The Jew And The Carrot

Adventures in Culinary School, Part 3

By Aliza Donath

iStock

Adventures in Culinary School, Part 1
Adventures in Culinary School, Part 2

As of a few weeks ago, I have officially completed kosher culinary school. I’m not a chef, and certainly not professional, but I’d like to think that I’ve come away with a few tricks and techniques not to be found in the average home kitchen.

When I first started culinary school, I was excited and curious, and especially interested to answer a burning question: Can kosher food ever be considered gourmet? With all the ingredients missing from our repertoire (shellfish, bacon, etc.), certainly we could never measure up to the kitchen of some treyf chefs, I thought.

As the weeks progressed in culinary school and I learned how to concasse tomatoes, roast a rack of lamb, and whip up pate-a-choux swans, I found myself marveling at the sheer amount of knowledge a chef must have.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kosher Gourmet, Hollandaise, Bacon, Culinary School

Adventures in Culinary School, Part II

By Aliza Donath

Last month I blogged about embarking on a culinary adventure with excitement, anticipation and a bit of anxiety: I started kosher culinary school. I wanted to find out, can kosher food really be gourmet? One month into my training, I haven’t come up with a definitive answer, but I have gained a few insights on the topic, taken my first good look at the competitive food service industry and become a more adept chopper to boot!

When I started the “Kosher Culinary” crash course, I was hoping to find solutions to those common kosher problems, such as finding replacements for dairy in meat dishes while still using natural ingredients. I also wanted to expand my palate and food repertoire. While I can’t say every question has been answered or problem solved, I have definitely picked up some technique.

On my first day, it was clear that virtually every kitchen term I knew before (knife, frying pan, pot) is wrong, or at the very least not nearly specific enough. Ask for a knife in a professional kitchen, and the shouted questions immediately begin: What kind of knife? French? Pairing? Boning? Requesting a frying pan would yield the question: A sloped-sided sauteuse (for flipping crepes or vegetables) or a straight-sided sautoir?

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kosher Gourmet, Culinary School, Knife Skills

The Kosher Gourmet - Starting Culinary School

By Aliza Donath

Every time Bravo’s Top Chef begins a new season, I watch with eagerness, excitement, and like any kosher-keeping fan of the show, a twinge of jealousy. Not only because the winning dish always seems to include bacon or because all that oyster ceviche looks so tasty, but because I know that there will never be a kosher contestant on the show.

Let’s face this. The judges on the show are super objective: they don’t allow for leniencies because of little things like injuries and illness. How much would they allow for a kosher-keeper? Eventually, they would mention something about the chef being “held back” by their rules, or the challenge would be based around lamb in yogurt sauce or pork belly. And then, of course, the kosher chef would be asked to pack their knives and go.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Culinary School, Top Chef




Find us on Facebook!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.