By Sruly Meyer- COLlive
Photos: Mendy Krief/COLlive
In an unprecedented move, the renowned New York Wine and Food Festival, organized by the Food Network, showcased a kosher event for the first time in a decade.
The 4-day culinary events series featured a kosher dinner for 100 guests, marking a significant moment for the Jewish community and kosher chefs, as they got an opportunity to share their culinary masterpieces in the city’s gastronomic landscape.
The event commenced with cocktails and delectable pass-arounds curated by attending chefs. Cookbook authors Adeena Sussman and Chani Appelbaum, Josh Goldstein from Tabernacle Restaurant, and Shifra Klein – editor of Fleishigs Magazine, each addressed the crowd, sharing their gratitude and pride in being a part of such a significant occasion.
“The New York Wine and Food Festival is not just a culinary event, it’s a charitable one. With over 60 events spanning a few days, the primary aim is to raise funds for a charity that supports hungry children,” explained Shlomo Klein of Fleishigs Magazine.
This kosher event’s inception began when Adeena Sussman approached Klein and his team. Partnering with Lee Schrager, who oversees the week-long event in both New York and the South Beach Food and Wine Festival in Florida, the idea began to take shape.
The featured chefs for the evening included Sussman, who recently launched her cookbook, and Appelbaum, also known as Busy in Brooklyn, with her latest cookbook debuting recently as well. It also showcased the renowned Chef Michael Sullivan from Tabernacle Restaurant.
One could say that integrating a kosher event within such a grand platform posed its challenges. “Hosting a kosher event is not an easy feat. The entire concept of kosher Hashgacha can be a challenging endeavor. However, the organizers were determined to make it happen,” Klein expressed.
While the event was slated to be a grand success, unforeseen circumstances threatened its execution. “There was a moment of uncertainty when the association contemplated canceling the event due to security concerns and potential low turnout. But instead, we not only persisted but found an even more profound cause to support,” added Klein.
In a generous gesture, the festival agreed to include another charity, United Hatzalah, something they would not normally do. This association further donated $36,000 to United Hatzalah to assist in rescue operations in Israel.
Dinner was followed by a moving presentation by United Hatzalah representatives highlighting their rigorous efforts during challenging times, depleting a year’s supplies in just six days in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks on Simchas Torah.
“Their dedication is unparalleled, reaching people in need within 90 seconds anywhere in Israel. Their service transcends religions, serving Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike,” Klein says.
The night was a blend of philanthropy and gastronomy. Attendees were not only treated to an exquisite meal but also left with swag bags, containing cookbooks from Susman and Applebaum along with recent issues of Fleishigs magazines, and Tabernacle Winery’s fine wine. “We also incentivized donations to United Hatzalah with a chance to win a swag bag,” Klein shared.