By Cindy Grosz
Familiar faces from Central Avenue and the multiple simchas held in shuls, halls, and restaurants were featured last Monday night at the first Kosher Taste of Long Island.
Among the 50 vendors and donators to the raffle and auction prizes were Jerusalem Florist, Genadeen Caterers of the Sephardic Temple, and Wok Tov of Cedarhurst.
Twenty-five vendors participated in the event that over 400 people attended. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island. According to Mindy Perlmutter, this was a first-time program and the response was overwhelming. “The interest in this event represents everything the JCRC hopes to accomplish. As Long Island is home to one of the largest concentrations of Jews outside of Israel, by hosting events like this we are able to build relationships among Jews of all affiliations and their non-Jewish neighbors, solving problems and serving as a resource of information and advice.”
There were offerings from and for everyone. Lederman Caterers featured a fresh raw tuna taco made with homemade, warm laffa bread. Regal Caterers featured a multiple meatball tasting. Cosmopolitan Caterers featured multiple pareve fish tastings. Genadeen Caterers shared their stuffed mushrooms with a non-dairy cream sauce, Wok Tov handed out their famous “Chinese hot dogs,” and Shop Rite featured traditional Jewish fare like gefilte fish.
Desserts were overflowing. The most unique offerings came from an unlikely source. An assisted-living facility, Gurwin Jewish, featured an assortment of finger cakes and cookies. Allison Luckman of Allie’s GFG featured mandel bread, blondies, and mini iced cakes, homemade goodies that are free of gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, and sesame.
No kosher food fair is complete without award-winning spirits. Morad Winery brought four of their best-selling exotic fruit wines, including their latest, mixed berry, made in the Carmel Mountains. Coincidentally, the owner will be serving samples of all the flavors this Thursday at Chateau de Vin in Cedarhurst.
Recanati Wines, also from the Galilee, were highly recommended by tasters surrounding me.
For Chanukah, Shoreline Beverage, located in Huntington, shared an amazing “Hanukkah Pass the Beer.” According to Stuart Haines, proprietor, the brew is: “Specifically made for the holiday with eight varieties of hops, eight different malts, and 8% alcohol.”
The owners of JLoft Event Space, a Southern and Caribbean-style caterer, came to see what trends are popular among the kosher-food-vendors scene. Ralph and his wife, both chefs and event planners, were amazed by the assortment of international offerings. They left contemplating adding sushi like the rolls offered by Sushi Tokyo, Wok Tov’s original “hot dog egg rolls,” and Colbeh’s Persian rice and lentil dishes to their menu options at their location in Brooklyn.
The feeling of fun, food, and feeling full in all good ways was felt by all.