Japan’s Israeli Food Wave — and More Need-to-Know Food News

Israeli food’s been getting an unlikely stage in Japan.

Costco stores have been hosting Israeli food festivals, according to Jewish Business News, with matzo, pita, tahini and wines getting a showcase.

More of the Week’s Top Food News

The Israeli Ministry of Economy’s behind the roadshow; Israeli food exports to Japan topped $75 million last year.

Israeli food love also spread to Vietnam, where festivals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City featured demos by Israeli chefs like Ruthie Russo, who whipped up dishes including majadra, hummus and malabi with pistachios.

Extreme Makeover, Deli Edition

Stage 62 Deli in Naples, Florida, has been rebooted as Stage Deli Fine Foods, complete with a redesigned room – and an updated menu that includes favorite dishes from its namesake Stage Deli in Detroit.


Steve Goldberg, the Florida deli’s owner, is the son of Jack and Harriet Goldberg, the Detroit deli’s founders. Alongside classic pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup and cheese blintzes, he’s added Detroit musts like Jack’s Special, a grilled sandwich of hot corned beef or pastrami, chopped liver, lettuce and Russian dressing on rye, says the Naples Daily News.

Hot Atlanta Chef Gets His Jew On

One of Atlanta’s hottest chefs is also one of its most proudly Jewish restaurateurs.

Eli Kirshtein, proprietor of French-American brasserie The Luminary , tells the Atlanta Jewish Times that he “came to embrace Judaism much later in my life, in my mid-20s, through Birthright. I was consulting at a kosher restaurant in New York, and then I went on Birthright at the tail end of that. It just gives you a different perspective.”

Kirshtein says he finds it especially exciting to change up trad Jewish food. “For Passover, we don’t just do a brisket; we do a barbecue brisket. We use the charoset as a condiment for the brisket. We do gefilte fish fritters as opposed to just boiled gefilte fish. We’re able to change up and modernize a lot of it. I find that some of these ingredients transcend genres.”

Toronto’s Jewish Food Wave

Is Toronto the new capital of rebooted Jewish kitchen classics? This week’s Canadian Jewish News meets some of the chefs behind the new wave, including Danilo and Sandrelle Scimo at Jewish-Italian spot Rione XI; Anthony Rose of Schmaltz Appetizing and Fat Pasha, whose Farshtunken sandwich famously plops three types of herring and raw red onion on a buttered bagel. Deli king Zane Caplansky of Caplansky’s; and Noah Goldberg, whose shakshuka is drawing fans to Peter Pan Bistro.

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward. Check out more of his take on Jewish food here.

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