Even though it was raining, and the last day of the festival, it was no less glamourous then the days prior. Our favorite things continued…
In 1800, there were more Jews in Charleston, SC than in any other American city. Today, less than 1% of the South’s population is Jewish but their influence on Southern foods is noteworthy. Eli Kirshtein (GA) and Alon Shaya (LA) taught us how Southern Jews have embraced, avoided and adapted Southern food traditions. This session was by far one of the most interesting we’ve been to in the past 2 years, and also the most delicious.
Chef Alon Shaya created this masterpiece dish for us to try and had this to say: “In the North, it’s easy, but in the South, how do you adapt? How do you make food Southern friendly but keep to your faith?” Three years ago at Domenica, Alon’s restaurant in New Orleans, they decided to do their version of a Passover seder. The first year they did 60 seatings, the second 150 and by the third year they were up to 400. “When a mother from New York calls me to say her son is in his first year at Tulane, and she wants to fly down and have Passover dinner with him at the restaurant, how can I say no? It’s these types of calls that keep me doing it every year.” The New York Times and the Times-Picayune covered the seder and his modern, somewhat shocking take on the meal. For example, Branzino in place of gefilte fish with a quinoa tabouleh, a beautiful seder plate featuring fresh charoset, freshly grated ginger, and of course, a giant matzoh ball.
Chef Eli Kirshtein’s Southern take on the modern Southern seder includes Barbecue brisket and fried gefilte fish fritters.
Cured meats, delicious cheeses and wonderful wine rounded out this seminar hosted by Ian Mendelsohn (GA) and Kevin Ouzts (GA). Kevin even cut up the pig’s head on display as a centerpiece for all to try.
“Charcuterie has been happening since the Roman empire.” – Ian Mendelsohn
Good tip: If you’re lactose intolerant, cheeses aged over 4 months have less lactose in it.
…and off to the tents one last time.
New additions to “The Whole Pig” section of the tents… incredible.
*Full disclosure: We received media passes to attend the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival