Archive for the 'CKCA' Category

22
Jan
13

The Thrill of Victory…


[I confess, it's been just over two month since Kosherfest 2012, and this video should have seen the light of day much sooner. Though making our readers wait was unprofessional and unforgivable there were truly extenuating circumstances, unfortunately. In any case, the competition was exciting. The three competing Chefs, were consummate professionals. I have no doubt the judges had a very hard time declaring a winner. CS]

Last year, I was one of the judges at Kosherfest 2011 Chefs’ Competition , this year I was behind a SONY AX2000 taping the proceedings. There was excitement, at times the chefs nervousness was palpable yet – at all times – it was obvious these 3 professionals were thoroughly enjoying what they were doing.

All videos copyright of © The Kosher Scene


The judges were Chef Jack Silberstein, from Jack’s Gourmet, Chef Seth Warshaw of etc steakhouse, Paula Shoyer, author of The Kosher Baker and Pastry Chef Philip Kaemerle, pastry instructor at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. The event was sponsored by CKCA, Jack’s Gourmet and Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine.

Chef Alexandre Petard from Ladino Restaurant, Chef Koby Weiner from Fairway‘s Kosher Food division and Chef Ari White from Got Cholent? and Gemstone Caterers went up against each other. Each created a masterpiece with the secret ingredient which they only were able to find out about immediately prior to the clock starting the 45 minute countdown. Yellow tail tuna, was that secret ingredients, while they could prepare it in any way they liked, they had to use each of a number of ingredients given them.

The fact that such varied dishes were made with the same set of ingredients is a true testament to each one’s imagination, creativity and professionalism. I hope, gentle reader, you enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed the live proceedings.

CS

12
Dec
11

Our Radio Broadcasts for this Week


This evening, Monday the 12th of December, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) we will finally have the long awaited – twice postponed – interview with Norene Gilletz from gourmania.com. Norene published her first cookbook in 1968 (Second Helpings), since then she’s written several more, including the just revised The NEW Food Processor Bible: 30th Anniversary Edition.

On Wednesday, the 14th, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) we will have a conversation with Jesse Blonder (Director of the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, located at 1407 Coney Island Avenue, Tel: 718.758.1339), and Chef Avram Wiseman (Dean of CKCA). This program was prerecorded last week at Cafe Venezia, on Coney Island Avenue,  in Brooklyn.

We spoke about trends in kosher food, adapting non kosher cuisine to the kosher diet, and what one can learn in the professional courseware, or in the workshops (day long to week long) geared to the public at large.

Meanwhile, if you missed it or just want to hear it again, you can catch our last broadcast on The Evolution of Kosher Wine, Post Kosherfest Talk. The show aired on November, the 16th and my guests were Costas Mouzouras from Gotham Wine and Liquors in Manhattan in the first half. In the second half we spoke with a group of foodie bloggers in the second half: Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice), Esti Berkowitz (Primetime Parenting), Roberta Scher (Kosher Eye) and Suzzanah Raff (The Kosher Shopaholic).

Please don’t forget to listen to our show this evening, December 12th, 2011 at 8:00pm (Eastern Time) and again on Wednesday the 14th, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time). We’ll be waiting for you!

CS

***UPDATE***

The CKCA prerecorded broadcast with Chef Avram Wiseman And Jesse Blonder will broadcast on Monday, December 19th, at 8:00pm Eastern Time. We apologize for the inconvenience to one and all.

30
Nov
11

Graduation Time at CKCA!


Yesterday the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts held their graduation parties for students completing the latest Baking & Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts Programs.

Except for Jesse Blonder's photo of the Culinary Arts Program graduates

From left to right: Shirley Sasson, Lianne Azizollahoff, Ariel Benzakein, Ari Susswein, Eido Jacobowitz, Ben Elchonen, Chef Philippe Kaemmerlé

Chef Philippe Kaemmerlé, the instructor of the Baking & Pastry Program, trained in France, emigrated to New York in 1986, at the age of 28,  and worked as a Pastry Chef in some of New York’s most prestigious restaurants (including Club 21, Windows on the World  and Aquavit, among others). He’s done extensive work with various celebrated caterers and started teaching at CKCA in February 2010.

