a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Gefilteria Launch Party

Posted on: March 9, 2012

This was originally posted on Jewcy.com

Last Pesach, I was invited to my first seder at the home of one of The Gefilteria’s founders, Liz Alpern, and once again I came face-to-face with gefilte fish. It looked different than the stuff in the jar, but I was still unsure of the piece of food on my plate. After the first bite, however, I was sold. I pestered Liz for over a year to make me more gefilte fish. Little did I know that she was cooking up something more than just gefilte—she and Jackie Lilinshtein and Jeffery Yoskowitz of Pork Memoirs were taking Ashkenazi food to the next level with The Gefilteria.

The Gefilteria will host its Launch Party at Smooch in Brooklyn on Sunday. I talked with the co-founders about Ashkenazi soul food and Kvass, the Jewish kombucha.

How did the three of you get together?

This idea started as a concept, a way to re-imagine Jewish Ashkenazi food which came to me at the Hazon food conference. I {JY}mentioned it to Liz and she was really excited. We both work in the food world in various ways. We started to brainstorm ideas about Ashkenazi food and ways to make it in a way that was in-line with our values: sustainably sourced, responsible, slow comfort food.

Jackie and I{JY} were “deli friends”—whenever we would meet up in New York we’d meet at the original 2nd Ave Deli. After a while we realized that we needed to bring in Jackie’s business-sense as well as her family history of cooking these types of foods into the project. Jackie’s parents are from Russia and she grew up in Brighton Beach eating this kind of food daily; we needed her. The three of us got together with the idea of the “carp in the bathtub concept”—a philosophy of freshness and good quality ingredients that the carp in the bathtub represents.

Read the rest on Jewcy.com

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