Beyond Sushi, Rolling Outside of the Box

Beyond Sushi owner/chef Guy Vaknin

I arrived so early for lunch at Beyond Sushi, the shoebox of a vegan sushi spot just off Union Square in NYC, that it was almost a late breakfast for me. With only three tables and a rockin’ take-out business,  I wanted to be sure to nab a seat and settle in to feast on the creations that are all fair game for this kosher keeper.

Chef/Owner Guy Vaknin has let his imagination run wild here. His combos are the most unusual and perfectly paired flavors all rolled up in completely unfamiliar, purplish hued grains.

Vaknin popped up from the basement kitchen through a staircase leading to the sidewalk. Continue reading

Let’s Talk Gefilte

image courtesy of Gefilteria

Question: How do you recognize a gefilte fish swimming in the ocean?
Answer: It’s the only one with a carrot on its head.

The subject of gefilte fish, in all of its old and new permutations, brought a standing room only crowd of over 200 enthusiasts to the Center for Jewish History in NYC last week.

An enthusiastic group of curious old timers (“what’s to talk about  so much?”) and young hipsters (“SO cool”) gathered in the comfortable theatre to hear New York’s quintessential gefilte makers talk about their recipes, why gefilte fish has lasting appeal, what their patrons have to say about it, and best of all, to offer samples to the hungry crowd after the panel discussion. Continue reading

Roll Your Own

When eating sushi, NEVER pass food to someone using your chopsticks. That act parallels passing cremated bones of a deceased relative at a Japanese funeral. Instead, pass the plate, allowing the sushi to be plucked from it.

Good to know.

I learned so much in the “Roll Your Own” vegetarian sushi making class at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC, that I will never again eat sushi without deep appreciation and a (hopefully) more discerning and knowledgeable palate. Continue reading

Cooking Heart Healthy Foods with Jennifer Abadi at the JCC in Manhattan

Invite me to a cooking class?  I am in!
 I love them all: demos, hands on, famous chefs, home-style cooks … I am eager to be inspired by some unfamiliar flavor or technique.
But with the steep cost of these classes,  I need to choose carefully.
For me that means honing in on classes that focus on using health conscious, vegetarian or kosher ingredients. While perusing the online schedule for the JCC in Manhattan, I ran into a class being taught by Jennifer Abadi called Delicious Heart-Healthy Foods.
When I saw the menu, I knew I needed to attend.

Cooking Glorious Tajines with Levana

Levana is almost always referred to by her first name.
Like another favorite, extroverted star, her name rhymes with Madonna. No connection.
Levana is a legend in the kosher food world. She co-owned Levana Restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for 32 years where she introduced upscale, innovative kosher dining to a public that had previously settled for mediocre kosher experiences when eating in restaurants.
Her multicultural, boldly seasoned creations exposed, educated, and elevated our expectations. After 32 years, the restaurant closed and now Levana spends most of her professional time as a cooking teacher, cookbook author and traveling the country giving cooking demosContinue reading

Mondays at Dovetail in NYC

Mondays are the perfect night to visit Dovetail in NYC.

 

Chef/Owner John Fraser has carved a meatless Monday niche for vegetarians and those who are kosher like me.

 

Options are plentiful and preparations are elegantly plated in this contemporary dining room with a casual but grown up vibe. No need to settle for just any ol’ salad or vegetable laden pasta here.

The Monday night vegetarian menu is prix fixe at $46. which includes three generous courses and dessert. There are three options in each of these categories and a list of eight desserts made by pastry chef Michal Selkowitz.

If you relish great vegetarian preparations that celebrate the bounty of each season, plan ahead in order to reserve your Monday night table. I waited two weeks for a res at a decent dinner hour.

Continue reading

Bond Street Chocolate Moses Giveaway

 

The season is shifting noticeably as the temperature cools and the  rapid sequence of fall holidays is poised to roll.  Launching Kosher Like Me as the new year approaches feels just on time!  In my last minute flurry,  I’ve reviewed vast piles of notes and photos corresponding to restaurants, events, chefs, tastings and other extraordinary food experiences that are the reason for bringing it all together in Kosher Like Me.   Here, I will share the pleasure of my discoveries and journeys as I seek creative vegetarian experiences for those who love to eat well.  Some of you may be Kosher Like Me (read ABOUT and FAQ’s) and some may be vegetarian or simply leaning in that direction. WELCOME!! Continue reading