"Delicious" is an understatement!

Chef Philippe‘s meticulously trained Baking & Pastry Arts graduates – six in number, this time around -  presented us with eclairs, bavarians, chocolate cake, fruit pies, bread, cheese cake and more; presentation was both aesthetic and delicious!

In the early evening Chef Avram Wiseman (no stranger to these pages!) – CKCA‘s Dean and Instructor of the Culinary Arts Program – presented his graduating class of eleven students.

Top row, left to right, Tiffany Tarazi, Sarah Korn, Linda Hidary, Miriam Kronenberg, Elisheva Kohanteb, Chef Wiseman, Yehuda Weinstein. Bottom row, left to right, Ari Susswein, Chananya Rosenthal, Moti Ingber, Shalom Cohen, Miriam Blum (Photo by: CKCA's Director, Jesse Blonder)

With a cocktail style buffet we were treated to shitake tapanades, deviled eggs, salmon pinwheels, stuffed tomatoes, sushi, spicy meatballs and an assortment of other tasty delicacies.

Great presentation, incredibly tasty!

Having eaten at various establishments where CKCA grads are employed, having tasted what these students prepared, I have no doubt that they are bound for glory and success at some fine restaurants.

Congratulations graduates! Congratulations Chef Philippe, congratulations Chef Avram, congratulations Jesse! But, stay warned… we will review the eateries where the members of these two graduating classes may find themselves.

CS

11
Nov
11

Kosherfest 2011 Highlights – Part 2


Wednesday, the last day of Kosherfest 2011, proved even more eventful than I expected. Irving Schild and I started the day by interviewing Alain Bankier (from Manischewitz) which you can hear motzey Shabbat at 8:30pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio.com.

We then proceeded to cover the 4th Annual Kosherfest Culinary Competition, produced in partnership with the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts (see here, here and here) and sponsored by Jack’s Gourmet.

Shortly after getting there I was asked if I could take over as the third judge because cookbook author, James Beard Award winner and encyclopedist Gil Marks, had an emergency. The pressure started at this point… I had eaten at the various establishments represented and thought each was truly superlative. This was not going to be easy!

(Photos by: Esti Berkowitz of Primetime Parenting
for The Kosher Scene)

From left to right: Emcee Chef Avram Wiseman - Dean of CKCA, Chef Jack Silberstein - from Jack's Gourmet kosher sausages, yours truly and Chef Philippe Kaemmerle from CKCA

Chef Avram, last year’s Kosherfest Culinary Competition winner, more than ably emceed the event with wit and charm intermingled with educational tidbits. The three contestants were (in alphabetical order): Craig Solomon from Ariel’s (18 Engle St  Englewood, NJ 07631; Tel: 201.569.1202)

Chef Craig

Seth Warshaw, from etc steakhouse (1409 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Tel: 201.357.5677)…

Chef Seth

Moshe Wendel from Pardes (497 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11217; Tel: 718.797.3880)…

Chef Moshe, rarin' to get started!

Immediately before hitting the clock to allow 45 minutes for cooking and plating, Chef Avram unveiled the secret ingredient…

...Boneless Duck Breast!

Each Chef was allowed to bring something from his restaurant, each one’s individual style shone through as they made three plates each. Chef Solomon showed the gracefulness and precision of a well trained ballet dancer; Chef Warshaw betrayed no nervousness under pressure and was the first one to plate, with over a minute to spare; Chef Wendel, ever the innovator, performed his magic with unusual ingredients.

Chef Craig brought in habanero peppers and sugar cane, Chef Seth used pomegranate – his signature ingredient, while Chef Moshe preferred the exotic. He brought in amba, a tangy Iraqi mango pickle condiment, which he made into a heavy sauce.

