In the joyofkosher Kitchen

 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Reyna Simnegar

 

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We are so excited to invite Reyna Simnegar into our kitchen.  Another bride who learned cooking from her husbands’ family.  Reyna, who grew up in Venezula, took a crash course in Persian cooking taught by her mother-in-law to be so that her new husband wouldn’t starve when they got married.  She mastered the art taking short cuts when she could and then wrote it all down for her future daughters-in-laws and us to learn from. Reyna’s book, Persian Food from the Non Persian Bride will teach even the most inexperienced cooks to prepare delcious Persian meals in not time at all.

1. Tell me about your Jewish journey.


 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Chef Levana

 

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For nearly thirty years Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum has owned and operated a catering business, a bakery and a successful Manhattan restaurant all while raising a family.  Levana continues to offer weekly cooking demos in New York City to locals and visitors who enjoy dinner and a show.  Levana has published four cookbooks, Levana’s Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone, Levana Cooks Dairy Free, In Short Order and her latest hit, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.  You can find more from Levana on her blog, LevanaCooks.  Read about her new book here.

1. Share some of your favorite memories of growing up in Morocco?


 

Interview with Leah Koenig **WIN HER COOKBOOK**

 

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The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook, was published by Rizzoli in March, 2011.  Prior to jumping into the freelance food writing world, Leah worked at Hazon for several years, where she managed their Jewish CSA program, organized the first Hazon Food Conference, and edited The Jew & The Carrot: Hazon’s award-winning food blog.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, musician Yoshie Fruchter.

1 How did you learn to cook?


 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Roberta...

 

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Roberta Kalechofsky, Ph.D is a writer, speaker, and animal rights activist, focusing on the promotion of vegetarianism within the Jewish community.  She has written several books including The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook and The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook.  Roberta lives, writes, publishes, and cooks in Massachusetts.

1              How did you wander into vegetarian cooking?


 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Chef Marcy Goldman

 

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We are very excited to invite Marcy Goldman into the JoyofKosher kitchen.  Marcy is a cookbook author, pastry chef, food journalist and writer.  Since 1997, Marcy has been the editor, host and master baker behind BetterBaking.com.  Marcy’s first cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, recently was published as a 10th Anniversary Edition by Whitecap Books.  She has also written The New Best of Better Baking.com, A Passion for Baking with Oxmoor House and The Baker’s Four Seasons with Harper Collins is due out this fall 2011.  Montreal-based, Goldman is also a frequent guest on Martha Stewart Sirius, and appears in the Washington Post, Food and Wine and is an official baking Tweeter for the New York Times.

1      What is unique and different about A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and this 10th Anniversary Edition?


 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Julie Negrin

 

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Julie Negrin is a nutritionist and culinary instructor in New York City and the author of Easy Meals to Cook with Kids.  Julie ran the culinary program at the JCC in Manhattan for 5 years, transforming the fledgling culinary program into one of the most popular cooking programs in Manhattan. Julie has her own blog, My Kitchen Nutrition that can be found  on her website, www.julienegrin.com.

1.     Your book is for adults who want to cook with kids ages two years old and up.  What made you decide to write this cookbook?


 

In the JoyofKosher Kitchen with Joan Nathan

 

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Joan Nathan is the author of ten cookbooks and a regular contributor to The New York Times. She is the author of the much-acclaimed Jewish Cooking in America.  Her latest book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, chronicles 2,000 years of Jewish history through memorable stories and 200 delicious recipes.

1.  When did you decide to be a cook book author and journalist?


 

In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with The Complete...

 

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Shifrah Devorah Witt and Zipporah Malka Heller are the mother and daughter team that coauthored The Complete Asian Kosher Cookbook.  As they grew in religous observance and began following the laws of kashrut they were not willing to give up the chinese food and asian dishes they love.  The inspiration for this cookbook was born.

1  How do you explain the Jewish people’s love affair with Asian food?


 

In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Jamie Geller

 

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Jamie Geller left a fast-track career as a New York City television producer to embark on the frazzled-track career of Jewish wife and mother.  Jamie’s  first cookbook, Quick & Kosher – Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing was a runaway success.  Jamie’s new book, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes responds to the needs of today’s busy home cook, by sharing quick, simple dishes that have the gourmet look and taste, without elaborate preparation.

1       You began your professional career as a writer and producer for HBO, what made you decide to switch from cable to a cutting board?

