Friday, April 30, 2010
A seasoned pastry chef trained in France who has worked all over the world, Philippe Kaemmerle has been involved in the culinary arts since childhood. He joins CKCA this semester as a lead chef instructor, teaching the Professional Program in Baking & Pastry Arts.
Chef Kaemmerle comes with not only experience in the kitchen, but experience in classrooms and competition halls as well. He has been an instructor for 14 years at The Art Institute of New York, and has also taught at the French Culinary Institute and New York Technical College.
At the age of 15, Chef Kaemmerle began a rigorous training program in Pastry in Strasbourg, a large city in northeastern France near to the village where he grew up, Dambach-la-Ville, a 2000-person populace in the hills of the wine-making Alsace region. At 18, began working on staff at a two Michelin star restaurant also in Strasbourg.
He continued on to work in Sweden, Paris and St. Tropez, before coming to New York in 1986. He has had a distinguished pastry career in New York, having worked in gourmet restaurants such as Aquavit, the 21 Club and Windows on the World. Chef Kaemmerle has also been the recipient of numerous medals from many culinary competitions.
Chef Kaemmerle is intrigued by the burgeoning world of kosher food, and feels that there is a great opportunity for the kosher world to embrace classic French pastry. "There is not such a big concentration right now in kosher pastries, but this is going to get better and better as the education of the students improve," he said.
"It is a learning process and a wonderful challenge to work on the recipe substitutions necessary for kosher baking, but generally it is not very much and substitutions: margarine, rice milk, whipped topping... these all work well," said Chef Kaemmerle.
Chef Kaemmerle, who holds certificates in both regional and national French Pastry, as well in hospitality education, hopes to help CKCA students develop a love of international pastries, and to expose our students to the many kinds of opportunities available around the world for hard-working pastry chefs.
"A pastry chef needs to learn and know how to make all kinds of international pastries. It's a job that is loved, because people love to bake, but it is real work. For people who are willing to work hard, there are lots of opportunities around, not just in restaurants but in hotels, on cruises, and even in competitions. A pastry chef's career can be very rewarding, and the kosher market can only grow in this way."
Posted by kosherliz at 7:02 AM
Thursday, April 22, 2010
CKCA is hosting an awesome Mother's Day Brunch class on Sunday, May 9th. Lynn Kuttner will be teaching, and moms and daughters/sons are invited! This class makes a great Mother's Day gift! Click here for more information and call Jesse to sign up at 718-758-1339. This class will fill up, so sign up asap.
Now, while Lynn's tasting menu and recipes will include a frittata and challah french toast, we recently posted a delectable pancake recipe on kosher.com to help them celebrate Mother's day. Click here for the article, the recipe is below.
Sour Cream Buttermilk Pecan Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs, beaten
1 dash vanilla extract
1/8 cup butter for griddle
1 cup pecan halves
Maple syrup, for serving
1. Combine dry ingredients except for pecans, mix well and set aside.
2. Beat eggs and combine with the wet ingredients.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mix only until incorporated.
4. Heat griddle to 375 degrees F, or moderately high heat, until a drop of water sizzles and disappears within two or three seconds.
5. Brush the griddle lightly with butter, and ladle out pancakes. Stud pancakes with pecans.
6. Flip only when bubbles have appeared on the top.
7. Serve with maple syrup or your favorite topping.
Posted by kosherliz at 6:44 AM
Friday, April 16, 2010
A Winter 2009 graduate of the CKCA Culinary Arts Pro Program, Yonah Leserowitz is also a Fall 2009 graduate of the CKCA Baking & Pastry Program. She is one of the first of CKCA alums to finish both programs.
Growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, not too far from the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, Yonah Leserowitz was always one to help out at home in the kitchen, even if it was just licking the bowl clean. Her innate love of creating delicious dishes with and for her family led her to CKCA.
