Friday, August 28, 2009

My Article in this Weekend's Hamodia

Not only am I a reader and subscriber of Hamodia, the newspaper of Torah Jewry, I finally was published in it. I am so proud to be associated with this fine publication.

Reprinted in full below:

From Page A20, Hamodia Weekend Edition, August 25, 2009

Building Kosher Professional Careers, One Chef at a Time

Brooklyn, NY – The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, which has offered a Professional Training Program in Culinary Arts for the past year, is expanding. In addition to the classic Professional Culinary Arts curriculum, CKCA will also offer a new professional training program in Baking and Pastry Arts, starting right after the high holidays.

Based in Flatbush, above a cookware store owned by Lubavitcher Jews, CKCA initially offered only recreational cooking, cake decorating and garnishing classes. However, many people who attended the classes requested more professional training, so they could learn classic techniques and apply them in kosher environments. Until CKCA was established, the only way a kosher-keeping student could study the culinary arts in the United States was to attend a non-kosher program and rely on classmates to taste the food.

Over the past year, CKCA, still the only kosher professional culinary arts program in the USA, has graduated several dozen individuals from numerous states and abroad. All who have desired internships have been placed, and many have been placed in jobs as well. Several grads are opening their own food-related businesses, and some are working as personal chefs. It is expected that the new bakers, who will graduate around Chanukah, will readily find work as well.

“It’s exciting because, as culinary education opportunities become available in the Jewish world, kosher restaurant quality is sure to improve,” said Liz K., a graduate of the CKCA Pro Program from Bergenfield, N.J.

The new Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Program will be comprised of 150 hours of training and include kitchen and classroom components. The curriculum will include a full orientation to the professional bakeshop, including the principles and science of baking, ingredients, and weights and measures. Students will learn to make breads including quick breads, yeast breads and artisan breads. They will learn the fine art of making pastries, pies and tarts, cake baking and decoration, as well as cookies. Additionally, they will master making meringues, custards, souffles, and mousses, work with dessert sauces and fruit desserts. And, of course, there will be considerable attention paid to chocolate! As in the Professional Culinary Arts Program, there will be kashrut and food safety and sanitation lectures as well as preparation for NYC Dept of Health and ServSafe certifications. Class size is limited to allow maximum individual attention.

The Head Instructor for the Pro Baking Program will be Chef Mark Hellerman. For more information, visit, or call Jesse Blonder, CKCA Director, at 718.758.1339.

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