Celebrity chefs share their Rosh Hashanah recipes

Clockwise from top left: Lior Lev Sercarz, Itta Werdiger Roth, Joan Nathan and Alon Shaya.

Beth Kissileff

(JTA) — Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, gives Jews a sense of change and new beginnings.  One of the ways to signal that renewal and optimism is to engage our senses: We listen to the shofar, the clarion call of the season, and we eat symbolic foods, such as round challah (representing the cyclical nature of life) and enjoy the sweetness of apples dipped in honey.

But beyond those basics, what are the foods that make Rosh Hashanah special?  JTA queried a number of high-profile Jewish chefs about which dishes and recipes are a must on their holiday tables.

Many of the dishes the chefs shared with us are family recipes, from mothers and grandmothers; a homage to those who fed and nourished us in the past. Many have offered a fresh twist on their mishpucha’s must-haves — meaning that, in addition to straightforward ingredients lists and directions, embedded within each heirloom recipe is the hope that, by making these traditional foods, cooks today will build bridges to future generations.

Whether you’re looking to add some sugar or some spice to your Rosh Hashanah meal, read on for some fresh twists on Jewish classics from some well-known names.

Andrew Zimmern’s chopped liver recipe

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Joan Nathan’s chicken soup with matzah balls recipe

Jeffrey Yoskowitz’s herbed gefilte fish recipe

Alon Shaya’s challah recipe

Rabbi Hanoch Hecht’s dessert tzimmes recipe

Nir Mesika’s braised short ribs with squash puree and roasted corn salad recipe

Itta Werdiger Roth’s pomegranate chicken recipe

Lior Lev Sercarz’s spiced honey cake recipe

Beth Kissileff is the editor of the anthology “Reading Genesis” and author of the forthcoming novel “Questioning Return.”