The judges walked around to observe each chef in action. We were looking for cleanliness, technique and overall mastery, while Chef Avram periodically announced the countdown and kept the audience entertained throughout. A few minutes before the clock came to a stop the three of us sat down and readied to taste.

First to serve was Chef Seth he presented each of us with a beautiful tower of duck resting over three cornmeal johny or journey cakes. Next came Chef Solomon who showed had he cooked and moved with precision and graceful elegance but his square presentation looked like an architectural masterpiece.  Chef Moshe served a very aromatic duck covered with a generous helping of amba, another beautiful presented very succulent dish as I’d come to expect from him!

...remains of the winning dish

Each dish tasted very different, each showed the consummate professionalism and artistry of its creator. Incredible how the same basic ingredient can be made so differently! It was hard to decide which was best – specially as we tasted in very quick succession washing out our mouths in between each dish. The maximum number of points, per Chef, per judge, was 30 points for a total a grand total of 90. All three were within one or two points away, after a few minutes of deliberation in a back room (where each judge explained the rational for his grading on preparation, presentation and taste) we finally had a winner…

The winner, his silver trophy and $1000.00 in cash

Seth Warshaw from Teaneck’s etc steakhouse!

After the competition we visited with Brigitte Mizrahi, CEO of Anderson International Foods, makers of Sugar River, Les Petites Fermieres, and Natural & Kosher brand cheeses. Sugar River won this year’s Kosherfest Best New Cheese Award. You can hear the interview tomorrow eve.

From there we proceeded to Jack’s Gourmet (see here and here), while I had a pretty good idea (having tasted it at Dr. Broner’s while they were perfecting it, a couple of months ago) why they won this year’s Best New Sausage Award though I still was surprised by how much they had an improved an already delicious recipe. Needless to say, we kept on coming back again and again… As an old TV commercial used to say: Betcha can’t eat just one! Hear the interview with Dr. Broner tomorrow evening.

The wines we tasted at various price points were superb, proving yet again that great wines can be (and are!) kosher. Shortly before leaving, I run into Alex Veyg, from veygsgourmet.com. This young man produces a line of delicious natural flavored honeys and he too will be on our internet radio show, tomorrow eveningmothzey Shabbos – at 8:30 pm (Eastern Time). You will tune us in, won’t you?

CS

16
Aug
10

Wild Mushroom Pierogies


[I've not been well for just over a month, while I'm slowly recovering and SYR is finishing off some other projects, I thought that I should at least bring you some delectable recipes from other blogs. One of my favorite recipe sites PtitChef, directed my attention to this great recipe (I made it yesterday and can attest to it being delicious!) from a non kosher blogger (Gourmet Traveller) who nevertheless has some superb recipes that are easy to adapt or already can be kosher. Below I will quote the original recipe and then I will give you my variation, because I had it together with meat. CS]


Wild Mushroom Pierogies

serves 6

Filling:

1 cup boiling water
18g (2/3 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
1 medium onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, crushed
170g (6 oz) cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 portion pierogi dough (recipe below)
450g (1 lb) onions, chopped
55g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
sour cream (to serve)

First, make the filling. Pour boiling water over porcini in a small bowl and soak until softened, 10 to 20 minutes. Lift porcini out of water, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and rinse well to remove any grit. Pour soaking liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a bowl and reserve.

Finely chop onion and garlic in a food processor, then add the cremini and porcini mushrooms and pulse until very finely chopped.

Heat butter in a skillet over moderate heat until foaming, then cook mushroom mixture, stirring frequently, until mushrooms darken and excess liquid has evaporated (about 8 minutes). Add reserved soaking liquid and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick, dry, and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes (there will be about 1 cup filling). Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool completely.

