The Jew And The Carrot

A Very Traif Passover

By Devra Ferst

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It seems only fitting that a restaurant so dedicated to treyf that it named itself after the term for unkosher food should open during Passover.

The brainchild of Jewish chef Jason Marcus and manager Heather Heuser, Traif — they spell it differently than we do — will have its soft opening this weekend in Williamsburg. It will be a restaurant of “shared plates, specializing in pork and shellfish and global soul food,” Marcus told the Forward.

Traif’s logo

“I am Jewish, although obviously not great at it. Traif…celebrates the foods that I love most, which just so happens to be the foods that I am not supposed to eat.” Marcus wrote on the restaurant’s blog.

The ironic restaurant concept will fit right in in Williamsburg, the hub of New York hipster culture and the home to an insular community of Orthodox Jews.

“I knew Traif had a ring to it and if anyone was gonna get it, it was New Yorkers,” Marcus said.

Marcus isn’t the only Jewish chef reveling in his love of treyf food recently. Former Top Chef-winner Ilan Hall opened his LA restaurant The Gorbals last November with bacon-wrapped matzo balls on the menu.

So here’s to a Jewish love of ironic bacon. As Marcus added on Traif’s blog: “We’re coming as soon as we can open, and we’ve got bacon, a lot of bacon!”


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