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Eat, Drink + Think

How To Help Chop Hunger

Two years ago I had the pleasure of judging the Chop Hunger cooking competition, an annual event that raises money for the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network. The culinary contest is great fun, complete with celebrity chefs and mystery ingredients a la the Food Network’s popular cooking show “Chopped.”

The competition is taking place once again, on Tuesday, September 12, at the Lincoln Square Synagogue — and tickets are still available.

The event is hosted by the charismatic Avi Levy of “Avi’s Kosher Kitchen” and the evening’s MC is the delightful Aussie Gourmet herself, Naomi Nachman.

I’m not judging Chop Hunger this year, but “Chopped” winner Katsuji Tanabe, of Mexikosher, is, along with two other chefs: Alex Reznik of Bedford Kitchen & Wine Bar and Joshua Massin of Nobo Wine and Grill.

Masbia is an organization that feeds New York’s needy out of three locations in Brooklyn and Queens, each decorated and arranged to look and feel like a restaurant — a way of offering a dignified dining experience.

The Chop Hunger competition charges its three contestant chefs with the task of creating a dish from a selection of humble ingredients — the sorts of food that Masbia chef Ruben Diaz works with daily. The year I judged, the results were amazing, and I’m sure they will be again on Tuesday. Go if you can.

Liza Schoenfein is the food editor of the Forward. Contact her at schoenfein@forward.com or on Twitter, @LifeDeathDinner

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