I was really excited to participate in Jewish Food Project in Montreal, an initiative of Federation CJA’s young adult division, YAD Montreal. It is a pop-up cooking school which ran for 3 weeks in March and featured 15 demonstrations and hands-on workshops about different Jewish cuisines.
It brought together all kinds of people from different countries and backgrounds, all united at one table, exploring variety of Jewish cuisine, from Morocco to Argentina, from healthy healing foods to sweet modern deserts.
I was the official paparazzi for the project, so I got to see it all, and taste some. (to my surprise, there was more gluten free than I expected).
I want to mention few presenters I met that made my mouth water and satisfied my picky paleo body.
First few days of workshops kinda brought me down, as everything that was cooked and eaten had insane amounts of gluten, white flour, refined sugar, etc. But just as I started to feel depressed and lonely, this girl showed up, Chanie Apfelbaum of Busy in Brooklyn.
Chanie led a “Day in the Life of a Jewish Food Blogger” presentation. Few minutes in, she said magic words like “paleo” and “gluten free”, and “mostly no dairy”, I almost cried from happiness.
She made fresh salad with grapefruit, oranges, spring lettuce mix, beets, pomegranate and peanuts. So simple, but such a mouth watering combination.
A beautiful beet and blood orange layered salad sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
I was a really happy photographer that night!
My next favourite workshop was “Catch of the Day” with Ben Yunis.
Ben Yunis, a classically-trained chef who has worked in some of New York City’s finest kitchens, lead a small, hands-on workshop about the basics of cooking with fish. Participants learned how to filet, garnish, and serve their own crowd-pleasing catch.
I watched the presentation on how to fillet a fish, but I don’t think will be able to repeat it. Fish was simply seasoned with salt and pepper and fried. In all that simplicity, it ended up being one of the tastiest seafood meals I ever had. I think Ben Yunis has a way of doing things, that everything just tastes better!
Next I met Clean Eating Goddess. Her story is inspiring and honest. She turned her life around following hers and her mother’s health challenges. She is gluten free, dairy free, avoids processed foods and knows a whole lot about eating clean and healing with foods.
She showed how to make baked falafel bowl, here is the link to her recipe. I was surprised how easy it is to make, so now its my new favourite go to weeknight dinner for the husband.
One of the last workshops was “The Sweet Side: Modern Jewish Desserts”. Surprisingly she made two gluten-free deserts and I could not get enough of the sweetness.
Allison Sklar is a professional pâtissière and baker.
Gluten Free Macaroons made out of coconut shreds, egg whites and tons of sugar. I allowed myself about 4 or 5 macaroons and now I am going on a 1 month sugar detox! But they were good!!
And the last I have to mention is “Living Jewishly and Eating Gluten-Free”. It was lead by yours truly Olya Krasavina of Gluten Free in Montreal and professional pastry chef Mara Frankel. Together we made gluten free Challah(recipe here) and tons of my favourite muffins.
I love Mara, she is an amazing chef and she also makes cooking fun!
#JewishFoodProject was so much fun!! I already miss it.
Thank you Ksenia Prints of “At the immigrants table” for being the best and awesomest and making the Jewish Food Project happen.