Friday, 3 July 2015

Gefiltefest: sabih, challah and pickle

We had a brilliant time at our favourite Jewish food festival, Gefiltefest, last Sunday. I joined "The Ashkenazi Fightback", a talk chaired by our good friend (and now shareholder!) Felicity Spector, alongside Louis Solley from Jago and Mark of Monty's Deli. 

Conversation centred on the growing influence and rise of Jewish - specifically Ashkenazi - cooking in London restaurants. The talk ranged from our own inspirations, to the Ottolenghi diaspora and the challenges and aims we each bear with our respective projects. 

After that I dashed downstairs to meet Alex who was just setting up in front of a room jam packed with people ready for our demo, which, of course, was focused on bread, eggs and pickles. 

We made, plaited and baked a sweet and light Challah, showed the audience how to knock up their own pickles - and used them to add a bit of zing and crunch to our favourite Tel Aviv street food Sabih (an aubergine and egg pita with spicy zhoug, mango pickle and tahini sauce). 

To finish we used the freshly baked challah to cook up challah French toast - the perfect American-Jewish desert.

Alex and I did a reasonable job of making and plaiting the challah which was no mean feat - a process that Oded, our head pastry chef, usually keeps watchful eye over. The audience were delightful and really involved - which definitely helped.

We proceeded to devour treats outside in the courtyard - from our friends Hansen & Lydersen, new Shakshuka street food stall Shak, and Zest, the restaurant run by Ottolenghi disciple Eran Tibi. Massive thanks to Nicki, Ella and the whole team Gefiltefest for organising such a great celebration. 

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