At the head of a long table set with wooden dishes and lime green accents, kosher food blogger and author of “The Modern Menu” Kim Kushner raised her glass of wine, her name and Twitter handle written in neat script around the rim, and toasted her guests.
“I saw all of these beautiful, smart, independent women,” she said, “and I thought, ‘Why not actually meet them’”?
At the second-annual Kosher Foodies Potluck, Kushner gathered a small group of beloved kosher food bloggers on a rooftop in Midtown to meet, mingle, and, of course, feast on each other’s delectable contributions. Among the evening’s selections: rugelach stuffed with pears, plums, and goat cheese by The Patchke Princess Sarah Lasry, peach and nectarine caprese salad by Melinda Strauss of Kitchen Tested, and panko-crusted ahi tuna with wasabi aioli sandwiched in homemade croissants courtesy of “Chef Chaya” Lichtenstein. The pinks and oranges of the Manhattan sunset splashed across the buffet table, rendering the pristine dishes even more Instagram-worthy as the women snapped pictures to share with thousands of very jealous followers.
“When we tag each other and when we post, we try to spread the love and spread the word, and that way it’s really about community,” said Liz Rueven of Kosher Like Me. “It’s a wide-ranging group, but we all support each other, and love each other, really.”
Many cited this generous, community-minded spirit as key to their success. “Overtime Cook” Miriam Pascal, who insisted that she’s “not a foodie,” recalled how gaining an audience launched her interest in cooking into something much bigger.
“I used to have creative hobbies that would last a week or two, so I thought it would be another one of those,” she laughed, “but the difference was that people started to read it. Themore people came, the more my blog grew, and the more it kept me motivated to keep going. Fast forward 4 years, I have a column in Ami Magazine and write recipes, I do freelance food photography, and I’m writing a cookbook and taking all of my own pictures for the cookbook.” “Something Sweet” will be published by Artscroll later this summer.
Leslie Perez, one of two lucky community members to win an invitation to the event through an Instagram contest, arrived eager to meet her favorite chefs. The “Everyday Kosher” blogger came to the city just one day after auditioning for MasterChef Canada, having made the top 50 in Montreal.
“You follow them, and now to meet them is even more special. I would write to them individually [and ask] if we could ever get together, but this is just everyone together in one room. It’s such a cool opportunity.”
For Kushner, whose second cookbook “The New Kosher” hits shelves August 11, the Kosher Foodie Potluck is as much about the connections as it is about the food.
“We’re women whose paths would have otherwise never crossed,” she said, looking around the rooftop. “We’ve got Borough Park, immigrants from Morocco, Syrian Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, just totally different worlds, and this,” she gestured towards her fellow bloggers enjoying desserts of creme brulee, Moroccan cigars, and cookies with “#foodie” written in pink icing, “is bringing us together.”