The switch was born from necessity. I had never intended to leave TV and that was my life’s goal for a very long time. However, as I adopted a kosher lifestyle, my goals changed. Having 20 people in my home for shabbos quite regularly became one of them. So I quickly realized that it was time to hit the cutting board! (more…)


 

In the joyofkosher Kitchen with Susie Fishbein

 

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The release of Kosher by Design Teens and 20-Somethings marks the seventh book for cookbook author Susie Fishbein. The wildly successful series has already sold over 400,000 copies worldwide and has led to hundreds of appearances by Susie from coast-to-coast and Canada. Profiled in the New York Times and on CNN, Susie has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews by the Forward. She has been a guest on dozens of network TV and radio shows. Susie was featured at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Disneyworld, and taught at the Degustibus cooking school in NY. Recently, Susie was an honored guest at the White House in recognition of National Jewish Heritage Month. Susie resides in Livingston, New Jersey with her husband and four children.

1     Your new book is written for the next generation of kosher cooks. How do today’s teens and 20-somethings approach food?


 

In the joyofkosher Kitchen with Paula Shoyer

 

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We are very excited to invite Paula Shoyer into the joyofkosher kitchen.  Paula is a pastry chef who owns and operates Paula’s Parisian Pastries Cooking School in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  She received her pastry diploma from the Ritz Escoffier Ecole de Gastronomie Francaise in Paris, France in 1996.   She is the author of The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy (Brandeis University Press).

1    I am very excited to have The Kosher Baker around to inspire me this High Holiday season!  What made you decide to write this cookbook?


 

In the joyofkosher Kitchen with Bonnie Taub-Dix

 

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We are excited to invite Bonnie Taub-Dix into our joyofkosher kitchen.  Bonnie is a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and Director and Owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants.  Bonnie’s website can be found at http://bonnietaubdix.com.

Bonnie collaborated with Susie Fishbein to create Kosher by Design Lightens Up: Fabulous food for a healthier lifestyle.  Her new book, Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time will show you how to make sense of food labels and avoid tricky marketing ploys.


 

In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Chef Laura...

 

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We are very excited to invite Chef Laura Frankel into our joyofkosher kitchen.  Chef Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago.  She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.  Chef Frankel is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce.

Chef Frankel is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants.  She opened her first restaurant in 1998, offering kosher fine dining with a produce-driven menu.  Frankel opened Shallots NY in 2000 in midtown Manhattan. In 2004, she moved her Chicago restaurant to Skokie, (a suburb with a large Jewish population outside of Chicago) and created Shallots Bistro.


 

In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Judy Zeidler

 

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It is our pleasure to have Chef Judy Zeidler in our joyofkosher kitchen!  Chef Judy is a well known food expert and author of The Gourmet Jewish CookThe 30 Minute Kosher Cook: More Than 130 Quick & Easy Gourmet Recipes, and Master Chefs Cook Kosher.  You can see Judy on her syndicated television show, “Judy’s Kitchen” and she is regularly asked to be a guest on national television and radio programs.  Judy and her husband spend a few months every year in France and Italy and are constantly finding new and innovative ways to cook kosher.  Judy is currently working on a new cookbook based on her adventures in Italy.  Here Judy shares some of her cooking experiences with us.

1       For a long time, gourmet kosher cooking was an oxymoron, but now we have our own celebrity chefs, fine dining establishments and wines that even Robert Parker can rave about.  How do you account for this dramatic change over the past several years?


 

In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Jeff Nathan

 

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In connection with the launch of our brand new website, joyofkosher.com, we are very pleased to be able to invite Chef Jeff Nathan into our joyofkosher kitchen. Chef Nathan is the executive chef of The Abigael’s Group, which includes Abigael’s on Broadway and the Green Tea Lounge.   He is also the author of two popular cookbooks, Adventures in Jewish Cooking and Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers.   At his restaurants, and on his acclaimed public television series, New Jewish Cuisine, Chef Nathan emphasizes the flavors of modern America while strictly observing the laws of kashrut. Chef Nathan is setting a new standard for kosher cooking with his innovative dishes and creative presentations.

