If you tuned in to Wednesday night’s premier of “Kocktails With Khloe” on the FYI network, you may have noticed that Khloe Kardashian’s chef and sidekick, Sharone Hakman, is a hottie who knows his way around the kitchen.
What you may not know is that he is a Los Angeles based former Orthodox yeshiva-boy-turned-financial-planner-turned-celebrity-chef. The U.S.-born grandson of Holocaust survivors from Poland and son of Israelis spent every summer in Israel when he was growing up. Entering, and quickly exiting, the world of financial planning, Hakman took a leave of absence from work in 2009 to pursue a culinary apprenticeship in Italy and Israel.
Before long, Hakman joined — and survived — Gordon Ramsey’s “Master Chef” cooking gameshow, started his own and built up a portfolio of celebrity clientele and television appearances.
“I had my moments when I was wearing tefillin, and I had my moments when I was eating bacon cheeseburgers,” he told the Jewish Journal in 2013.
Two hours away from the premier of #kocktailswithkhloe on @fyi Couldn’t be more proud of this girl @khloekardashian for putting it all out there and being such a positive source of energy. This show is full of laughs, good vibes and of course food + kocktails made by yours truly. Tune in tonight at 10Pst/9c - directv 266, dish 119, TWC 134, fios 129
The father of two credits someone close to him for his culinary inspiration, his bubbe. “She was that bubbe who never left the kitchen,” he told the Journal. “Shabbat was always special. There was something about my grandmother making the gefilte fish from scratch, and smelling the matzah ball soup, and feeling that comfort.”
That comfort is what he believes is missing from today’s dining experience. “So many restaurants are cutting edge, but I never want to come back,” he said. “What’s that X-factor as to why? It all comes down to comfort. It’s what you want to come back to. That was the best lesson my grandmother taught me.”
“Kocktails With Khloe” is a konfusing and bizarre 22 minutes of heavily edited conversation and sexually degrading games of “Which celebrity would you sleep with?” over food and cocktails prepared by Hakman. Kardashian’s first guests included sister and supermodel Kendall Jenner, “Real Housewife” Brandi Glanville, comedian Kym Whitley and actress Aisha Tyler. The ladies eyeballed Hakman in what can only be described as sexual harassment, but he laughed it off in stride. Later in the episode Snoop Dogg arrives with absolutely no explanation.
There’s no saying how long the show will last, but this is one step up in Hakman’s ascent to celebrity chefdom.
But no worries, he still remembers where he came from. What is Hakman’s favorite food? “Safta’s sufganiyot. She makes them from scratch and fries them à la minute. They are dangerous.”
A quick browse on Hakman’s Instagram page and its clear he is a family man who loves good barbecue!
Hakman took a moment to pose for some photos on set with guests supermodel Kendall Jenner and rapper Snoop Dogg.
The married father of two dotes on his wife and two adorable little boys.
And most importantly, he knows that the best foods in life come in a wrapper. Two thumbs up from us.
Meet the Former Yeshiva Boy Spicing Things Up on 'Kocktails With Khloe'
Maia Efrem is the former research editor and assistant to the editor and was also responsible for the Forward’s annual Salary Survey. Previously she served as the editor of Blognik Beat, a blog written by students who emigrated from or have ties to the Former Soviet Union. Maia is a graduate of Hunter College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.