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Kosher Food

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know anything about Kosher foods? I just got a new job at a Pareve (no meat unless it's fish, and no milk products) Kosher restaurant on Chicago's North Side. I know virtually nothing about Kosher food, but I do have time to learn, as the restaurant isn't going to be open until after Passover.
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post #2 of 17
What do you want to know?
Pareve means it is permissible to serve with dairy or meat, whereas those two items cannott be served together. Fish can be served with both but should be served on a seperate plate that meat was not served on meat(you can wrap plate in plastic wrap first). Kosher diatery laws are actually based on common sence health laws if you really analyze them. Looks like you wont be working on Saturdays, if in fact they are really religious> Read food labels there is OU Ou D
which means recognized by union of orthodox rabbis OU D means kosher but contains and can be served with dairy only as it contains milk or dairy product.:beer:
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post #3 of 17
bone up on vegetable dishes......
not all fish are ok....they must have scales and gills, no shellfish or shrimp.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 17
I suggest you contact a local Rabbi and hit the library at the same time!! Are you going to be the Chef/Sous or a line cook with someone guiding you?
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #5 of 17
Beef is acceptable if it comes from the front of the animal and has been slaughtered and koshered properly. No pork, no shellfish, no pairing meat with dairy as mentioned. Wild game is acceptable as long as it is kosher (something to do with the hooves, I can't remember it at the moment). I have a friend who is Jewish :lol:
post #6 of 17
cleft of hoof.. Anything that crawls is not kosher.
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post #7 of 17
As well as no bottom feeders or scavengers. As someone who was raised around a kosher home its not as easy as just not mixing dairy and meat. You need seperate dishes, flatware, cooking vessels, container, cooking utensils ect. There is alot to learn, thats why I suggested a Rabbi and the library.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #8 of 17
My friends go as far as 2 refrigerators, one for dairy and a separate one for meat. Way to many rules for me to remember. When they visit I use a portable 12 volt cooler to hold the meat for the meal so it isn't mixed with dairy in my fridge.
post #9 of 17
A book even.

Look, there's way too much to be elucidated about all things kosher in a single thread. I suggest you start googling. There are any number of websites which are oriented towards helping people (usually new wives) organize and run their first kosher kitchens. Your situation is a little different, but not so much that there isn't a lot for you to learn there.

That said, your situation does not require you to know everything about kosher food preparation, or even very much. You don't have to worry about any of the special milk or meat rules; and you don't have to worry about whether this fish or that fish is or is not kosher. (Rule of thumb: Cat fish aren't kosher, but Katz fish are.)

Another thing you don't have to worry about is which foods are and are not pareve -- since you're not the one organizing the menu or shopping for the restaurant. Since the kitchen is pareve and everything goes with everything else, there's not that much to learn about special handling except for what you can and cannot bring in on your own.

The fact that you're working pareve makes everything so much easier. You have no idea.

It's as simple as this: Stick to what they have, other than your own knives and maybe a few small tools (like a decent fish turner). Those buy new and keep entirely separate from food prep places or tools used for any other purpose -- including home.

BDL
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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #10 of 17
Rabbis dont know everything either. I once asked one what event superceeds even Yom Kippur he thought and thought and really did not know . I said to him A briss, or brith, it must be and take place on the specific day, (8th day after birth)he told me I was right.:blush:
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post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input everyone. I'm kind of a cross between Sous and a line cook, in that, all though I am Sous, two of the line cooks are practicing Jews so I will be learning as much from them as they are from me, maybe even more. There is a member of the Chicago Rabbinical Council on-site most of the time to make sure everything is, well, Kosher. I am indeed off from the end of lunch service on Friday until we open again on Monday. Time to start some party catering on Friday and Saturday right? Or maybe spend some time with my fiance... Nah. We'll have forever for that lol.
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post #12 of 17
Just a few points to add here:

1. In this kitchen, you don't have to worry about almost any of the basic questions, because it's pareve. Anything you can use will also be pareve. Thus if you don't bring anything into the kitchen, the results will be clean.

2. BDL makes a crucial point: if you are going to bring your own knives, or indeed any other instruments or utensils that EVER touch food -- thermometer? favorite spoon? -- you must buy new ones, and they must NEVER touch any food outside this kitchen. That is the only way to be certain, given that you don't know the law. If you think something may have touched any food outside this kitchen, do not use that utensil until you have had a chance to discuss the matter with the rabbi who comes to check: he is an expert on these matters, which is why he's doing these inspections. If you can stand to use exclusively house equipment, do so -- it will make your life easier.

