Thursday, December 6, 2012

CKCA Debuts First Ever Women-Only Professional Program

This winter, during a new semester of the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts professional program, a new all-womens evening section will be offered, in addition to an all-mens evening section, and a co-educational daytime program. These course offerings of non-mixed gender courses are offered in response to requests from students. 

The all-womens class will be offered on Sunday and Monday evenings, 6:30pm to 10:30pm, from January 13 to June 10, 2013. For the full schedule of professional courses, visit this link.

The women's Pro class will offer the same high-quality 152-hour professional program in culinary training in a Glatt-kosher environment that CKCA is famous for. The course offers hands-on training in professional culinary skills and techniques, as well as an optional 8-hour certificate course in food safety and sanitation, at no additional charge. Upon completion of the professional program, students have the option to continue their training with an internship in a professional food service environment, such as restaurants, catering companies, and other institutional food service locations like schools and homes for the aged or developmentally disabled. 

The goals of the program are to:

*Orient the student to the professional kosher culinary environment and teach the student to operate within that environment in a safe, efficient, and skillful manner

*Hone the student’s understanding and practice of fundamental culinary technique

*Develop in the student an understanding of flavor and taste and an appreciation for quality ingredients

*Facilitate the student’s transition in to the working world by providing both career counseling and an opportunity for networking.

For more information, call CKCA Director Jesse Blonder at 718-758-1339. For more 
information, visit here:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Date Night Couples Competition 12/01/12; Recap

Last night was the first Date Night Couples Competition of our Saturday night cooking class season and boy did it kick off with a bang! The class has consistently been our most popular and continues to be a very in demand option for private parties as well.

For those of you who have seen the show Chopped, the concept of Couples Competition is very similar. With 90 minutes on the clock, couples race to create one extraordinary entree using nothing but their cooking skills, culinary know-how, and a basket of secret ingredients. No recipes, no cookbooks, no kidding! And of course we always round out the night with drinks, snacks, and music!

Each plate is then judged by our chef on taste, presentation, and creativity. The winner receives a gift certificate towards classes for $75!

This week, the basket included:

Chicken breast
Basmati Rice
Butternut squash
Star anise

Couple #1 by far had the most colorful plate. Their balsamic marinated and grilled chicken breast was very tasty as well.

Couple #2 made a very delicious chicken fajita inspired entree over a supremely flavorful basmati rice.

Couple #3 coated their chicken in a combination of crushed pistachios, sliced almonds, and Japanese bread crumbs for some seriously delicious crunch.

Couple #4 won the award for creativity with what they called a descontructed Bibimbap. Their plating was impressive too; rice served in the shape a heart and carrots carved in to the shape of mini sprockets. The fried egg on top certainly didn't illicit any complaints from the judges either!

Couple #5 grilled their chicken on skewers and garnished with a combination of black and white sesame seeds and flax seeds. They won the award for best use of the star anise with a truly tasty anise infused butternut squash puree.

Couple #6 had the highest score in the category of taste. Their rice pilaf was simple but right on the money. The grilled vegetables were at that perfect point of being crunchy but cooked through, impressive grill marks as well. The chicken, breaded, fried and served on a brush stroke of squash puree was lovely. Let it be known that they were also the best trash-talkers we've had to date! Nonetheless, their plate spoke for itself and THEY WERE PRONOUNCED THE WINNER!

Another great night cooking and competing!

The next Date Night Culinary Competition will be held on Saturday, December 29, 2012 from 8 - 10:30 pm. We hope to see you then!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CKCA Presents Kosherfest's Fifth Annual Culinary Competition!

The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts is excited to present the fifth annual Kosherfest Chef’s Competition, taking place at the Kosherfest Trade Show. Kosherfest will be hosted November 13th and 14th at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, in Secaucus, NJ. The event will take place on the second day of the show: Wednesday, November 14, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Three professional chefs will compete live for a cash prize. Chefs will be presented with a basket of secret ingredients drawn from the Mediterranean palate and given 45 minutes to prepare three portions of one course featuring the secret ingredients. Judges from the culinary industry will grade each competitors dish based on taste, creativity, and presentation. The highest score will determine the winner. The first prize winner will receive $1,000.

Kobe Weiner, Executive Chef Kosher Foods Fairway Markets

Ari White, Executive Chef & Owner Gemstone Catering

Alexandre Petard, Executive Chef Ladino Restaurant


Chef Philippe Kaemmerle, Pastry Chef, The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts
Jack Silberstein, Owner, Jack’s Gourmet Sausages
Chef Seth Warshaw, Executive Chef, ETC Steakhouse, Winner Kosherfest Culinary Competition 2011
Paula Shoyer, Author, The Kosher Baker

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall's Culinary Date Nights Begin October 15th!

Work together with that special someone to create a delicious, four-course, upscale dinner. Date night themes will alternate between Fall Feast and Couples Competition, and both are equally delicious and a great evening out! (Pssssst! Culinary Date Nights also make a great gift!)

