Archive for the 'Adam Mukamal' Category

13
Sep
12

Food and Wine Paring in Style


This past Monday, at Millesime in the Carlton Hotel (88 Madison Avenue, between 28 and 29th, in Manhattan) there was a kosher food and wine pairing event. Adam Mukamal, a lawyer with J.P. Morgan Chase, first came up with the idea and immediately enlisted Seth Weiser, from 67 Wine and Spirits, and Nelly Rosenking, from Nelly’s List, event planner extraordinaire.

Many of the top wine distributors were at the event, such as Royal Wine Corporation, Happy Hearts Wine, Allied Importers, Recanati Wines and more. The food was superbly prepared and beautifully presented.

Photos by Tibor Tóth

Food ranged from salmon to beef, to salads, fruit salad and cakes…

The audience fully enjoyed the food and the more than 60 wines…

There were some superb wines that showed how far kosher wine-making has come over the last 20 years; from the laughing stock of the wine world to internationally acclaimed award winning potables in direct competition with the best of the non-kosher world. Among the wines at this pairing there was a whole range spanning from the mid tens to $200 a bottle.

I’ve been to quite a few food and wine pairing events over the years, never have I seen anything quite like this one. Incredible as may sound, the whole thing was planned in a mere three weeks through the herculean efforts of the team under the direction of  genius event planner Nelly Rosenking, who just got back from putting together a similar function for 400 people in Tel Aviv, in roughly the same amount of time.

Great food, great wine, great people, great ambiance, who can ask for more? It just doesn’t get any better than this!

(Next week, be’ezras Hashem, we’ll post our video of this event and more on iFoods.tv‘s brand new kosher channel)

CS

31
Aug
12

Hilula d’Ben Ish Hai at the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation


Last evening, the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation held a dinner for the Hilula of Rabbenu Hakham Ribbi Yoseph Chaim ‘a”h, also known as Ben Ish Chai (the title of his best known sefer).

Who was the Ben Ish Chai? He was born in 1834 and was niftar in 1909. In 1859, at the age of 25 he became Chief Rabbi of Baghdad when succeeding his late father the Hakham Rav Elyahu. Rav Yoseph Chayim became one of the greatest of the modern-day Sephardic poskim. With his encyclopedic knowledge of all facets of Judaism (from the hidden and from the revealed),  his approach was all encompassing; he considered the opinion of Ashkenazic scholars as well as Sephardic ones, and insisted that the opinions of “Acharonim” (Torah scholars from the 16th century onward) be considered along with the Talmud, of course, and the “Rishonim” (Torah scholars from North Africa, Egypt, Europe and Palestine between ca. 1000 C.E. and ca. 1500 C.E.) These included such great authorities as the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the “Chayei Adam,” and many others.

On the 8th of Elul 5669, he went on a pilgrimage to he tomb of Yechezkel Hanavi. He became sick and on the 13th of Elul he passed away. The number present at his levaya was huge, and consisted of Jews and non-Jews alike who came to give honor to this great man.

During a festive repast of authentic Iraqi dishes, Rabbi Raphael Benchimol (Rabbi of the Manhattan Sephardic Congregation), spoke and made a siyum Mishnayiot, culminating the study of the whole Seder Mo’ed. He ended with the last Mishnah in Chagigah, “Keitzad ma’avirin al taharat azarah? – How did they remove [the utensils] for the purpose of cleansing the Forecourt?” He explained it by bringing down some of the Ben Ish Chai‘s commentaries. The siyum was done during the year of passing of Rabbi Benchimol‘s father – Aharon ben Avraham, as well as in memory of the other sponsors’ parents: Eliyahu ben Reuven, Victor Gourji ben Lulu vChoua and David ben Avraham alehem hashalom. As part of his explanations on the Mishna, the Rabbi connected it with the theme and importance of the mitzvah of kibud av va’em – honoring one’s father and mother.

Rabbi Matatia Chetrit spoke next about the lasting relevance of the Ben Ish Chai teachings, 103 years after his petirah.

Rabbi Shalom Sibony, head of MSC‘s Kollel teaching staff, spoke next.

There were almost a 100 people in attendance though the shot above gives only a partial view of the crowd. The food was prepared at Sidney and Tammy Cohen‘s 18 Restaurant. The sponsors of the Hilula were the Benchimol, Iny, Moche and Mukamal families.

It was an inspiring, informative, delicious evening. What more can one ask?

CS




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