandma liked to tell it. Every meal began with a steamy and comforting soup course.

Hungarians love soup, and every self-respecting meal begins with a liquid course, or at least offers one on the menu, even in the middle of summer. Only soup, they believe in Budapest, properly awakens the appetite.

The most famous and beloved of the summer soups, which Grandma often prepared, of course, is meggyleves (MEDGE-LEVESH) – Cherry Soup, or, as my grandmother called it, ‘dud-va-vanil soup’, because, despite 50 years in Israel, she never could say the Hebrew word for cherry, ‘duv-de-va-nim’, correctly.

Cherry Soup :: MEGGYLEVES

What you need (for 4 servings)

  • 1 lb. 2 oz. (½ kilo) cherries (pitted)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup (250ml) whipping cream or 1 cup (200ml) sour cream
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 level tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick

What you do

  1. In a large pot, cook cherries with water, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, cloves and sugar for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate dish, mix flour and sour cream or whipping cream well until a smooth and uniform mixture forms.
  3. Keeping pot over heat, add the flour-sour cream mixture to the pot very slowly while stirring continuously. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Important: if you are using sour cream, do not to boil the soup because boiling will cause the sour cream to separate.
  4. Cool thoroughly. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Preparing the soup one day in advance is recommended.

Here is another great recipe, (I have to try it!) and a delightful little story to go with it:

What do Dragons Eat?

Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a huge dragon with 24 heads that ate 24 beautiful young girls every day for lunch, fed to him by residents of the town in the valley. If he wasn’t given what he wanted, threatened the dragon, he would breathe 24 flames of fire onto the village. When the time came for Balaton, one of the village men, to feed his beloved to the monster, he flat out refused. “Over my dead body,” he declared.

The dragon grew very angry. The hills shook with 24 ear-splitting roars and the dragon, with his 24 fire-breathing heads, emerged from his lair. In a rage he scraped at the earth until he’d dug a deep crater. Water seeped into the crater, turning it into a large lake whose water seeped over, filling the valley, and whose waves almost drowned the village. Balaton donned his sword and armor and set out to fight the dragon. There was a mighty battle. One by one, Balaton valiantly cut off the dragon’s heads. But when the last head fell, Balaton collapsed, fell into the water and died. In his memory, the village people named the lake after him – Lake Balaton.

During the hot Hungarian summer, the natives retreat to the shores of the large lake. While the lake appears to be dressed for a party, the guests themselves are entirely stripped down. As the seasons change, it isn’t just the clothing that changes in Budapest, but the menus as well. In summer there’s no need for an insulating layer of fat, and even the traditional Hungarian dishes make an attempt at dieting. A favorite main dish for a blazing hot day is Paprikás Krumpli (PAP-RIH-KASH KRUM-PLI), a potato dish in a juicy smoked sausage paprika sauce.

On a boiling day, cooking is done in a bogrács (BO-GRATCH), a traditional cast-iron cauldron, hung over a fire. On the shores of the Balaton, while half-naked revelers grow red from the sun, the boiling potatoes get some color of their own. Though Grandma Nana made do with her made-in-Israel stove and pots, the Paprikás Krumpli she made in the middle of heat wave – a hamseen, as we call it in the Middle East – is impossible to forget. Perfectly square cubes of potato, soft to chew and swimming in purplish pepper sauce. After we’d cleaned our plates with the soft white insides of a loaf of bread, we too were flushed with warmth and pleasure.

Potato Paprikash :: Paprikás Krumpli

What you need (for 4 servings)

  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, peeled and diced
  • Water as needed
  • 9 oz. (¼ kilo) kolbasz (dried or smoked Hungarian sausage) or 2 fresh sausages, sliced into rounds
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika
  • Salt to taste

What you do

  1. Brown onion in oil. Remove from heat and season with paprika.
  2. Add a cup of water, pepper, tomatoes and salt – to taste – and return to low heat to cook for half an hour. Add more water as needed during cooking to prevent burning.
  3. Add potatoes and enough water so that the potatoes are completely immersed. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft.
  4. Add sausage and cook for another five minutes.

Some people also add crushed garlic, a pinch of marjoram or hot pepper.

Well organized, with a nice search feature, the recipes are easy, delicious and do not demand any “rich” ingredients, as super Chef and four times piblished cookbook author Lévana Kirschenbaum puts it, “it’s evocative, short and to the point!

