On a Saturday evening in downtown Los Angeles, as the somewhat surreal hush started to descend on Broadway following the weekend daytime hustle, diners gathered around an open kitchen at Umamicatessen, the flagship outpost of the reigning champ of nouveau burger chains.
The first time Chris Brugler ever made challah, it was for Shabbat dinner at the private home where he had just been hired as a personal chef.
The number of people in toques and clean white chef coats at the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum at Los Angeles International Airport on the morning of Dec. 5 made it feel like a set for an episode of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”
Considering the history of the Jewish people, the fact that Jews are still celebrating the High Holy Days today is a miracle in itself. Strong traditions and lasting rituals have enabled Jews to survive the most threatening periods of history. With the freedoms we have as modern American Jews, it makes sense that we use these same traditions and rituals to enjoy holidays to the fullest. As a chef and registered foodie, the best way I know to relish in the upcoming holidays is by making really delicious food.
This is a story about a dream afternoon I spent at La Seine, where chef Alex Reznik is cooking seasonal, farm-to-table, California-Asian … kosher food.
The Santa Clarita Valley could become home to the world’s largest falafel ball on May 15, when local chef Dawn Walker tries to craft and cook a deep-fried chickpea patty that will outweigh the 24-pound falafel ball that set the record a year ago in New York. Part of the third annual Santa Clarita Valley Jewish Food and Cultural Festival, Walker’s attempt will be documented for the Guinness Book of World Records. If a test run held two weeks before the event is any indication, the ball could end up weighing as much as 50 pounds.
Last week, the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts opened in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Flatbush. The $4,500, six-week intensive course, run in cooperation with the continuing education department of Kingsborough Community College, is the only professional kosher cooking school in North America.
If you're the type of person who likes gift giving, especially treats from your kitchen, then you probably look forward to the holiday as much as my family does. I especially enjoy the making of hamantashen. Holiday cookbooks are full of poppy seed, prune, chocolate, and even jelly-filled recipes.
Duff Goldman is the "extreme baker" of the Food Network's reality series, "The Ace of Cakes."
Guests nibbling on Grilled Hoisin-Ancho Colorado Lamb Chops, Roasted Garlic and Chicken Risotto and Caramel Sauce Crème Brûlée at Century City's five-star St. Regis Hotel & Spa might not just want to thank the chef, but also a rabbi.
"The most common Sukkot dishes are filled foods, particularly stuffed vegetables and pastries, symbolizing the bounty of the harvest," wrote chef Rabbi Gil Marks in his cookbook, "The World of Jewish Entertaining" (Simon & Schuster, 1998).
Over the centuries, Jewish cooks have gutted and chopped nearly every edible plant species, mixing the pulp with onions, breadcrumbs, matzah meal, meat, spices and assorted vegetables and fruit. They then stuffed these aromatic concoctions inside the vegetables' cavities, roasting them to create heavenly results.
During the weeklong celebration of Sukkot, people eat their meals in a sukkah, or temporary hut, and holiday recipes call for seasonal produce.
Recently, my husband and I traveled extensively throughout Vietnam, where we took several cooking classes and met talented chefs. But the chef that surprised us the most was Donald Berger at the
Press Club in Hanoi.
When Jeffrey Nathan auditioned for his first job cooking for the captain of a Navy destroyer somewhere in the middle of the Pacific and substituted vanilla for Worchester sauce in the meatloaf, little did he know his destiny was a 375-seat upscale kosher restaurant in Manhattan's garment district named Abigael's.
"Adventures in Jewish Cooking" by Jeffrey Nathan (Clarkson Potter, $32.50).
When it comes to kosher fine dining, chef Jeffrey Nathan of New York's Abigael's restaurants wrote the book. Now, just in time for Rosh Hashana, he's written "Adventures in Jewish Cooking," a collection of innovative recipes that redefine kosher as a world-class cuisine.
"I'm a Jewish girl, and my husband's a Catholic,"says Barbara Lazaroff, who has been married for 15 years to renownedchef Wolfgang Puck.
About 12 years ago, Passover was a lonesome timefor Lazaroff, most of whose Jewish relatives lived out of town. SoSpago regulars nudged her to create a restaurant seder, and she consulted withhubby Wolf ("He said, 'We can make shrimp.' I said, 'I don't thinkso,'" Lazaroff quips).
The result was the first seder ever held in anupscale Los Angeles eatery, with kosher-style (i.e., not strictlykosher) fare a la Puck's trendy-interpretive cuisine.