Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen

The food section in the Wednesday papers get me through the rest of the week. Two weeks ago I saw an ad for a tasting event called “Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen.” Boston’s top chefs put their own spin on classic Jewish dishes. For $36 we could taste all of their creations, plus got to meet the chefs themselves. I went with two of my Jewish friends who guided me throughout the event. Here are some of the highlights from the night!

Area 4’s Pastry Chef, Katie Kimble switches a classic Hamantaschen with this honey cookie inspired Pop Tart. The cookie was filled with raspberry jam and then covered with a sesame spread. The sesame gave the cookie a rich and nutty flavor with a slightly grainy texture. But get this, Area 4 is working on their very own food truck! Chef Michael Leviton tells us that the unnamed food truck will be selling Katie’s pastries in the morning and crispy pizzas in the afternoons. I’m a huge fan of their pizzas so I’ll definitely be tracking them down.

Erwin Ramos, CEO, Co-Owner and Executive Chef of the Ole Restaurant Group served a classic vanilla Tres Leches Cake. Although not Jewish, it was one of the best desserts we had all night. It was served cold with a meringue and carmel sauce to finnish. This delicate cake was slightly sweet, light, airy and spongey. It kept us going back for more.

Chef Jim Solomon is the brains behind this dish. I met him last year at his pie stall at the Boston’s Local Food Festival. I liked him then, but I liked him even more after I tasted this dish. My jewish friend told me it reminded her of Shabbat dinners, warming, cozy and comforting. The creamy and buttery cornmeal porridge was served alongside the succulent braised lamb shank. Chef Solomon achieves these complex and rich flavors with herbs, Kalamata and green Sicilian olives and finishes the dish with a winter squash stew.

The first time I had matzo ball soup was when my tennis coach invited me to a family passover dinner. I didn’t expect to like it so much and before I knew it, I was having my third serving. This version of matzo ball soup was anything but traditional. First of all, the foie gras matzo balls had a chewier consistency unlike the classic soft and light matzo balls. Chef Mark Goldberg adds truffle oil to the dish which went well with the aromatic dark mushroom broth.

Oh my Knish. I can’t believe I had never had it before. I have to thank Chef Mark Gaudet for this amazing bite-size treat. Chef Mark grew up in Texas which explains why his Pastrami Knish was so rich, buttery and packed with flavors. My friend compares it to a Jewish beef wellington. I would have grabbed a handful and snuck it in my back but there were people watching. The creamy and slightly spicy sauce on top really hit the spot. Hands down the best thing I had all night.

Good thing this is an annual event because I’m already counting down the days for next year. If there are any Bubbies out there looking to adopt, please contact me.

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