Kosher Whirlwind Roundup
Our whirlwind started on Monday at the Kosher Food Bloggers Conference held at the NYU Chabad House. Melinda Strauss (@Kitchen Tested) and Special Event Producer for Joy of Kosher organized an amazing group of speakers : 1. Casey Benedict-“What Brands Won’t Tell You: Blogger Strengths and Insider Tips, 2. Dana Bonagura-Food Styling tip and Tricks, 3. Aron Schoenfeld- Networking and Branding, 4. Dan Rosenberg (Harvard Common Press) and Stacy Glick (Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency), and 5. Mara Strom-Kosher On a Budget- How to Make Money from your Blog. The day was broken up with a beautifully presented lunch. As we left, we received a swag bag of assorted goodies! Off to Kosherfeast we went.
Kosherfeast was professionally chaired by Roberta Scher @Koshereye and Esti Berkowitz @Primetimeparent. What a crowd we were piling into JSoho. It was a very special evening not only because we were able to talk to so many people involved with kosher food; but some very special personalities were honored as Kosher Pioneers: Susie Fishbein-Facebook.com, Laura Frankel-@Chef Laurakosher, Norene Gilletz-@ Norenecooks, Gourmania.com, David Herzog- Royalwine.comhttp://www.royalwine.com, Levana Kirschenbaum- @ LevanaCooks, Menachem Lubinsky, @Koshertoday, Gil Marks- @Jewishfoods, GilMarks.com, and Joan Nathan- @ joan nathan, Joannathan.comhttp://www.joannathan.com. These women and men have been at the forefront of Kosher food-ever pushing the envelope and making us all more informed for it. It was wonderful to see them honored. Each received an engraved soup ladle. I would love to be at any of their tables.
And then there was a surprise category of four honorees! I admit to being engrossed in conversation as I thought I heard my name-and I did! I was honored with the Kosher Cutting Edge award for my Kosher Cookbook App. Wow! Was I surprised as I stepped forward and was handed a Sora chef’s knife engraved with the words: Cutting Edge Kosher- KosherFeast-2013. This award was made even more special because my daughter was there and also because of the three other people also honored in this category: Jamie Geller-for creating the world of Joy of Kosher, Jesse Blonder-for starting the first Kosher Culinary Arts Program, and Alex Rapoport for being the executive of the Masbia Kitchen Network which feeds the needy.Much has been said, in fact, great grumbling has taken place, about the service and the food at JSoho. To be honest, neither was stellar. The staff seemed flustered and unable to handle the crowd; in particular the people who arrived late-due to traffic. Most people I spoke to were disappointed with the portions and the preparation of the food. I did speak to one gentleman who said his steak was moist and delicious-mine not. If you were fortunate to get a glass of delicious Merlot as I did, you were lucky. The pouring was helter skelter so you never really knew what you were getting. In past years, the spirit coming from the management of the restaurants- Solo and Abigail’s- was very gracious. Different appetizers kept coming so that by the time you had your main course, it wouldn’t have mattered if it was small-and it wasn’t. That was not the case at JSoho. Maybe something happened in the kitchen that we don’t know about. Who knows? I can testify that the evening was a success. People enjoyed being together and there was a warm happy feeling in the room. I look forward to another Kosher Feast next year!
What can I say about Kosherfest? I should have studied the list of vendors before I went; but I didn’t-so I missed some I hope to contact in the future. I had the opportunity of seeing Norene Gilletz! I talked to so many amazing people that I will not name again because I posted pictures of them on my Kosher Cookbook page. We are an interesting community-we kosher food people. We represent all age groups and all levels of religious observance and we are all committed to making Kosher food as healthy, gourmet and beautifully presented as possible. Each of us has their own style and particular area of concentration; but we are all working together to bring kosher food to the highest level possible. I prefer to think of it as creating and preparing delicious food that just happens to be kosher.
The whirlwind is still whirling as we each document our experiences with pictures and prose. On a more personal note-my new website-www.Kosherbygloria.com is almost completed. I hope you’ll all enjoy it and continue this journey with me.