They came, they tasted, they plotzed. More than 2,000 curious foodies and oenophiles lined up to sample an astonishing showcase of gourmet kosher food and wine at the 13th annual Kosher Food & Wine Experience in New York City, hosted by Royal Wine Corp. The sold-out event took place on Monday, February 11 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.
The world’s largest kosher food and wine show proved once again that the industry is ceaselessly working to meet consumers’ ever-growing interest in new epicurean horizons. At the same time, it demonstrated that the line between “kosher food and wine” and “outstanding food and wine that happens to be kosher” is growing blurrier every year.
KFWE 2019 coincided with the landmark 70th anniversary of the Royal Wine Corp. From its roots as a local producer of kosher grape juice and sacramental wine, Royal Wine evolved under the stewardship of the venerable Herzog family to become world’s leading producer, distributor, and importer of award-winning kosher wines and spirits.
More than 1,500 bottles were poured for the 2019 KFWE crowd, representing 300 exceptional wines from every major wine production region in the world. They included new kosher runs, French champagnes, and the new Israeli-produced line from NBA all-star Amare Stoudemire.
Some of the most well-received wines were the newly released vintages from France and Israel. According to Royal Wine’s Jay Buchsbaum, “Israeli wines are an unstoppable trend in the U.S. Retailers and restaurants recognize Israel as a region of world-class terroirs. They are fully on board, working with us to raise the profile of kosher wines that are on par with the greatest vintages from around the globe.”
Hundreds of intriguing samples from the area’s finest kosher restaurants, caterers, and specialty food companies were also served up throughout the evening. Eyebrow-raising options included cinnamon buns topped with fake “bacon,” deconstructed falafel, veal, duck, bison, varieties of wild mushroom, cooked and raw fishes, bourbon baked beans, risotto and new twists on sushi.
Kosher.com, a Jewish lifestyle and entertainment website featuring thousands of kosher recipes and over 18 original cooking shows, was among the dozens of vendors on hand. Editor Chanie Nayman remarked, “The kosher industry is more robust and more sophisticated than ever, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Not only are kosher eateries are popping up all over the country, but everyone from home cooks to professional chefs are taking grandma’s kitchen legacy to an entirely new level.”
Other vendors included ALENbi Kitchen, Bison & Bourbon, Chani Greenbaum Events, Buffalo2go, Chop Chop, Elegant Desserts NY, Elite & Wissotzky, Factory 220, Graze Smoke House, Great Falls Bistro, Grow & Behold, Jack’s Gourmet, Judd’s Memphis Kitchen, Kosher Poke, Le Marais, A Taste of the Mediterranean by Ta’amti, Marani, Pelleh Farms, R & Z Kosher Smoked Meats, Silverleaf Caterers, Sushi Tokyo, T Fusion Steakhouse, Taam Eden Bakery, Teaneck Doghouse, The Nuttery, Tirat Zvi Sandwich Bar, UN Plaza Grill & Sushi, Urban Pops, and West Wing.
KFWE NY was co-sponsored by Snitow, Kaminetsky, Rosner & Snitow, LLP, BZS Transport, DHL, GORI Wine & Spirit Logistics – a DHL Company and Five Star Packaging.
The Kosher Food & Wine Experience is produced each year by the Royal Wine Corporation. With annual shows in New York City, Los Angeles, and London, it has become largest exhibition of its kind. Visit http://TheKFWE.com for up to date information on upcoming events.
photos by Tzvi Simcha Cohen