Foodie Bites

Schmoozing With The Challah Fairy

Chanalee Fischer, aka the "Challah Fairy," is busy at her bakery in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.

08/22/2013
Food & Wine Editor
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Meet Chanalee Fischer, aka the "Challah Fairy." Maybe you’ve seen her challahs at Seasons, or at Prime Butcher Baker, or even visited her café in New City, New York. Fischer started baking challahs out of her home when her children were young, delivering them to her neighbor’s mailboxes on Friday afternoons. That’s how she got her title, the Challah Fairy. When her kids got a little older, she decided to turn her knack for kneading into a business. She's playful when it comes to inventing new flavors for her challahs. Her oreo challah is a best-seller, and around Thanksgiving people eagerly await her apple-cranberry challah. Her plain, poppy, sesame and crumb ones are always for sale. In the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah Fischer is busier than ever baking challahs and taking orders. Fortunately, she made some time to schmooze about non-challah related things, like why froyo is overrated and her signature omelet trick.

The Challah Fairy. Photo courtesy Chanalee Fischer

Center For Kosher Culinary Arts: Cooking Tips

Culinary school founder Jesse Blonder talks cholent and kosher sushi bars.

08/13/2013
Food & Wine Editor
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Jesse Blonder is all about making the most of what he has, especially when it comes to food. He's the managing director, co-founder, and owner of New York's Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. CKCA, now in its fifth year, will be expanding its program this fall from 38 classes to 50 to provide a more in-depth education for the program's 12 lucky chefs and bakers in training. Blonder, who has never kept kosher, shared his take on sushi at kosher restaurants and why cholent is the best dish in the entire world.

Jesse Blonder

Schmoozing with Noah Bernamoff

The Mile End Deli dynamo shares his picky past and awkward Shabbats at grandma's house.

07/15/2013
Food & Wine Editor
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Noah Bernamoff examines food through a historic lens. He and his wife, Rae, along with close friend, Max Levine, opened the Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn in January 2010. It’s an old-fashioned deli inspired by Jewish comfort food. Today Bernamoff also has Mile End Sandwiches, a sandwich shop in Manhattan’s NoHo district, a Mile End Cookbook, and will soon have an online Mile End bakery and new menus coming out in the fall. Bernamoff talked about his evolution from a fussy child with picky tastes to an adventurous flavor creator and successful restaurateur. But at heart, he’s really an egg roll.

Noah is not a fan of eating alone. Photo courtesy Noah Bernamoff.

Jewish Cooking In America

Joan Nathan on her perception of herself as pesto, and how butter makes a babka better.

07/02/2013
Food & Wine Editor
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If you ask Joan Nathan to name just one of her favorite Jewish foods, she'll tell you at least four. Spend just five minutes listening to her poetically muse about the menu for her upcoming Shabbat dinner, and you'll quickly see how Nathan is more than a talented food writer and cook, she's an inventor and an innovator. Nathan is one of the most recognizable and respected names in Jewish cooking, having written 10 cookbooks and hosted two seasons of "Jewish Cooking in America," a PBS show based on her award-winning cookbook of the same title (season 2 is due out on DVD this summer). Though she's busy giving lectures and performing cooking demonstrations, writing articles for Tablet Magazine The New York Times and other publications, and working on her 11th cookbook, Nathan made time to chat with me about her fondness for making challah from scratch and the key to being a truly great food writer.

Joan has 10 cookbooks to her name and a PBS show. Photo courtesy Joan Nathan

Blondie And Brownie

The blogging duo behind "Blondie and Brownie" are all about laughing and noshing on New York's streets.

06/25/2013
Food & Wine Editor
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Brownie and Blondie is the witty, candid, and sometimes sassy New York-focused food blog by Siobhan Wallace (Blondie) Alexandra Penfold (Brownie). In April the duo released their first book, New York á la Cart, showcasing  the best street food in New York along with original recipes and remarkable stories from food cart chefs. “It opens the door for people who are intrigued by street food and are still a little squeamish and don’t know where to begin or what trucks or carts to visit,” Wallace said. Penfold added that the book goes beyond the food and touches on the history of New York “and how street food has been part of the culinary landscape for decades. I think people will really enjoy reading the stories about the vendors, which is really what we wanted to put front and center. They work so hard and make such good food and have such incredibly inspiring stories,” Penfold said. Now it’s time to reverse roles and share the food stories behind Blondie and Brownie.

Siobhan Wallace and Alexandra Penfold are experts on New York City street food. Donny Tsang
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New York a la Cart

The Kitchen's Rabbi Noa Kushner

Founding rabbi of SF's The Kitchen, celebrating its 2nd birthday this month.

06/03/2013
Food & Wine Editor
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San Francisco’s indie Jewish community, The Kitchen, celebrates its second birthday this month. The Kitchen supports weekly DIY Shabbat dinners and other holiday food gatherings including a Purim party and a 100-person Sukkot feast. The Kitchen recently reserved a 500-person space to hold High Holy Day services. Additionally, The Kitchen hosts events for young singles called Kitchen 24/7, and has a Kitchen Mama’s program, bringing together 60 parents with young children for an earlier Shabbat services and dinner gathering. The organization places a high priority on food because “we recognize that so much of religious life is social and happens around the table. Food is this local currency and language in San Francisco, and we see it as a very important part of what we’re doing,” The Kitchen’s founding rabbi, Noa Kushner, said. In my Q&A with Kushner, she shares her dining do’s and don’ts when it comes to her kitchen table. 

Rabbi Noa Kushner. Photo courtesy Noa Kushner

Jake Dell Of Katz's Delicatessen

In celebration of Katz’s Delicatessen's 125th anniversary, JW Food & Wine talked all things deli with Katz's fifth-generation owner.

05/29/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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The Lower East Side is an ever-changing neighborhood; demographics constantly shifting, storefronts coming and going, and tenement houses morphing into high rise condos. Despite all this change and refashioning, one thing has remained a neighborhood staple: Katz’s Delicatessen, which is currently celebrating it’s 125th anniversary. I had the opportunity to schmooze all things deli with fifth-generation owner, Jake Dell.

Jake Dell, Katz's 5th-generation owner. Rachel Goldrich
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Christopher Fernandez, part-time employee at Katz's Deli. Photo courtesy Rachel
Photo courtesy Rachel Goldrich
Photo courtesy Rachel Goldrich
Photo courtesy Katz's Delicatessen Archives
Photo courtesy Katz's Delicatessen Archives
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