Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spotlight on CKCA Graduate Chanie Apfelbaum of Busy in Brooklyn

Chanie with Meredith Vieira of The Meredith Vieira Show on NBC 

Working simultaneously as a food blogger, recipe developer and brand ambassador, Chanie Apfelbaum truly embodies the Busy in Brooklyn spirit for which her popular blog is named. We managed to grab a few minutes out of her busy day to chat about her past, present and future in the world of kosher food.

Number of years working in the (kosher) food business.

What was your first job in the food business?
After starting my blog, my first paid gig was a cooking demonstration.

In one sentence, describe what you do in your current position.
I write about food on my blog and for publications. I give cooking demonstrations and work as a brand ambassador, developing recipes for companies. 

Best way to describe how your CKCA training in culinary has helped to get you to where you are now.
Learning proper techniques and opening my palate to new foods that helped me to expand my culinary horizons. 

Describe the biggest mistake you ever made on the job.
That would have to be when I mispronounced "ghee" on a radio show.

Describe the greatest accomplishment of your career so far.
Being on the cover of The Wall Street Journal was it for me. I never imagined I would make it that far. 

What do you find most rewarding about the work you do?
When people make my recipes at home and enjoy them. 

What do you find most challenging?  
When my recipes/ideas are copied without credit. It's a challenge a lot of bloggers have to face because you can't really copyright a recipe. 

Chanie at The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts

What is the most important lesson you ever learned on the job?
Go with the flow. I recently did a cooking demonstration where the electricity kept shorting so my food wasn't cooking. Instead of getting nervous, I took the time to engage with the audience. It was one of the most successful events I've ever done. 

What is the most bizarre thing that ever happened to you on the job?
I was on vacation in Miami and I posted a photo of something I was eating at a restaurant. Someone commented, "I'm sitting right next to you!" 

What are you passions outside of cooking / baking?
I enjoy crafting, crocheting, scrapbooking and photography.

What do you want to be known for in the culinary world?
Modernizing traditional Jewish foods in a fun and healthy way.

Chanie is part of an ad campaign for Snapple.
Describe the best meal you ever had.
One of the best restaurant meals I've ever had was at Tierra Sur at the Herzog Winery in Oxnard, California. It's a good thing I use Instagram so I can actually tell you what I ate! Organic chicken with English peas and herbed carrot butter risotto, rib eye with sautéed kale and béarnaise sauce, Maltagliata pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes, summer truffle and veal sausage, and a medley of chanterelle, shiitake and oyster mushrooms on Challah bread with sous vide eggs and truffle-chive vinaigrette. The Mexican chocolate cake with frozen caramel custard was insane. 

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in becoming a chef? 
Don't allow yourself to get burnt out. The secret ingredient is love. If you're not feeling it, your food will suffer. 

How do you think kosher food will change over the next 5 years? 10 years? Due to modern cooking techniques and molecular gastronomy, I think mixing milk and meat will become less of a challenge. I'm looking forward to some good quality non-dairy cheese products as well as soy-based meat alternatives that will taste like the real thing. 

Complete the following sentences, 
“the best product to ever go kosher was: “bacon (beef/lamb obviously)”
“I wish _____ was kosher:  Fish sauce. It adds depth to lots of Asian dishes”

Favorite food to eat? Sriracha
Favorite food to cook? Anything Middle Eastern
Favorite Cookbook? Aromas of Aleppo, by Michael Joseph Cohen and Poopa Dweck
Favorite Cooking Show / Celeb Chef? Chopped
Favorite kitchen tool? My Julienne peeler

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