When Yuda Schlass started Hassid + Hipster, his kosher pop-up sandwich shop, he never expected he’d be serving up his signature snacks to the kosher crowd Down Under.
But several months ago on a visit to Australia, his wife Adina’s native home, green card regulations necessitated a prolonged stay for the couple. He’s been spending the time at Sydney’s few kosher restaurants cooking up his Brooklyn-born creations, like goose confit sandwiches and maple-glazed lamb bacon. “People get blown away,” said Schlass on a call from Sydney. “No one here gets to experience new stuff, and fine dining for sure not.”
It’s the culmination of a long culinary journey for the Jerusalem native, born to American olim. His father ran a kosher New York macrobiotic restaurant in the 60s and his Chabad household in the Old City was always packed with Shabbat guests, so a food obsession was practically baked into him. Educated in Chabad schools, he worked for the kosher certification agency KOF-K before starting a delivery service called The Fresh Diet in Miami in 2006.
Toward the end of 2013, he started Hassid + Hipster, a name that blends two aspects of his identity. “I was inspired to try to bring new flavors and techniques to the kosher world; combining new and old, traditional and modern,” he said.
His work drew the attention of Kitchensurfing, an Uber for foodies that dispatches chefs instead of taxis. He’s been working with the company to build up its kosher offerings.
Schlass expects to be back in New York this summer, where he will likely test out the latest trend to tantalize Tribal taste buds: cured meat.
“If I had to single out one trend I would say charcuterie has really been coming out,” he said. “Walking into many kosher markets and restaurants today, you will see an ever growing selection … from duck prosciutto to carnecetta.”
The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club: When not in the kitchen, Schlass can often be found watching mixed martial arts bouts, especially those with Cain Velazquez, because, he said, “boxing is too boring.”