3. Do not second-guess, rationalize, or "figure it out." Contrary to what people have said here, and indeed will tell you all over the place, the law has nothing whatsoever to do with food safety, or indeed hygiene in any normal sense. Believe me -- the vagaries of religious systems are my scholarly business, and I assure you that there is not the slightest credible evidence that the laws of kashrut have anything to do with such questions. Besides, in practical application, any logic behind the law, which would be contested and largely inaccessible anyway, is irrelevant: you must simply adhere to the letter of the law, period.
post #13 of 17
My most disappointing moment in ****'s Kitchen was when they were making burgers for a bar mitzvah, and they didn't go off on the one with blue cheese on it. :cry: I was waiting for that one.

But I digress.....

I would assume they will give you on the job training since they don't seem to care you know nothing about being kosher (unless of course you lied on a resume).

What I can tell you is that Jews in Chicago tend to be a LOT more relaxed on the whole thing than the East Coast, so educate yourself, but just do what they tell you.

I'm not Jewish myself, but I've worked with a lot of them in Chicago and I was rather shocked seeing 5 old Jewish men passing around a sausage pizza at a departmental holiday party.
post #14 of 17
Feh, level of observance is all over the place. I knew a guy who went through this big personal crisis. He felt called to be a rabbi, but he loved lobster (he was Reform, in case you hadn't guessed). He agonized about this for a week, back and forth, and eventually came up with this weird personal reading of Talmud such that he could think of lobster as kosher. With this settled, he went off to Yeshiva. Last I heard he had a small shul somewhere around the Bay Area, but I don't know if he eats lobster these days. Or Dungeness crab, for that matter.
post #15 of 17
I know nothing about kosher cooking from direct experience. It has never come up in any places or people I've met, but as has been said, it seems to stem from practical food hygiene.

Take the recommendation to google about it, read relevant books, let your workplace know outright that you need to be trained into it. Ask the management and/or the line cooks if you are ever unsure, and as has been said - any knives tools etc you use for the restaurant must not be used for anything either than 100% kosher cooking.

I did see a show once where the lady cooking kosher (she had converted to it when she became married) kept 2 sets of different coloured and tagged plates, utensils, bowls etc in her kitchen. One set green, one set red, for dairy and meats. That helped her remember without the benefit of having being brought up in the tradition which to use for which.

Obviously you won't be able to do this in your new workplace, but it seemed as if it had helped her a great deal.

(She did miss shellfish though... :) )

If in doubt, it's better to ask a dumb question than to make a dumb mistake.

Good luck with the new job!
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #16 of 17
As has been said, it seems to stem from nothing of the kind.
This is normal. It's not a question of tradition so much as of practicality: if you've got to keep two complete sets of silverware, dishes, and so on absolutely and rigidly separate, you label them very carefully indeed. If you ever put meat on a dairy plate, you (a) destroy the meat, and (b) destroy the plate. If you're deeply, deeply wedded to the plate, there are ways to purify it, but they're difficult and often expensive. Example: if you convert your kitchen to kosher in the Orthodox Ashkenazi tradition, the nice men will come to your house and run a blowtorch over the entire interior surface of your oven, just for starters. I believe it's usual to throw away all your dishes, silverware, pots, and all that when converting the kitchen, but I'm not really sure.
A good general prescription, but it doesn't make much difference here. If this kitchen is pareve and they're serious about it, it means nothing, but nothing, ever enters that kitchen that isn't pareve. I wouldn't be surprised if they preferred that you not bring your own knives, and since you'd have to get a new set anyway, you're probably best off using theirs. If nothing enters the kitchen non-pareve, and you obey whatever initial hygienic practices they deem appropriate, then nothing can depart the kitchen non-pareve. So this is easy.

Actually, any professional kosher kitchen is easy. If the kitchen does both meat and dairy, it does them on different days, or else is divided cleanly and clearly in half (or there are two kitchens). You just don't cross the line with any utensil of any sort, and everything's clean. Some pro kosher kitchens do have a joint space where pareve items are kept, but it's more usual to have two: it's just easier not to worry whether a cook is going to grab for sugar when his hands have a bit of butter on them. So long as you obey the strict division, so that today you're on meat and never never never dairy, there's nothing to worry about.

Running a pro kosher kitchen is quite another matter.
post #17 of 17

Mazal Tov for the new job !

My son find also a new job as a kosher pastry chef in New Zealand.

Did you also find the job by searching on www.cookitkosher.com?

you should check their kosher recipes page.  

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