Date Night, Couples Competition
Tuesday, October 15th
Motzei Shabbos, November 10th
Motzei Shabbos, December 1st

Date Night, Fall Feast
Motzei Shabbos, November 17, 2012
Motzei Shabbos, November 24, 2012

All date night are scheduled for:
8:00pm - 10:30pm
$175 per couple

  To register,  call 718.758.1339!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kosher Cooking Classes in Manhattan This Summer!

The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts is pleased to announce our summer class series' in Manhattan this summer! Join us for Culinary Boot Camp, Advanced Pastry Boot Camp, Teen Cooking Camp, and our ever popular Date Nights! All classes will conveniently take place at The Ramaz School on the Upper East Side. Ramaz is located at 114 E. 85th Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues. 

Selected Class Listings:

Baking Bootcamp Plus is a full two-week course covering classic French pastry, danish & croissant, cake, cookie, and cupcake decoration, french macarons, chocolate and more. The class will explore both dairy and pareve desserts. (Monday, July 16 - Thursday, July 26th, 10am to 2pm): Click here for the full description!

Culinary Bootcamp is five Tuesday nights beginning July 24th, and topics will include intense, valuable lessons on knife skills, principles and application of all the major cooking methods, how to cook poultry, meat & fish, plating & presentation, and more. Click here for the full description! 

Culinary Bootcamp Plus is a full two-week course covering knife skills, principles and application of all the major cooking methods, as well as how to cook poultry, meat and fish, plating and presentation, and more. (Monday, August 13 - Thursday, August 23, 10am to 2pm). Click here for the full description!

Teens Cooking Camp is a week-long course (August 6th - August 10th, 10am-1pm) in which teens take over the kitchen in this five-day hands-on, intensive series on cooking & baking. Taught by our professionally trained chefs in a fully commercial kitchen, each action packed day will be technique and skill driven and culminate in a delicious meal. Students will become adept in making Sunday brunch, pasta from scratch, a full meal to remember, an will take place in an "Iron Chef" style culinary competition. Click here for the full description!

Date Night cooking classes will also take place throughout the summer at this location as well as at our location in Brooklyn.

We encourage you to check back at our site,, for all updated class information! For all additional details and questions, please call Jesse Blonder at 718-758-1339.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CKCA Grad Avi Roth to Open Gotham Burger Co. in Teaneck, NJ

A graduate of the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts' first professional culinary arts certificate program, Avi Roth (Summer '08) is hard at work prepping for the opening of his first restaurant. Gotham Burger Co., a "kosher version of Shake Shack," will be opening in Teaneck, NJ within the next month. The restaurant will open on Teaneck's growing "restaurant row", at the bustling corner of Queen Anne Road and West Englewood Avenue, in the space that formerly housed Burgers Bar.

In addition to traditional restaurant design updates, Avi will be bringing the 21st century into his table service, which will feature iPad ordering with interactive games for kids at every table.

Avi reports that his vision for Gotham Burger Co. includes a concentration on flavor profiles, a higher quality of meats, at an affordable price with good service. "I want people to have a fine dining experience at a reasonable price," he said. In addition, the roadside burger joint menu will have lots of kid-friendly fare.

Avi is working with one partner and several investors to open the restaurant and is currently overseeing renovations and solidifying his kitchen staff. In the photo above, he shows CKCA Director Jesse Blonder around the restaurant. As CKCA is a close partner with this venture, Avi will be offering a 10% discount to all CKCA grads who visit Gotham once it opens. He also will be providing word of the day specials once he gets up and running, and he looks forward to seeing lots of CKCA grads past and present become repeat customers.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Recipe: Pappa al Pomodoro

Here's a fantastic recipe for a hearty tomato soup that we cooked last year in the Master Class in Italian Cuisine. We'll be doing the class again this year with a whole new menu of outstanding, authentic Italian specialties.

Master Class in Italian Cuisine
January 23 - 26
10 am - 2 pm
$475 for the whole week / $150 per day

PAPPA AL POMODORO (Tomato bread soup)

- 2 lb tomato puree, canned

- 1 lb stale crusty bread

- 1 sliced red onion

- 1 t crushed red chili pepper flakes

- 4 crushed cloves of garlic

- Fresh basil

- 4 T extra virgin olive oil

- 4 fresh tomatoes, diced

- Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a sauce pan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the chili pepper and the garlic. Add the tomato puree and bring to a boil. Add the bread in small pieces, the fresh tomatoes, and some water or stock if it is too dry. Let cook till the bread is completely soft, about 20 minutes. Puree briefly with an immersion or regular blender. Tear the basil and add sprinkle on top. Remove from the heat and serve hot or warm with some basil oil (recipe below) on top

OLIO AL BASILICO (Basil flavored extra virgin olive oil)

- 16 fl oz. extra virgin olive oil - 50 leaves fresh basil, cleaned - 1 tsp course sea salt

In a blender, process the oil with the basil and the salt. Add more oil if necessary. Put through a sieve. Pour in a glas bottle or jar and preserve in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Center for Kosher Culinary Arts Launches New and Improved Website!

The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts is proud to unveil the newest version of its website, visible at The new, fully-searchable site includes all of CKCA's classic recipes, as well as updated class schedules, announcements, chef instructor bios and special descriptions of our most exciting master classes. Updates to our popular date nights and other recreational classes can be found there as well.

Check out the new site today!