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Top Pastry Chef Rachel Binder’s Latke Secrets

We pried potato pancake preferences from a few of our favorite chefs around the country — and compiled them into a tell-all to help you make the best latkes of your life.

Image by Anya Ulinich

Rachel Binder

Pastry chef formerly of Maialino, Savoy and Union Square Cafe, whose holiday treats are sold at Padoca Bakery, New York

Secret ingredient?
The secret is grating the potatoes by hand.

Type of oil used for frying?
Vegetable oil. The trick is to put a piece of carrot in the oil to prevent splattering.

What’s the one thing home cooks should not do?
I think the most common mistake is adding too many ingredients. Keep it simple.

Preferred potato?
Yukon Gold, but I do love sweet potato latkes.

Applesauce, sour cream or other?

Main components of your recipe?
Potatoes, eggs, salt and pepper.

Best latkes you ever had?
My cousin Sue made the best potato latkes I’ve ever had.

More Chefs’ Latke Secrets

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward. Contact him at




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