Zahav Alum To Open Jewish Bakery in Philly — and More Hot Dish

A veteran of Michael Solomonov’s Zahav is striking out on her own with a bakery focused on Jewish breads.

Thirty-year-old chef Tova du Plessis, who’s been a line cook at Zahav and worked the kitchens in a gamut of Philadelphia hotspots, will open the Jewish-baked-goods-focused Essen Bakery next month on Passyunk Avenue, home to a vibrant indie-restaurant strip.

Virtually everything on the menu is kosher, du Plessis told PhillyVoice, including rye bread and non-dairy challah, babkas, rugelach, traditional cakes and cheesecakes and two daily sandwich options.

Also in Philly: a Jewish-Korean Tryst

Jewish and Korean food had a one-night stand last week.

Matt Rodbard and Deuki Hong, authors of the new Koreatown: A Cookbook, stopped in town for a team-up with chef Yehuda Sichel and his crew at Abe Fisher, reports

“Well, we do both specialize in short ribs,” joked Sichel, whose menu at Abe Fisher also includes pickled mackerel and corned pork belly.Hot in Cleveland

Kantina, a new kosher eatery, is “raising the bar” for kosher food in C-Town, says ClevelandScene.

Israeli-born chef Ran Saggi is earning raves for salads such as apple and beet with soy-honey vinaigrette, quinoa and arugula with balsamic dressing, a mountainous, dairy-free Cobb salad — and killer falafel. Kantina’s located on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, and open to the public.

Slope-Side Kosher in Park City

It’s all downhill for Prime at Canyons, the new reboot of a Utah kosher restaurant.

That’s because the restaurant is aimed at ski bunnies in upscale Park City, making it the only kosher “slope-side” restaurant in the land.

Formery known as Bistro at Canyons, the resto’s been taken over by New York’s Prime Grill group. High-end wines and kosher meat are the focus.

“When people come down from skiing, all they want to do is have a piece of meat,” Prime owner Joey Allaham told JTA. “I never saw such excitement in people’s faces to see food. They were used to surviving on tuna fish sandwiches and protein bars.”

Crain’s Looks at Kosher

Crain’s New York Business took a cold-hard-cash look at the Big Apple’s kosher industry this week.

Keeping restaurants kosher is big business, the magazine reported; there are more than 300 kosher restaurants in New York, and someone has to certify, oversee and monitor them. The Orthodox Union alone generates an estimated $80 million in annual revenue from kosher certification and other services, Crain’s said.

Wages for mashgiachs, paid by the restaurants, begin at $18 an hour. That means at least an extra $100,000 a year in labor costs.

“Our marketing budget goes to pay for meat, having a sign on our door saying we are certified by OK, and the mashgiach,” one restaurant owner told Crain’s.

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.

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