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Chagal Bistro

Kosher French Fare Comes to Brooklyn’s Park Slope

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By Malya Levin, The Jewish Daily Forward, March 12, 2013

Owners of Chagall Bistro, Kosher French Fare in Park Slope.“How could a kosher restaurant have opened in Park Slope without my knowing about it?” I unceremoniously asked of the first person to greet me as I walked into Chagall Bistro, who happened to be Dan Gicquel, the restaurant’s owner. Ten minutes before, I was settling in for a Sunday night dinner of hard-boiled eggs when a scan of my Facebook newsfeed turned up a friend’s posting: “New kosher restaurant on 5th Avenue and 5th Street!” I shared the news with my husband, who joined in my incredulity that this critical information had slipped past the vigilant watch we keep over all of brownstone Brooklyn’s Jewish news. A moment later, our phone rang. It was a foodie friend of ours who happened to be driving through the neighborhood. We shared the news, called the Facebook friend who had started it all, and a few minutes later, the four of us were scrutinizing the meat menu posted outside of the restaurant’s doors, its kosher certification prominently displayed, and I was demanding answers.

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Traditions in Food: Esther Cohen Salem

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Sarina Roffe: Culture and tradition are passed down from one generation to another in a family through foods. Esther Cohen Salem was the first to own a Syrian catering service in the Syrian Jewish community. In 1920, Esther and her two younger brothers, Sam, 13, and Joe, 11, came to America from Beirut sharing a passport issued by the French Troops of the Levant. Esther and Selim built a kitchen… Read More »Traditions in Food: Esther Cohen Salem

The Seltzer Man

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By  Published: April 26, 2013 NYTimes

Eli Miller, 79, New York City’s senior seltzer man.

“I just can’t stay home,” said Eli Miller, 79, who has been delivering seltzer for more than 50 years.

Eli Miller, 79, New York City’s senior seltzer man, hoisted crate after crate of seltzer — weighing 70 pounds apiece — into his van and then draped himself over them.

“I’m running on fumes — the reason I work is, I just can’t stay home,” said Mr. Miller, who has been delivering seltzer in Brooklyn for more than a half-century.

He can afford to retire, but that would mean his customers, many of whom have been with him for decades, might have to resort to store-bought seltzer.

“I don’t want them to have to drink that dreck you buy in the supermarket,” he said, using the Yiddish term for dirt. “So I guess I’ll retire when Gabriel blows his horn.”

Mr. Miller said that when he began delivering, on March 10, 1960, there were perhaps 500 seltzer men in the city, and a half-dozen seltzer bottlers. Now he can count his delivery competition on one hand, and they all fill up at the last seltzer factory in the city: Gomberg Seltzer Works in Canarsie.

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Kosher Food is Busting Out

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Out of the Lower East Side and its creative constraints Clever chefs like Moshe Wendel and Itta Werdiger Roth are bringing kosher into the 21st century at eateries like Pardes, Mason & Mug, Blossom and Reserve Cut BY MICHAEL KAMINER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013, 2:00 AM When the Lower East Side’s last kosher restaurant closed last month, “oy veys” could be heard all the way to the Bronx.In… Read More »Kosher Food is Busting Out

Obsessions, From Street Food to Rooftops

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Exerted from NYTimes, Oct 3, 2014 In “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food”(Brandeis University Press), Ms. Silver, an accomplished food writer inspired by the replacement of Mrs. Stahl’s knishery in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, by a Subway sandwich shop, explores the origins and evolution of the “pillow of filling tucked into a skin of dough.” Her book brims with nostalgia (including the lyrics to the Samuel J. Tilden High School… Read More »Obsessions, From Street Food to Rooftops

Rabbis of Reform Judaism, a modernized version of the faith

Kosher Meets Hipster

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American Millennials follow Jewish dietary laws at nearly twice the rate of Baby Boomers, perhaps finding the ancient laws fit well with contemporary concerns about sustainability.

the very first class of Rabbis of Reform Judaism, a modernized version of the faith.On July 11, 1883, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise held a historic gathering in Cincinnati: the ordination of the very first class of rabbis of Reform Judaism, a modernized version of the faith.

But Wise’s lesser known contribution to Jewish American culture lies in the four-course spread served at the banquet afterwards: little-neck clams on the half shell, salade of shrimp, soft-shell crab, and frog legs in cream sauce.Thrilling as it was offensive, the dinner that went down in history as “The Highland House Affair” ushered Judaism into modern American culture—aside from a symbolic omission of pork, everything from the air of gourmet French cuisine to the sweetbreads screamed rejection of Jewish dietary law and Old World culture.

130 years later, some parts of the Jewish community are going through another modernizing shift—but this time, in trendy pop-up restaurants and artisanal craft-food production. With their embrace of sustainable—and slightly hipster—food culture, Millennial Jews are shaping a blossoming culinary movement, and bringing non-Jews along with them.

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Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads

Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads

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New York Times published Sarina Roffé, whose recipes have also been featured in NY Times Jewish Cookbook, Image Magazine and Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America, has released Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads. The book is available on Amazon. Sarina is the author of “Food and Drink, Modern Period: Syria.” Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (Brill, Leiden, 2014). She is a recognized academic in the field of Syrian Jewish… Read More »Backyard Kitchen: Mediterranean Salads