On the minus side, however, sometimes the ingredients are not in the order in which they are used. All in all a delightful little app for your iPhone or iPad. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

19
Jul
11

Tomorrow Evening’s Internet Radio Show


Our guest tomorrow evening – on our Blogtalkradio radio show at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) – will be Menachem Lubinsky, founder and CEO of LUBICOM. We will talk about Kosherfest 2011, its history and evolution and the meteoric rise of Kosher in America.

Kosherfest came to be 23 years ago in 1988, since, it has become the world’s largest kosher food, foodservice, beverage, wine and spirits trade show. It is produced by Diversified Business Communications (www.divcom.com) and co-produced by Menachem Lubinsky, founder of Kosherfest and CEO of LUBICOM (www.lubicom.com)

Prior and during his time at Lubicom, Mr. Lubinsky worked and continues to work extensively with both profit and non-profits. He has an M.B.A. in Marketing and Advertising from the Bernard Baruch College at City University of New York. He has received many prestigious awards and been honored by major organizations for his work and advocacy. As a major player in the field, he is the universally acknowledged expert on the matter of kosher marketing, its history and its growth.

Please listen in to what promises to be an interesting and informative program. Tune us in at Blogtalkradio.com at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) tomorrow, July 20

CS

18
Jul
11

A Cookbook For All Seasons


When I’m doing some serious cooking for a group of family or friends, with a limited amount of time to get the job done, I take a pass on my more fluff-and-glitz cookbooks and gravitate towards the ones that I can rely on to provide me with clear concise foolproof instructions, guaranteed reliable delicious results delivered with relative ease.

And that’s precisely what you can expect from Lévana Kirschenbaum’s new cookbook The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen – Glorious Meals Pure and Simple.

Though aesthetically the book’s layout is rather ordinary looking, the content is superb. It’s jam-packed with healthy mains, soups, salads, pastas, beads and desserts; aside from the general index, the cookbook includes a Passover index and a gluten-free index, with recipe notations indicating gluten free or gluten free adaptable. The recipes and text reflect a seasoned master chef who poured her culinary heart and soul into this cookbook. All content is meticulously organized and the format though visually lackluster nonetheless delivers the author’s usual witty humor and éclat in a most lively entertaining way.

Truly a hitchhiker’s guide to all things good-for-you and delicious, you’ll get never-ending use out of this comprehensive culinary work. The variations that accompany the recipes are awesome as are the tips and running commentary that weave through the pages. It’s like having a master chef or super balabusta mom right there with you preparing your best. Meir Pliskin’s photographs are tastefully done though the publisher’s cropping and cheap printing is somewhat disappointing. Lisa Young’s nutritional info though not revolutionary in content, serves as a useful reminder of healthy choices.

From the book, on page 171:

Roasted Vegetables GF P

Everyone likes a plate of grilled veggies, to eat as is or to use as a filling for sandwiches. I have chosen to share the most ridiculously simple way. First of all, my “grilled” vegies are roasted, requiring no turning over and no maintenance. Second, the trick is endives, radishes, brussel sprouts and fennel; but you will roast carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes separately because they have a longer cooking time. Roast beets all by themselves so they don’t bleed into your other veggies, or use the wonderful golden beets now available at all good produce stores. For all roasting, remember, one layer, no piling! Lining the baking sheet with foil reduces, or sometimes eliminates, cleaning.

When the vegetables are roasted, go ahead and get a little fancier, if you wish, toss in a little olive oil, chopped fresh basil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and a little ground pepper. Most often I add nothing at all!

2 large zucchini, cut in sticks
2 large red onions, sliced thick
3 large red peppers, cut in large sections
1 large eggplant, cut in sticks
2 large portobello mushrooms, cups and stems separated, stems cut in half
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a large cookie sheet (you might need 2) with foil. Spray heavily with vegetable spray. Place the vegetables snuggly and in one layer on the cookie sheet.

Spray heavily again with vegetable spray. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables look slightly charred. The mushrooms (or string beans or asparagus) might be ready first. Slice the mushrooms on a bias when they are cool enough to handle.

The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen cookbook is all about eating right without missing out on taste or style. The key is using healthy, wholesome, fresh ingredients combining flavors with such mastery your palate will think there is magic at play. It’s really the years of trial and error honing skills that have truly reached their apex of expertise. Lévana epitomizes her own quoting of Antoine de Saint Exupery’s words (at the bottom of page 17): “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Don’t miss this essential kitchen tool!

SYR

17
Jul
11

Events of the Week


Just because it’s summer and Brooklyn’s Jewish neighborhoods’ street are half empty doesn’t mean that New York has become a ghost town. Kosher events abound and our favorites for this coming week are:

Monday, July 18th at 7:00pm (Eastern Time)

Lévana’s Moroccan Feast Part 2: Salad Buffet

Please make certain to register to the demo, as the venue has moved to my apartment!

