Surging kosher (and more)

It has been MANY weeks since my last post.  Producing an event with 2,000 guests is all consuming.  And though the event is now behind us, blogging is much like going to the gym – once you lose momentum it is hard to get back in the groove.  But I’ll try…

I have a lot on my mind these days.  The event I worked on was the Kosher Food & Wine Experience (  As I walked the hall at Pier 60 on event night I was truly struck by the quality of offerings.  There were a huge (0ver 300) number of wines on offer, from wine producing countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the country possibly producing the best kosher wine, Israel.  But I have been fortunate enough to witness the high level of wines being made the past 5-10 years.  What really struck me was what is going on in the kosher food industry.  Joining the ranks of high quality restaurants Prime Grill, Le Marais & Tevere, are new cutting edge culinary establishments Basil, Pardes, Pomegranate & the team behind Got Cholent? & Gemstone Catering, amongst others.  Lamb Meatballs with Turnip & Olive.  Seared Tuna Loin over Mango & Jicama salad.  Brandy Frangelico chocolate mousse topped with sugar coated toasted hazelnut.  These were just some of the dishes offered at KFWE2011.  Overall, I think the kosher industry has really turned a corner, and the best is yet to come.

A quick example of the treats kosher foodies have at their disposal is the 5 course whiskey & kosher food pairing taking place tomorrow.

I want to end this post on a somber note.  The world lost an amazing man the other day.  Good friend, and kosher food & wine lover Ilan Tokayer passed away in Northern California.  Since hearing the tragic news yesterday morning I have cried more than I have in many, many years.  Ilan was a bright, optimistic, warm, open, giving, Zionistic young man training to be a winemaker.  He and I talked about a winery we would open in Israel one day.  Details of Ilan’s passing are still unknown to me.  What I do know is that I am absolutely heart-broken.  To say that Ilan will be missed is an understatement.  My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Every day is precious folks…treasure life.