Thursday, November 17, 2011

CKCA's Kosherfest Culinary Competition

The lightbulbs flashed as boneless duck breasts sizzled in the pan, while three kosher chef owners competed in Kosherfest's CKCA Culinary Competition, which was sponsored by Jack's Gourmet.

Craig Solomon of Ariel's of Englewood, Moshe Wendel of Pardes in Brooklyn, and Seth Warshaw of etc Steakhouse squared off in this secret ingredient challenge, with only forty-five minutes to stake their claim to the $1,000 cash prize.

The crowd squeezed into a room too small for 300 people, and craned their necks as they tried to get glimpses of the three chefs scurrying back and forth from their prep stations to their cooktops.

Moderated by CKCA Dean of Student Affairs Chef Avram Wiseman, the spectators were treated to a running commmentary of the ingredients being used and their uses. Chef Avram also reported on the cooking styles and tools being used as well as any particular techniques that were particularly interesting.

When time was called after forty-five minutes, three plates with a main course of duck breast were served to the three judges, who were CKCA Head Pastry Chef Instructor Philippe Kaemmerle, Jack's Gourmet's Jack Silberstein, and Kosher Scene blogger Chaim Szmidt.

As the judges tabulated the score, the audience held its collective breath. While all three chefs had very high scores and the numbers were very close, the winner was announced as Chef Seth Warshaw of Etc Steakhouse of Teaneck, New Jersey.

CKCA would like to thank Kosherfest and Jack's Gourmet for their help in making this event a reality. And once again, a hearty congratulations to our competitors, whose restaurants are all real winners: Chef Moshe Wendel of Pardes in Brooklyn, Chef Craig Solomon of Ariel's of Englewood, and of course to Chef Seth Warshaw, of Etc Steakhouse in Teaneck, NJ.

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