Last evening, once again, Esti Berkowitz and Roberta Scher (unfortunately Roberta was unable to attend) hosted their annual Kosherfeast. This year it was held at the old Streit’s Matzoh factory in the Lower East Side.
We met a lot of old friends and new faces…
Esti Berkowitz and Naomi Stein Nachman welcoming the crowd and opening the awards ceremonies.
This past Monday, October 28th, my co-blogger SYR and I attended the Pre-Kosherfest Kosher Feast 2013. It was held at J Soho -formerly Jezzebel (323 West Broadway, off Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 – Tel: 646,410.0717) – and was organized by Roberta Scher (Koshereye) and Esti Berkowitz (Primetime Parenting). The beautiful, contemporary, decor would have made it a perfect venue for the event.
I seem to remember different faces in Leonardo Da Vinci’s original, I’m sure neither Woody Allen, nor Albert Einstein, nor Daniel Radcliffe and the others were there. Hmmnn… maybe my memory is just playing tricks on me?
The evening started at 5:00 pm with networking and a wine tasting presented by the Royal Wine Corporation under the able guidance of Shlomo Blashka. Throughout the evening, both for SYR and I, the undisputed favorite wine was Pacifica‘s Cabernet-Merlot2011. It shows blackberry, dark chocolate, toast and a hint of vanilla, on the palate it offers a soft structure with firm tannins, silky smooth and a long finish. The awardees were called out during the meal… Old friends, familiar faces and the faces behind famous names were just some ingredients contributing to the evening’s success.
Lévana, SYR, Shifra Klein (Joy of Kosher Magazine), Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice) and Gil Marks (Encyclopedia of Jewish Food)
Awards were given to some of the pioneers in the kosher industry such as: Susie Fishbein, Laura Frankel, Norene Gilletz, David Herzog, Gil Marks, Lévana Kirschenbaum, Menachem Lubinsky, Joan Nathan and more.
Lara Frankel (Shallots – Chicago and New York) currently Executive Chef at Spertus Kosher Catering Featuring Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago
Old and new friends, good conversation, superb wines a perfect recipe for a meal and a memorable evening.
Tomorrow evening, Wednesday the 7th of December, we will be back with our regular Blogtalkradio show. Our guest will be: 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.
Who is Norene Gilletz? Does she have something to say? She most certainly does! Cuisine Canada Scene describes her this way:
Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada and the owner of Gourmania Inc. Norene is crazy about food and her world revolves around recipes. She divides her time between work as a freelance food writer, editor, food consultant, cooking teacher and culinary spokesperson. Norene is a Certified Culinary Professional with the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and a member of the Women’s Culinary Network of Toronto. She conducts cooking demonstrations and lectures for various organizations, including hospitals, foodservice and charitable fund-raising groups. Norene is passionate about healthy cooking and living, and has expertise in a wide variety of health concerns and special diets. Her motto, “food that’s good for you should taste good,” has been a core principle guiding her culinary career.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16th, at 8:00 pm (Eastern Time) we will be joined by Costas Mouzouras, Manager of Gotham Wines & Liquors and wine-master par excellence. We will talk about kosher wine and how it evolved from being the industry’s laughingstock to where it’s winning international awards in direct competition with the finest wines from all over the world.
Costas hails from Cyprus, where his grandfather was a winemaker. During summer vacations from school, young Costas would help out in the winery. In 1988 he came to these shores to attend Queens College and shortly after, at a friend’s urging, he took a job at Gotham and he’s been there ever since. He first became the kosher wine buyer, at a time when the choices were very limited. As he advanced in rank – at Gotham – so did the quality and the number of kosher wine selections.
In the second half of our broadcast, at 8:30pm, Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice), Esti Berkowitz,(Primetime Parenting), Kim Amzallag, (Director of Marketing for The Jewish Daily Forward) and Shoshana Raff (The Kosher Shopaholic) and Roberta Scher (KosherEye), will join me for a discussion on last week’s Kosherfest 2011. What impressed us, what trends became apparent, where the kosher industry might venture next, how the internet is impacting it all; we will cover these topics and more. Please tune us in at BlogTalkRadio.com/tomorrow at 8:30pm (Eastern Time) for an interesting and informative show. We’ll be wait’n for ya!
