NYC Kosher Food and Wine Experience 2012 Offers the Latest in Kosher Culinary Achievement

Pomegranate Caterers serving up Lamb Riblets and Honey Mustard Corned Beef at KFWE 2012  (Photo credit: Tzvi Allen Fishman)The sixth annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience, held at Chelsea Pier 60 in New York City on February 13, gave 2,500 individuals the opportunity to become a part of “kosher culinary history.”

The KFWE is the brainchild of the Herzog family, owners of Royal Wine Corp., the leading producer, importer and marketer of kosher wines, liqueurs and spirits in the world. It has become the prime showcase for the best of kosher wines and liqueurs imported from all parts of the world.

The event is also widely attended by the crème de la crème of kosher restaurants, caterers and food marketers who come with the very best of their food creations to ignite the attendee’s palates. Not only were there more than 200 wine and liquor selections from over 40 wine producers at this year’s event, but there were also food selections from over 25 New York/New Jersey area Restaurants and Caterers. In addition, Royal Wine’s new “Spirit Selections” were made available to the Press and Trade.

Gary Landsman, Director of PR at Royal Wine, pointed out that this year’s KFWE was not just bigger, but also more sophisticated than events of previous years. For example, this year’s Experience included a professional mixology section, where artfully created cocktails were crafted from a number of “semi” wines and specialty liqueurs and combined with fresh ingredients.

The wine labels featured at the KFWE included selections from Israel, Chile, California, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and Washington State. Highlighting this year’s show was the Herzog brand’s new single vineyard wine from Mt. Veeder in Napa, California, and produced by Royal Wine at their Oxnard, California, winery.  The Herzog winery creates many award winning labels, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Grigio and Chenin Blanc. The Israeli selections included Binyamina Wines of Israel, who showcased 13 wines including five new selections; the famed Carmel Winery, which is Israel’s largest; Gamla, Barkan/Segal and several smaller boutique wineries such as Alexander, Flam, Psagot, Domaine Netofa, Domaine du Castel and Zion.

Israel’s newest contribution to the food and wine realm is the Morad winery’s fruit wines. The delicious passion fruit and pomegranate wines drew long lines as attendees came back for “second helpings”. Using natural fruits, vegetables and herbs, the Morad Wines are both exotic and unique in their flavor. Morad Winery is in Yokneam, Israel, and is owned by Jacob and Eti Morad along with Ellen and Gershon Bodner of New York. The Bodners met the Morads a number of years ago, and after growing intrigued by the concept of fruit wines, they teamed up and Royal Wines has now become their exclusive distributor.

Goose Bay is a division of one of the largest wine producers in New Zealand. Owned by Philip and Sheryl Jones and marketed to the non kosher consumers under the Spencer Hill label, they produce more than one million bottles a year.

What was Phillip Jones doing at this year’s Kosher Wine Show? In an exclusive JV Interview, Jones says that he has been producing kosher wines for a number of years and loves it. He says that the KFWE offers a great platform with a unique community to try new selections and test market them. Coming in the next few months will be a New Pinot Grigio, Viognier, and Chardonnay.

Phil and Sheryl grew up in California and moved to New Zealand twenty-two years ago. They developed their winery and became one of the top selling labels before meeting the Royal Wine people and deciding to market kosher wines. They are now embarking on a new project, a kosher winery in the Pacific Northwest. They have purchased 95 acres and have planted a vineyard on Underwood Mountain across from Hood River, Oregon.  The Pacifica brand will be introduced in the coming months using grapes from two very famous vineyards, heretofore not available to the kosher market: Pepper Ridge and Seven Hills.

Great wine needs great food, and the two were perfectly combined at this year’s event.

The giant Pomegranate Caterers display was the first to “hit” you when you walked in. A division of the famed Pomegranate Gourmet Kosher Market in Brooklyn, the food sampling widely acclaimed. The Baby Lamb Riblets did not disappoint attendees, and honey mustard corned beef, and three flavors of sausages rounded off the gourmet meats. If one’s Shabbos plans are on hold, they could not miss the “Min Hashamayim” section. Chulent, Kishke, Overnight Potato Kugel and of course a cardiologists delight, chopped and sautéed Liver and Grieven. (Rendered and fried chicken fat pieces.)
Jack’s Gourmet sausages also featured prominently at the event. Labeled “Authentic and Handcrafted Sausages”, the sausages were offered to a kosher-eating audience for the first time. Got Chulent, a division of Gemstone Caterers in Westchester placed samplers in “Chulent Heaven”.

Imagine: six types of Chulent, Texas Smokehouse, Bubby’s Polish, Moroccon lamb, Irish scheppers, French Chaud-lent Cassolet with Duck Confit and Yapsuk with beef. (Cholent comes from the French word Chaud-lent which means hot and slow cooking.)

Famed Le Marais served up ample portions of smoked duck breast and hanger steak salad, Upper West Sides new eatery Meat Me served yummy Peking duck, Manhattan’s Indian Shalom Bombay served Chicken Korma, Tawa Beef, Vegetable Biryani/Pakoras and Upper East Side’s Tevere served its famous Carciofi alla Giudia, Orecchiette alla Bolognese and Mezzi Rigatoni.

New Jersey was amply represented with the top notch ETC Steakhouse of Teaneck and Barbecue Oxtail and the Reserve Sushi and Steakhouse of Lakewood serving seared prime beef. Sushein of Lower Manhattan delivered great sushi rolls and meat wontons, Silverleaf Caterers served Duck Confit and Veal Shepherd’s Pie sand Brooklyn’s
Subsational offered chicken fingers, short ribs and smoked pulled beef. Brooklyn was also represented by a terrific eatery called Bistro 1310 serving short rib sliders and slow roasted beef.

The growing restaurant chain, Carlos and Gabby’s with five locations throughout New York served Burritos, Nachos, Toquitos, BBQ beef sliders and chili wontons, and Avi Glatt of Brooklyn and Manhattan delivered BBQ glazed finger ribs, sushi and Captcha Fish Salad. If you had the yearning for the good old days before refrigeration, you could also sample Biltong (a type of beef jerky) from the heart of South Africa courtesy of Joburg Kosher Foods.

If all of the above did not fill you up, you were graced with a slew of desert and coffee/tea beverages represented by Basil of Crown Heights, Finchi, Guilty Pleasures, Noidue of West Side Manhattan, Wissotsky Tea, My Brother Bobby’s Salsa  and the newest kid on the block, directly from the West Coast to the West Side of Manhattan, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

A star of the show was the amazing line of Waldner’s Liqueur Drinks. Imported from the UK, they have become extremely well known over the last year. The Crème Liqueur Vodka and Vanilla has graced many a Shabbat table. Standing on line at the Waldner’s table was well worth the wait as they were serving up amazing Mojitos made with the Crème Liqueur. Waldner’s introduced at the KFWE their new and long awaited Scotch and Coffee.
The sold out event was 50% larger than last year’s and the food and drink dispensed was almost unlimited. Unlike last year’s event where some food purveyors ran out of selections during the event, this year’s KFWE had an almost inexhaustible supply of both food and wine. Mordy Herzog, Vice President of Royal Wine commented that the goal of the show is not to have more people, as Pier 60 has reached its attendee capacity, but rather to have  a bigger show with more selections.  In every respect, Royal Wine has accomplished this goal.

The date of the date of the 2013 KFWE will be announced shortly, don’t forget to buy your tickets as soon as they become available. You won’t want to miss it!