Monday, December 13, 2010

At Kosher Chefs’ Cook-Off, Forget Foie Gras


Culinary school had its frustrations for Seth Warshaw, the executive chef and owner of Etc. Steakhouse, a kosher restaurant in Teaneck, N.J. He had enrolled in a prestigious cooking school in Manhattan, but it quickly became clear that his religious restrictions rendered many hallmarks of fine French cooking — like rich creams and luscious crustaceans — off-limits.

"I sat there with my container of water, drinking while everybody ate," Mr. Warshaw recalled, sounding a bit pained.

"I didn't eat foie gras. I wanted to. I wanted to take it home and take a bath in it."

Mr. Warshaw, an observant Jew, had been asked to ruminate on this topic because he found himself in an unusual role on Sunday: a judge for the taping of an all-kosher cooking competition called "The Next Great Kosher Chef." It was held at a commercial kitchen in Long Island City, Queens. [...]

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