We grew up eating no end of salads at almost every meal: Is it any wonder we loved our veggies and ate them without any prompting? I am even including a dessert salad. True to form, we will bake an authentic Moroccan bread to go with the feast so we don’t leave a drop of sauce behind (this bread is the only item on the menu that will not be gluten-free).

I’ll be demonstrating:

  • Matbookha
  • Grated carrot salad
  • Roasted pepper salad
  • Spicy lettuce and chick pea salad with salmon
  • Tomato salad
  • Eggplant salad
  • Minted orange, endive and romaine salad
  • Moroccan Bread

Click Here to Register!

Registrations: A gentle reminder – Please register at least two days before any cooking class demo so A) We know for sure we have a demo going, and B) We have ample servings!

P.S. Throw in a C) – It makes my life easier :-) P.P.S. Throw in a D) I’ll give you a free signed copy of my new cookbook if you bring a new friend!

Also starting tomorrow you can take advantage of a great, reasonably priced menu at 18 Restaurant:

240 East 81st Street, New York – (212) 517-2400

THE KOSHER SCENE SPECIAL DINNER PRIX FIXE MENU

$32.00 per person, tax and gratuities not included. All wine, beer and alcohol billed separately.
Any item ordered, not on the Prefix will be billed separately

May not be used in conjunction with ANY other special

APPETIZER

Combination Platters:

Humus, Babaganuosh, Turkish Salad, Tahini

Mixed Green Salads

Assorted Breads

Photo by: seamlessweb.com

ENTREE

Eighteen Mixed Grill Kebob Special Combo Platter:

Chicken

Beef

Side Dishes: Choice of 2

grilled vegetables

french fries

mashed potatoes

basmati rice

DESSERT

Coffee/tea

Assorted Rugelach or Slice of Cake

Cold beverage (non alcohol) included

The food’s delicious, the price is very reasonable, the portions are generous, the ambiance is elegantly casual, a perfect eatery to take your wife, your date or the family. Go ahead, treat yourself! All of you deserve it. (For this Prix Fixe, please print out the following  .pdf)

18 Restaurant
240 East 81st. Street (map)
New York, NY
Telephone 212.517.2400
www.eighteenrestaurant.com

CS

12
Jul
11

A conversation with Paul Bensabat


Tomorrow evening at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) we host Paul Bensabat, co-CEO of The Manischewitz Company on BlogTalkRadio.  Manischewitz, the biggest gefilte fish (that quintessential Ashkenazic Shabbos appetizer!) purveyor, is now run by two Moroccan Jews: Co-CEOs Paul Bensabat and Alain Bankier. The Manischewitz Company owns many of the kosher brands most Jewish baby boomers grew up with, such as: Manischewitz, Mrs. Adler’sGoodman’s, Season, Cohen’s, Barney’s, RokeachMother’sHorowitz MargaretenTradition, Goodman’s and more. What makes Paul Bensabat tick? Why would a Sephardic Jew acquire so many Ashkenazic brands? In a 2009 interviewhe said:

“Being Jewish is something very special, regardless of how religious you are. I am not Orthodox, butI am extremely proud of being Jewish and I have extremely strong feelings about being part of the community. My dad inspired me about the importance of being Jewish from the very beginning of my existence. I grew up in Casablanca in Morocco, so being a Jew in America I certainly appreciate the freedom and pride of being Jewish without fear of consequence. Being Jewish is not just respecting the religion but also having the privilege of being part of The Chosen People, of an amazing community with a special bond and pact with God. We are unique and one-of-a kind and should always be proud to be Jewish.”

In this era when Jewish cuisine has embraced most ethnic culinary traditions and shaped them to fit in with the traditional kosher diet, it was perfectly logical for a Moroccan Jew to acquire a company and brands that defined the American Ashkenazi experience for over a hundred years. Mr. Bensabat will talk to us about the company’s history, it’s over 600 products and more.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow evening – Wednesday, the 13th of July – at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.

Meanwhile, why not give a listen to our previous show? Our guest was Esti Berkowitz of PrimeTimeParenting.com. What is her blog about? Mrs. Berkowitz’ one line description says it best: How I Found Kosher Food, A Husband, and Had Children After 35.

We talked about her blog and its purpose, we also discussed kashrus in Chicago, restaurants, take outs and more. As you will hear, Mrs. Berkowitz was an exciting guest and we’ve already had repeated requests to bring her back.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow evening – Wednesday, the 13th of July – at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.

CS




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