Thursday, December 16, 2010

22-Year-Old Jasmine Einalhori Wins Title In Next Great Kosher Chef Competition

Kosher cooking.  Yum.  We all do it, and we think we're pretty good at it.  At Jewish Humor Central, we've featured Food-Network-Wannabe-Chefs including a few Bubbes and a Bride-Who-Knew-Nothing making meatballs, gefilte fish, and latkes.  Now it's time to get serious...and professional.

Last Sunday, The Jewish Daily Forward and The New York Times were among the press that covered the finals of The Next Great Kosher Chef competition, sponsored by The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, a Brooklyn-based school for kosher cooking. 

Hundreds of applicants sent in videos and essays.  Ten were picked for interviews, and three made it to the finals on Sunday.  The grand prize, a scholarship for a 152-hour training course, worth $5,000, was won by 22-year-old Jasmine Einalhori, from Los Angeles.  

As Itta Werdiger-Roth reported in The Jewish Daily Forward
At 8 A.M. Sunday morning they began a written exam, with questions covering a variety of related topics such as “What temperature does water boil in Denver, Colorado? (answer; 203 F because of the different atmospheric pressure of a higher altitude.) A series of five surprise culinary challenges (julienne carrots, scale a fish and whip eggwhites to a stiff peak for example) followed. Then the competition culminated in a cook-off. 
Contestants were given a “surprise box” of chicken thighs, acorn squash, yellow summer squash and a selection of other produce and grains, and asked to create a main dish with two sides.
Each dish was tasted by the three “celebrity guest” judges: Elan Kornblum, editor and publisher of Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, Jamie Geller, author of Quick and Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing, and Seth Warshaw, chef/owner of ETC Steakhouse in Teaneck, NJ.
For her prize-winning dish, Einalhori sprinkled her plate with tumeric and paprika, adding vibrant color before covering it with thyme roasted chicken, large thinly sliced pieces of acorn squash and a rice dish.
One of the questions on the written exam asked the contestants to pick the kosher animal from the following list:  zebra, hare, giraffe, camel. (The correct answer:  giraffe).

To see Jasmine Einalhori, the Next Great Kosher Chef, in action in her kitchen, take a look at the video that she submitted to the competition.  Contestants were asked to submit videos of egg dishes, and Einalhori's choice was a "fake bacon" (salami), egg and guacamole sandwich.  We're having it for lunch tomorrow.  Enjoy!

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