To make the pierogies, Halve the dough and roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface into a 15-inch round (keep remaining dough wrapped). Cut out rounds with a floured cutter and place 1 tsp filling in centre of each round. Moisten edges with water and fold in half to form a half-moon, and pinch the edges together to seal. Transfer made pierogi to a flour-dusted kitchen towel and repeat with remaining rounds.

Cook onions in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Cook pierogies in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the skillet with onions and lightly pan-fry for a minute or two on each side – be careful as the dumplings will be fragile. Serve immediately.

Note: Filling can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Filled pierogies can be frozen 1 month. Freeze on a tray until firm (about 2 hours) then freeze in plastic bags. Thaw before cooking.

Pierogi Dough

1 3/4 cup plain flour
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

Stir together flours in a bowl. Make a well in flour and add eggs, salt, and water, then stir together with a fork without touching flour. Continue stirring, gradually incorporating flour into well until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding only as much additional flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (Dough will be soft.) Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Note: Dough may be made 2 hours ahead, wrapped well in plastic wrap and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.

Because some porcini mushrooms are known to be infested with tiny insects and worms I substituted them with fresh shiitake mushrooms, even if the taste is somewhat different and not as nutty. On the other hand, shiitake mushrooms have been identified as a top provider of L-ergothioneine (one of the most potent anti-oxidants), so I felt it was a very good substitute.

Since I had some left over Shabbos meat, that had to be finished, instead of butter (as the original recipe calls for) I used Hollandaise Sauce (made with margarine) as taught by Chef David Ritter (from the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts) on these two videos. The Hollandaise also brought another element to the above recipe, not only was the sauce quite buttery but it also added a subtle, tang taste. MmMmm, MmmMm!

Yesterday’s dinner was delicious, but I also learned how to make a great Hollandaise… ahhh, the future possibilities!  I froze three of the six pierogies,  those I’ll try this with Chef Ritter’s Béarnaise Sauce, it should greatly enhance the taste.

CS

08
Mar
10

Cooking Steak at The Center For Kosher Culinary Arts


Did you ever have a perfect steak? I did, when I attended a session at CKCA, (1407 Coney Island Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11230; 718.758.1339 – they are right above Happy Home Housewares) when Chef David Ritter was teaching class the evening class. Though I’m not a student at the school, like all those present my attention was fully taken by Chef David’s directions and explanations.

This particular session was devoted to making Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn Steak)…

Steak au Poivre

Below is the recipe Chef Ritter has graciously agreed to share with us. As you read, you’ll see how dramatic the very act of cooking this recipe can be:

Steak au Poivre

2 tournedos – Tender Beef Filets – preferably Rib Eye medallions

1½ ozs. Cognac (Brandy)

2 ozs. Non-Dairy Creamer

1 ozs. Shallots – chopped

1-2 ozs. Margarine (optional) cold & cubed

1tspn Black Pepper – crushed

½ tspn Green Peppercorns

2 tblspn Clarified Margarine or Olive Oil

3 ozs. Demi-Glace (or, buy boxed beef stock and reduce it by ¾)

Preparation

Step 1 – Season Filet w/ Salt & Pepper.
Step 2
– Sautée Both Sides in Clarified Butter or Oil.
Step 3
– Remove meat; add shallots & sweat, Deglaze food particles on pan with Cognac – FLAMBÉE!
**(MUST REMOVE PAN FROM HEAT WHEN POURING ALCOHOL INTO PAN)**

Step 4
– Add green peppercorns.
Step 5 – Add Creamer and Demi Glace, reduce ‘til slightly thick.
Step 6 – Swirl in some margarine cubes without boiling sauce (optional).
Step 7 – Arrange plate and pour sauce over meat.

The aroma will conquer you. Just surrender and enjoy the taste!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Cooking Lamb at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts
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The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts

02
Mar
10

Cooking Lamb at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts


Just over a month ago we spoke about the Baking and Pastry Arts course at CKCA, now we turn to their Culinary course. I recently attended a session given by Chef Avram Wiseman – one of two Senior culinary instructors. This particular session dealt with cooking lamb.

