How Jake Cohen is embracing the “ish” in Jewish cooking

Jew-ish Cook Book

BY CHERYL BAEHR SPECIAL FOR THE JEWISH LIGHT

Jack Cohen is a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, veteran of some of New York City’s top restaurants, an accomplished food writer and self-described “nice Jewish boy.” Now, he’s adding cookbook author to that list with the launch of his new publication, Jew-Ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch.

With Jew-Ish, Cohen hopes to dispel the notion that Jewish cuisine is confined to chicken soup with matzo balls, challah and babka by putting a modern spin on classic dishes – and incorporating new ones into the Jewish culinary repertoire as well. Drawing upon both his Ashkenazi heritage and his husband’s Persian-Iraqi one, Cohen blends different cultures to create such elegant dishes as an everything bagel-inspired galette, saffron latkes and matzo tiramisu. However, more than simply a collection of recipes, Jew-Ish also contains tips for celebrating Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, blended with personal insights and a celebration of both he and his husband’s cultures. A love story at its heart, Cohen hopes the book will serve as a jumping off point for connecting with friends and family.

Cohen’s rising star in the culinary scene comes in the wake of Jewish culinary success stories, such as American-Israeli chef and James Beard Award winner Alon Shaya, chef and Millennial Kosher author Chanie Apfelbaum and Philadelphia-based acclaimed chef and James Beard Award winner Michael Solomonov, all of whom are credited with reinventing Jewish cooking for modern tables.

Jew-Ish is available beginning March 9th and can be purchased through such local institutions as Left Bank Books, the Novel Neighbor and Subterranean Books. To learn more about the book and Cohen, visit www.wakeandjake.com.

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