1          What inspired you to take such bold steps towards modernizing Jewish cuisine? My culinary background had always been on the cutting edge in the non-kosher restaurants I’d worked in. It seems to be in my nature to be creative with food. When I bought Abigael’s, I was intrigued to couple the strict rules of kashrus with my creativity and innovative style of cooking. I just knew that I could incorporate so much of my extensive food knowledge into those long held rules and regulations. 2          What do you see as the next big trend in kosher food? The food industry is always evolving and one of the biggest changes is within the kosher industry. I see kosher foods as becoming more healthful. Although we salt our meats for kashrus, food corporations are beginning to re-evaluate their formulations to cut down on sodium, preservatives and unnecessary additives and fillers. Being concerned with fair trade and sustainability practices is not a new concept to Judaism; kosher food manufacturers are now joining the movement to get back to offering clean, healthful products. 3          Describe your best cooking moment as a chef? When one of my guests grins at me in surprise and says that their meal is so delicious, they can’t believe it’s kosher! No matter how many awards I win, or accolades I get, that’s always the biggest thrill! 4          You have gotten the chance to travel all around the world and cook for people like Regis Philbin, Joan Rivers, even Conan O’Brien.   Of all the famous people you have had the chance to cook for, who will you never forget and why? In my early years as a cook in the US Navy, I was part of a small contingency of kitchen personnel that cooked several meals for Menachem Begin & Anwar Sadat during their Peace Talks. Although it was decades before my involvement in Kosher; and several years before I even went to culinary school, I knew that this would be a highlight of my career. In the nearly thirty years since then, I’m still amazed that I had such a wondrous opportunity to cook for them. 5          What are some of your favorite dishes? It’s so hard to choose because I have so many for all sorts of reasons! My wife’s Lamb & Orzo Stew brings the whole family to the table… My mom’s Stuffed Cabbage was the best thing to come home to! Years ago, I was really thrilled with the excitement of cooking game meats. But some of the dishes that I‘ve cooked over the years that still seem to stay on the top of my lists are my Argentine Style Short Ribs, Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragout and the Smoked Brisket Eggroll. 6           What is your earliest memory of cooking? When I was a kid, about eight or so, I begged my babysitter to let me stay up late so I could prepare crackers, cream cheese & olives for my parents. She let me stay up to make them, but not to wait up for my parents. I put them in the fridge for their arrival. My parents assured me that these (most likely soggy) crackers were the best thing they’d ever eaten! 7          What advice would you give the busy home cook? Decide on your meals ahead of time, keep a stock of the most often used ingredients in your pantry and don’t make meal time an afterthought. Allowing yourself to make planning and preparing dinner an important part of your day, instead of thinking of it as a chore will bring a calmness to the family that most people don’t realize. 8          When you are not wearing an apron and standing behind the stove, what do you like to eat? Home cooked meals that someone else has prepared! As much as I love to create innovative and modern foods, I find that when I ‘m not working I love the same foods most people do… traditional foods like our grandma’s used to make, comfort foods, and barbecues. 9          What made you want to become a kosher chef? At first I told myself it was a good business opportunity when we bought Abigael’s, but I quickly realized that I was intrigued with what I could do for the modern Jew and the unaffiliated Jew by making kosher more interesting than Grandma’s brisket or a pastrami on rye at the local deli. 10        Describe your worst kitchen disaster as a chef? While filming my television series, New Jewish Cuisine, I opened the food processor incorrectly and the bright green parsley and oil sauce flew all over the kitchen! The rest of the day’s filming was backed up for hours while the crew cleaned and reset everything! 11        Tell us about seder night at the Nathan house. Are you able to recline or are you in the kitchen? When I was a kid, seders were at my grandparents’ house, so I played with my cousins all night. When I got married they were at my in-law’s. I didn’t cook, but I did all the turkey and brisket carving! Nowadays, Abigael’s is open every Passover where we have a Chabad Rabbi officiate at the seders. It’s become such a popular event that I’m at work instead of at home. Over the last few years though, I give myself a break from the kitchen and join my family in the dining room. Every year is a different Rabbi, and we love to hear their different styles as we hear the story of the Exodus. But then, it’s back to the kitchen for me! 12        Our readers are about to prepare their homes and transform their kitchen for the two most important nights of the year. Over the past several years, the kosher for Passover aisle has grown and ingredients and foods that were not imaginable several years ago are now available for the Pesach table.   Can you share a few of your favorite Kosher for Passover recipes and any suggestions on how to not only make this night different from all other nights, but different from all other seders? It’s interesting that out of the hundreds of recipes I create in a year, the most requested ones are always for Passover! When I teach my cooking classes I always try to instill in the home cook that they should not overwhelm themselves with re-creating the wheel! This holiday is all about traditions, so stick to your favorite traditional recipes, but allow yourself to be creative with one or two new recipes each year. To revamp the whole menu, within only a few hours, is really tough. Instead, just choose a few things to play with. Soon enough you’ll have incorporated several new classics into your holiday menu! I’ve shared a few of my favorite Passover recipes with joyofkosher.com. They’ve become holiday mainstays at my home and are occasionally seen on the Abigael’s menus too! I hope you like them! Thanks for having me partake in this interview! I really enjoyed answering these great questions!