It’s that time of year again — it’s time for the Forward Food Awards, where we celebrate food as an essential part of Jewish life and ask you, our readers, to pick their favorite places to fress.
The nominees were chosen by Forward staff, but the choice of winners is entirely up to our readers.
Here are your nominees for Best Jew-ish Chef:
@busyinbrooklyn, alias Chanie Apfelbaum, has 41,000 Instagram followers. Her cookbook, Millennial Kosher, sold like gangbusters on Amazon. She exemplifies a new kind of Orthodox chef, one who isn’t afraid to embrace her Jewishness, while retaining her social media savvy and keeping her food consistently delicious, modern and camera-ready. She’s not just a chef of today. She’s a chef of the future.
If you don’t know who Molly Yeh is, you must have taken a break from being part of the national conversation for a bit, but don’t worry. This Jewish-Chinese American chef who just scored a Food Network show is about to be everywhere. She’s about to bring Jewish cuisine to the TV screen, her blog mynameisyeh, with its comfortable, sparkle-friendly take on foods, is an internet favorite, and her new book on yogurt is set to make people rethink their dairy semi-solids.
Did Michael Solomonov change the face of Israeli cooking? Well, is hummus not a household name now? Solomonov’s landmark Philly eatery Zahav and his James Beard Best Chef award make him one of the most recognizable Jewish chefs out there right now. His cookbooks have been feted by all, and his journey from drug addict to celebrity chef is an inspiring one. When his new creation, Israeli Soul, is released, watch out. The food world may never be the same.
Alon Shaya understands Middle Eastern cuisine, perhaps better than anyone. A trip to his new restaurants Saba and Safta, named for grandparents, is more than enough evidence of that. After publishing Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel, a cookbook cum autobiography chock full of the recipes that made him the culinary inspiration he is, Shaya declared his loyalty to various social justice movements and made himself cooking’s new socially conscious heir apparent.
This was a banner year for Julia Turshen. Her new website, Equity At The Table, launched, promising to create diversity and inclusivity in the food industry by way of a public listing of professional women looking to make the connections they are often not considered for. Her cookbook “Feed The Resistance,” about nourishing each other in the age of Trump, was named Eater’s Best cookbook of 2017. Her newest cookbook, Now & Again, is a guide on what to do with all those tricky leftovers. This queer Jewish chef is making waves all over the food industry and she’s[ nowhere near done.