Archive for September, 2012

Molecular Gastronomy (Finally) Hits The Kosher World

September 27, 2012

This interview was first published on The Jew and the Carrot blog at The Forward.

Yehuda Goldberg, owner and chef at Sepha Catering in Toronto is offering his clients something unusual.

As far as Goldberg knows, he is the only kosher caterer in the city — and perhaps anywhere — using the French cooking method sous vide. The technique, which means “under vacuum” in French, calls for food to be sealed in an airtight plastic bag and immersed in a bath of low temperature water for extended periods of time resulting in extremely moist and flavorful dishes.

The technique is part of the school of molecular gastronomy, which uses modern technology and science to manipulate food. Avant-garde chefs like Grant Achatz and Ferran Adria have used carbon dioxide to create bubbles or foam, liquid nitrogen for flash freezing and shattering and ultrasound waves to control cooking times. Until now, molecular gastronomy was virtually unheard of in the kosher community, but Goldberg, who hails from a large Lubavitcher family and trained in Europe, hopes to change that.

We chatted with him about ultra-moist gefilte fish, a 27-hour brisket, and what sous vide chefs call “the danger zone.”

Click here to read the interview.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

A Bad Date With Ehud Olmert

September 25, 2012

This post first appeared on The Shmooze blog at The Forward.

This month it was Israeli-British journalist Mira Bar-Hillel’s turn to write for the “I Once Met” column in The Oldie magazine, a UK publication aimed at a more mature audience. The timing couldn’t have been better, because she chose to write about her one — and only — date with disgraced ex-prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert.

Bar-Hillel writes that she would be happy to see Olmert, who was also at one time mayor of Jerusalem, behind bars for his corrupt behavior while in office. Unfortunately for her, she will not see her wish come true, as Olmert has managed to avoid a trip to the slammer after trials for two different corruption scandals. He was sentenced on Monday in Jerusalem District Court only to one to three years probation and was given a $19,000 fine in one case. Earlier this year he was acquitted on charges in the other.

Click here to read more.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Israel Picks Haredi Drama As Oscar Entry

September 21, 2012

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at The Forward.

Having won seven Ophir Awards, “Fill the Void” has secured its place as Israel’s Oscar entry for this year. The film, with its artful and gripping insider look at life among a Hasidic community in Tel Aviv, snagged Ophirs for best film, best director, best screenplay, best actress and best supporting actress, among others.

“Fill the Void” tells the story of 18-year-old Shira who struggles with whether she should marry her brother-in-law Yochai, the widower of her older sister Esther, who died in childbirth. It’s an emotional fictional romance and coming of age story set against the strictly prescribed and proscribed lifestyle of the ultra-Orthodox. Hadas Yaron, who plays Shira, won the Volpi Award for best actress at the 69th Venice Film Festival in September.

The most surprising aspect of the film’s success is the fact that this is its director’s first foray into filmmaking for a general audience. Rama Burshtein, who grew up secular but became ultra-Orthodox as an adult, had been making films and teaching filmmaking for the past 10 years — but only among and for ultra-Orthodox women.

Click here to read more and watch the trailer.

© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


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