This past Monday night the whole Joy of Kosher team enjoyed a night out at the eight annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience in New York City. As always we ate a lot, drank a lot and talked a lot. It was amazing to see so many of our online friends in person. This is the premier event for the kosher food and wine enthusiast and has grown so much that it is now happening in LA, London, Israel and Miami. This year they also added a yacht to showcase desserts and offer a little more space. I will admit it was a bit rocky, but it was nice to have a place to sit down and chat.
KFWE allows me the opportunity to sample over 200 wines. I didn't quite get to 200, but I sampled some very nice wines so that I could report back to you with some favorites for any upcoming special occasions. Here are my top 8:
- Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet
- Herzog Reserve Clone 6
- Alexander the Great Grand Reserve
- Barkan Special Reserve Cabernet
- Flam Reserve Syrah
- Drappier Champagne
- Tabor Limited
- Yatir Forest
Pomegranate always does a beautiful display and nice selection of foods. You can never go wrong with Chicken Lollipops covered in a tequila lemon sauce, even sitting in a warming tray, these were a big hit, but my personal favorite was actually the Rustic Eggplant & Peppers, one of their signature salads I would consider driving to Brooklyn for. They also sampled 4 different kinds of their house made sausages, all were delicious. Some people were big fans of their Shabbos section including grevan (fried chicken skin) and gala shots (some sort of gelled meat fat, I am told), these delicacies are too old world for me, but I know they have their following.
Gemstone Catering by Ari White is always a big hit and always sharing something new. You can't beat his 18 hour smoked brisket, but this year he premiered his thin cut Lamb Bacon and check it out as he shows us the Veal Pancetta. The lamb bacon literally melts in your mouth, while the veal pancetta is saltier chewier paired perfectly with Hempseed Sweet Potato Mash. Despite his BBQ and meat curing fame, he also makes a mean Smoked Beet and Tofu skewer, I also loved his house made pickles especially the ones using heirloom carrots.
Most of the Kosher Food and Wine Experience is a meat fest. You don't really see too many veggies, but that ones that are there stand out. Silverleaf showcased a tasty kale salad with roasted butternut squash and pomegranate seeds, their Lamb Polpetine happened to be very tasty too.
One of the highlights of last year's Kosher Food and Wine Experience was the Chilled Cantaloupe soup from the restaurant Basil, it must have been so popular that he was told to bring it back this year. He also made this artic char served on a kirby pickle to prove that he can't do wrong.
I am also a big fan of Etc. Steakhouse in Teaneck. He served a Pink Peppercorn Crusted Rib-eye with red amaranth salad. I really loved the red amaranth and the whole bite was really well done. The Chocolate Carmel Peanut Nougat bite that I had to eat in the middle of all my savory foods just so I didn't miss it, was worth it!
The big surprise of the evening for me was the Jerk Chicken from Jewmaican Cuzine. I have never been a big fan of meat pies, but these were perfectly sized and seemed totally authentic. The chicken was saucy and spicy and was juicy, one of the best chickens I have had in a long time.
Finally, I spent maybe a little too much time over at the kosher charcuterie by Prime Hospitality Group. The selectoin of house made charcuterie was fantastic, a great way to sample and find favorites, mine was the Bresaola. They also served a Salami Joe on Quinoa Cake that was so surprisingly good I had to have two.
Here are a few pictures for the KFWE that was held in Miami this past December.
Love the Meat signs.
Lots of Chocolate!!
Even Whole Foods got involved.
Were you at one of the Kosher Food and Wine Experiences? Let us know in the comments below.