When Lisa and I were generously invited to LA’s GotKosher Cafe and Catering to explore how they elevated kosher cuisine to the realm of the sublime, we were very intrigued and brought some friends along!
On Sunday, April 28th, Melting Pot Food Tours guests joined us for a very special afternoon with GotKosher owner Alain Cohen.
Alain landed in our City of Angels from Tunisia, by way of Paris, back in the 1980s. When he discovered that kosher cuisine in LA was a product of Eastern European immigrants’ mesh of a few bland ingredients like carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper, he ... well, cringed.
Having grown up with the exciting spice of life (quite literally) native to Tunisia, and the elegance and panache of the kitchens in France, he was inspired to finally put his own unique, exquisite contributions on the table. LA is now very blessed for that!
For us, during a personal tour of their facility, he clearly explained the exact meaning of “kosher” with pure grace and reverence. In their large kitchen, we learned how its design honors traditions of food preparation dating back to over 3,000 years ago.
Here are some key points
Many are not completely well-versed on what defines kosher; here are some key points that Alain shared with us:
Kosher is “(energetically) spiritually clean food”, honoring God’s message “Be holy because I am holy”; by eating only clean animals and those slaughtered humanely.
“Meat/animal flesh” represents death; milk/dairy represents birth/life; it is neither kosher, nor easy to digest, foods that combine life and death in your body at once.
Animals are slaughtered swiftly, with prayer. Limbs are not broken or butchered. The animal does not endure suffering. In accordance, wild game that is hunted by gun or arrow is not kosher.
Only fish that have fins and scales are kosher. Shellfish are ocean bottom-feeders and categorized as unclean animals; they are not kosher.
The souls of animals who offer their life for nourishment
They believe that the souls of animals who offer their life for nourishment, will be elevated in the next life. They are blessed to be uplifted.
In the cafe, we enjoyed a meal of Alain’s delicious tuna sandwich on fresh-baked bread, choice of shoestring fries or salad, and Pretzel Challah European chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
Everything was all off-the-charts delicious! Many of us took home Challah and other amazing deli items for enjoying later ... including this Chef.
One favorite moment of the day was when Alain was asked, “What about Passover? Do you do Passover?”
He shook his head with a smile. “Passover ... is what I just told you (re: complicated kosher food preparation), times 100!”
“So, what I do at Passover, is close the shop, and I go to Hawaii.”
A practice so very worthy of this incredibly lovely man.
We wish nothing but the best to him and his, the best of continued success. We hope to host future events at GotKosher, and you’ll be invited. Please visit them very soon!
Until next time, I remain,
Your Chef and Tour Maestra,