"Especially during the holidays, everyone always pitched it. Cooking has been something that has been relaxing for me and there is a nice overall feeling of accomplishment when I create something. Especially if you become involved it in, like you yourself are getting your hands messy, you have a wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment when people like what you have made."
Yonah spent two years at Brooklyn College, and briefly worked in an office environment, but she found that she would much rather be in a frenetic, fast-paced kitchen and be exhausted than work in an office and be more rested.
"Today, I had a crazy day at my internship, but I would much rather do something like that, feeling productive, and be exhausted but happy," she said.
Yonah is interning at Three Tablespoons, a small e-bakery located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The bakery was founded by three women, all mothers, who sought to create vegan and organic recipes with as many natural ingredients as possible. The bakery also is mostly nut-free. It sells items on the Internet and also does deliveries privately to various local schools.
Alexandra Zohn, Yonah's boss at the bakery, is one of the three founders, and she previously was an accomplished cake decorator who developed an interest in vegan baking. She spent approximately a year developing recipes before hanging out her e-shingle in 2009. Yonah describes Alexandra as a patient teacher and a talented baker.
"Alexandra has taken on the task of basically trying to eliminate various sorts of allergens from certain baked goods, such as gluten and white flour," Yonah said.
The two best sellers at Three Tablespoons are a chocolate chip cookie, an oat quinoa cookie, and the bakery sells a large variety of muffins as well as delicous brownie truffles.
"She really works hard so that the recipes have a good taste. Her whole thing is to use organic and healthly ingredients as much as possible, including muffins with vegetables and legumes (vegetable and legume purees are included), and she also focuses on portion control," Yonah said.
In terms of what she has learned during her internship so far, Yonah reiterated what many other CKCA alums have said, that "just going to culinary school does not prepare you from what you do to work in a commercial kitchen. You learn the basic skills (in culinary school), but in your job, you learn the applied theories."
"Especially if you're working in a small business like I am, you learn to be concerned about a whole variety of issues you don't think about in school, especially financial issues. You're concerned about getting every last drop out of every ingredient, that you don't waste anything. Especially in my internship, working with organic ingredients, a lot of that stuff is very expensive, so every bit counts," Yonah said.
School also does not prepare you for the hours that one works as a baker, Yonah said. "It's tiring, you're on your feet almost the whole day. And there's no waiting around, like there sometimes is in class. You are constantly preparing your mise en place and I wash dishes like 10 times a day," she said.
For now, Yonah is enjoying her internship and hopes to someday work in a similar environment for another inspiring baker. "I am not a very business-oriented person, so I am not the type of person to open my own business. I would be much happier working for someone else to handle the business side of things.
The Three Tablespoons, "a smart baking company," is certified Kosher Pareve and Pas Yisroel, by The National Kosher Supervision, under Rabbi Aaron Mehlman (212-877-5850). All of the items at The Three Tablespoons are vegan and some are gluten-free. Delicious items can be delivered to your door through this link.
Posted by kosherliz at 2:48 AM
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
It's not easy being cheesy!! CKCA is seeking your awesome cheesecake photos, recipes and ideas, and we will be featuring one incredible recipe in our monthly article on kosher.com.
So fire up the ovens and dust off your springform pans, so we can start preparing perfect cheesecakes just in time for Shavuot. I know this year, Liz will be experimenting with Kolatin kosher gelatin, to see if it will prevent her cheesecake from sinking in the middle!
Paste your favorite recipe in the comments section of this article, or email it (and your awesome photos) to email@example.com. Please send in everything by Monday, April 19th.
We are looking forward to recipe testing your delectable treats!
And by the way, if baking is what you love, why not do it for a living? The new semester of CKCA Pro Baking and Pastry begins April 19th, and it's not too late to start an awesome new career in the pastry arts. Visit http://www.kosherculinaryarts.com or call Jesse Blonder at 718-758-1339 for more information!
Posted by kosherliz at 9:06 AM