Chef Avram Wiseman

Chef Avram demonstrated various techniques for preparing lamb.

Covered in pastry

With potatoes Anna

CKCA’s students prepared lamb in a variety of ways over two days. The ones I was lucky to sample had a captivating aroma, great taste and were very juicy and tender.

Chef Avram has graciously shared his recipe for Asian Lamb Chops:

Asian Lamb chops

Yield: 2 portions

Ingredients:

6- Single cut rib lamb chops
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon shredded ginger root
1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons honey
3 oz. low sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons chicken stock
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 scallions cut ¾ inch bias cut (white and green)
½ Teaspoon Cracked peppercorns

Procedure:

Season the lamb chops with the cracked peppercorns according to your taste. Lightly coat the chops with canola oil. Heat a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan. Place the lamb chops in the hot pan and quickly sear the lamb over high heat. Turn the chops and sear the second side. Cook until lamb is nicely golden brown. Remove chops from pan. Reserve some melted lamb fat in the pan. (If lamb chops are double cut or extra thick they may be placed in the oven for 7-10 minutes)

Place the ginger and garlic in the pan. Add a drop of oil if needed. Cook over high heat. Add the honey before the garlic burns! Continue cooking and let the honey bubble up and begin to color. Add soy sauce and de-glaze the honey. Add chicken broth. Return the chops to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sesame oil and scallions and mix well. Serve immediately.

I tried the Chef’s recipe at home, besides tasting at CKCA, it came out great. I loved it!

Next week will be back with CKCA’s Culinary course taught by Chef David Ritter, he’ll be sharing his recipe for Steak au poivre  (Peppercorn Steak).

CS

20
Jan
10

The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts


CKCA, The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, (1407 Coney Island Avenue,, Brooklyn, NY 11230; 718.758.1339) is right in the heart of the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn’s Flatbush community. It is the only kosher cooking school in the US to offer professional level training in both Culinary and Baking and Pastry Arts.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a session of their Baking and Pastry Arts course, taught by Pastry Chef Mark Hellermann. Though I’m not part of the student body, I was enthralled by the instructors explanation and his easy, friendly style of teaching. His 20 years of experience as a Pastry Chef and teacher served him well.

Pastry Chef Mark Hellermann

Without exception the students seemed passionate about their interest in the subject matter. Without exception, each one strove to produce the best, visually enticing, delicious Bavarian pastries.

...listening raptly

As soon as the pastries were ready, I could hear them calling out my name and my notorious sweet tooth knew just what to do about the situation. I started with the Pyramid Bavarian, a two toned combination of pureed fruits consisting, in this case, of mango and strawberry. It had just the right combination of tartness and sweetness, its texture was very smooth. Loved it! Actually… I had no choice but to devour the three that distinctly and pleadingly, called out to me. I segued with a Crème Caramel, very sweet but not overbearing, smooth… It too was delicious.

Pyramid Bavarian and Crème Caramel

Pyramid Bavarian and Crème Caramel

I followed with a rounded Strawberry Bavarian and a  rounded Mango Bavarian. These Bavarians consist of three parts each, a thin sponge cake bottom, pureed fruit and the glaçage or mirroir top. This a jellied mirror like covering in the color of the particular fruit used in the puree.

Mango Bavarian

The garnished Bavarians showed creativity, the very thin twill cookies adorning many of these came in all shapes and the cookie’s crispness and pureed fruit combined to give each Bavarian a pleasant, inviting appearance.

This course is given four times a week, in four hour sessions for 10 weeks. Having obverved the students during the preparation, their passion and dedication to their tasks were palpable, I have no doubt they all have a bright future ahead!

The next course will start shortly after Pessach and run through June, don’t forget to sign up by calling Jesse Blonder at:718.758.1339.

CS




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