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MasterChef goes Kosher

March 21, 2011 – 7:18 pm8 Comments

Blintzes...Mmm, geshmuk!

By Keren Tuch

After arriving in Melbourne one month ago, stepping into the Astor Theatre on Chapel Street last Tuesday night, I could have fooled myself that I was in NY.  The theatre was packed full of Jews of all shapes and sizes, and mostly of the Orthodox variety.  They had gathered to watch the screening of an original and professional fundraiser event, the Keren Tov Chef’s Classic.

Many a Jew would watch MasterChef on TV and only dream of entering.  But alas, kashrut, or lack thereof, prevented many from even dreaming of entering.  Keren Tov Chef’s Classic allowed eight lucky Jews to finally test out their talents and to be captured on the screen.  Within the kosher world, there were a range of talents and abilities. There were the balabustes who perfect their cooking skills for the weekly Shabbos table, the foodies and the token male who hasn’t stepped inside a kitchen since before he was married and consequently didn’t realize that when you put a scalding hot frying pan on a plastic chopping board that it melts.

Much like the real MasterChef, there were many rounds including the signature dishes (which surprisingly were mostly desserts), blintzes, cholents, and a salad.    I was certainly impressed with many culinary delights that were produced (well, the vegetarian ones at least) and a little inspired to learn what on earth I can do with figs and how to turn onions into a scrumptious dessert.  The four finalists then proceeded for a final cook off where they had to prepare a three-course meal in 90 minutes using certain assigned ingredients.  Tough at the best of times, let alone when there are cameras in your face, sweat dripping down your back, and $2000 prize money at stake.

The winner Miriam Lange , and the runner-up, Danielle Glick, were both very innovative and creative with their cooking. I’ll have to take the judges word for how amazing all the food tasted.  The Melbourne Jewish Community wouldn’t go astray with an extra Kosher restaurant of this calibre.

The production was extremely professional from the video production to the gastronomical abilities to the event on the night.  It was perhaps a little long for my short attention span, but then again, I don’t have the patience for the regular MasterChef.

The money raised went to Keren Tov, which is a little known charity that does big great things.  They support equipment and therapy for those in the community that are in need.  As a physiotherapist who has worked in the community sector, I can understand only too well the importance of this charity.   Health is one thing that we all have in common, and poor health can afflict everyone at some stage.

Although I won’t be appearing in next year’s contest, I would be more than happy to offer my services as a judge.

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