I spent this past Tuesday and Wednesday at the Meadowlands Exposittion Center together with my good friend, successful commercial photographer and former Chair of the Photo Department at Fashion Institute of Technology – Irving Schild. I’ve been to Kosherfest quite a few times and as good as they were this one leaves those before it far in the dust. Not only was it far bigger (more exhibitors), it had far more visitors who were more informed, more health conscious, than ever before.
There were many new and exciting products, that will be hitting the store shelves soon, as well as non-food items that caught our attention:
Ner Mitzvah - A candlemaker in the shtetl.
This company used a very creative way to show us their line of products, no words were necessary… just good old fashioned candle making.
Argentina, a country right across the river from where I grew up, distinguished itself by having Marumatok snatch the Kosherfest’s Best New Wine of the Year (Fincas Marumatok Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec). Marumatok has a nice line of wines at very reasonable prices, they may be hard to find but are well worth the search!
One of Marumatok's executives talking about the company's wines...
Costa Rica had its own booth promoting kosher travel tours in that country.
Kosher Costa Rica Tours
To me one of the main highlights was a panel discussion with various cookbook authors where new and upcoming trends were discussed:
From left to right (seated) authors: Jeff Nathan, Levana Kirschenbaum, Susie Fishbein, Gil Marks, Jamie Geller (standing) moderators: Leah Schapira and Esti Berkowitz
Various bloggers were allowed to ask questions to the authors, making this an interesting information packed hour.
There were far too many interesting items and products for the scope of this brief post, but we’ll talk about a few more in the 2nd part of this series. Especially worthy of mention, however, is the Best Overall New Product winner: Tishbi Passion Fruit and Strawberry Champagne Preserves. Ora Tishbi truly outdid herself for the second year in a row. I’m not into preserves but these are truly delicious
Seyman once again had an incredible display of superb European cheeses… that Manchego, the Gruyère, the Halumi, the Parmegiano Reggiano… just remembering the taste makes my mouth water and I wasn’t even taking part in a Pavlovian experiment!
The Petrini Gelato Shoppe, introduced a new dimension of flavor. Both their milchig and parve lines were outstanding
The French chocolates from Michel Cluizel, were miniature works of art. Their taste incomparable, far above any other chocolates this chocaholic ever tasted before!
We will be discussing next week’s Kosherfest, the new media presence and the impact of bloggers on kosher food trends. Please listen in.
For those of you who missed last week’s Venice – 700 years of Jewish History, tradition and Food with Alessandra Rovati from the Dinner in Venice website and Corrado Calimani from the Venice Jewish Community Board, you can listen to the taped archive here. It was a very interesting and educational show with two very charming people! We discussed the over seven hundred year old Venetian Jewish community, the upcoming 500 year commemorations (in 2016) of the world’s first ghetto ever (Venice’s Jewish Ghetto), the communities traditions and rites as well the food…
Don’t forget to tune in our broadcast tomorrow at 10:00pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkradio, with some of the best schmoozers in blogland. We’ll be waiting for ya…
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
Moroccan tomato salad
Hummus-Tehina with za’atar
Lamb-stuffed artichoke bottoms
Chicken roasted in dry spice rub
Hot and sweet parsnips
Potato, tomato and olive tajine
For dessert she made us:
Spicy nut truffles
Date nut roll
Chocolate espresso bark
Chocolate chip cookies
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.
It’s been an exciting week, with the first of my granddaughters getting married to a truly fine young man in Baltimore, this past Monday; my youngest son came in from Yerushalayim for 3 days to surprise both his oldest sister and niece. Yes, gentle reader, it’s been very nice but then at the last moment I had a postponement from my scheduled guest; after frantically trying to find a replacement (to no avail!), I feel compelled to cancel this evening’s broadcast. Next week we will be back however with Paul Bensabat, CEO of The Manischewitz Company.
Meanwhile, why not give a listen to last week’s 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 requests to bring her back.
You might also want to listen to something very different from our usual radio style, Jewish Cuisine and Jewish Culture. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
Tonight, our guest will be 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 will be talking about her blog and its purpose, we will also discuss kashrus in Chicago, restaurants, take outs and more.
This past week we spoke about the Jewish cuisine and Jewish Culture, we were at Nargila Grill (1599 York Avenue – between 84th and 85th streets in Mahattan’s upper West Side). You can hear it right here.