By Liz Ison
Last year the Gefiltefest co-ordinators got in touch with Wimshul Cooks to ask if we would like to volunteer at Gefiltefest 2014.
The challenge? To assist the chefs and food writers who were giving cookery demonstrations during the course of the day.
We all had a great day, watching and assisting really impressive chefs, handing out tasters of what had been cooked to the appreciative audience, and picking up a few tips along the way.
Josie and Liz particularly liked Kim Kushner who had come over from the US to demonstrate her recipes which were impressively simple yet full of fresh and vibrant ingredients.
Linda Dangoor was warm, wise and lovely to listen to. Linda read aloud from her book on Babylonian Jewish cooking as the pudding she was making thickened in the pan, which, as Josie observed, “gave all those aromatic flavours and perfumes – an added meaning and sense of place”.
As for the Jewish Princesses, they were great fun, really did cook in their high heels and created some great street food, including churros with orange chocolate dipping sauce from scratch, enough for the whole audience.
Camilla was inspired by helping Joan Nathan the American chef – a sort of US equivalent to Evelyn Rose, who is hugely influential. As Camilla says, “she was a classic. I liked her immediately and she had a very appreciative manner to us helpers. She made delicious rugelach and has inspired me to make them on Shabbat”.
Silvia Nacamulli was also very popular. Camilla loved her “wonderful Italian accent. She was also so calm and appreciative to the helpers when we were prepping together in the kitchen downstairs. She gave me an onion cutting tip – having seen me do it a rather clumsy way – which I will now use forever!”
Our volunteers were also really impressed by Elliot Collins’ demonstration. Ludmilla wished her son Isaac could have seen him as “Elliot was so enthusiastic, interesting and inspiring”. Daisy learnt a lot from him too: “he is Michelin star trained and was throwing in all sorts of tips about knife sharpening, cutting skills and presentation”.
The last word from Camilla, “it was a really lovely event and heart-warming to see so many Jewish foodies gathered together in one place”.