Let's Eat

The very best of Gefiltefest

JW3 is the only place to be for foodies on June 25th


Fress until you’re fit to burst then fill your head with the stories behind the food.  So says Emma Wolfin Golding, director of Gefiltefest, which is being staged at JW3 in Finchley Road on June 25.

“What I’ve learned from organising Gefiltefest is it’s as much about the people as  about the food. It’s also a chance to hear people’s stories about the origins of those recipes.

'Each chef in this programme developed a passion for food thanks to someone they loved — often a grandmother who brought the flavours of her country to their family’s table — whether from Eastern Europe, Africa or South America.”

This year’s festival has been selected as part of the Evening Standard Food Month, taking place across the capital and celebrating the huge diversity and quality of London’s food scene.

“We’re proud to be part of that and to be the ones to showcase Israeli and Jewish food,” adds Wolfin Golding. A sign of the current popularity of Jewish and Israeli food.

Gefiltefest will be at JW3 on Sunday 25 June.  For full programme details click here

Here are some of the highlights of this year’s line up:

Booming Israelis

See some of London’s most successful Israeli chefs, on stage together for the first time to debate why Israeli food is “having a moment”.

Eyal Jagermann (The Barbary, above), Or Golan (Delicatessen), Eran Tibi (Balabaya), Uri Dinay (Pilpel), Joel Braham (The Good Egg) and Edward Bergen of market intelligence agency Mintel will be joined by visiting cook Futna Jabber and kept in check by Instagram foodie Felicity Spector.

Will she get a word in edgeways?

Get skilled up 

Roll up your sleeves at one of the many workshops (aka chances to nosh) taking place all day. They include jam-making with food recycler Hannah Style and smoked salmon carving at the wonderfully named “Lox, stock and two smoked salmon bagels” demo by Forman’s own Guinness world record holder for salmon slicing, Darren Matson.

You can also craft your own kosher posh chocs with chocolatier Andrew Kennard, For simpler tastes, whip up a batch of hummus with Sasha Frieze and mop it up, with some of rebbetzen Joanne Dove’s challah.

Dove will be showing how to make delicious doughy delights like cinnamon buns and rugelach from challah dough. 

Find out why Purple is the new green

Food writer Judi Rose and GP Dr Jacqueline Lewis are on a mission to bring healthy eating into the Jewish kitchen.

“We want to keep the flavour and character of Jewish cookery but bring the benefit of scientific research.”

They will be demonstrating katsis kushum — an Israeli paté made with nutrient-rich courgettes and artichokes — and a “superfruit strudel” packed with purple fruits like plums and cherries which are loaded with antioxidants.

Find out about Futna

Arab-Israeli mother of two Futna Jaber is an Israeli food celeb. She runs a hummus bar on Tel Aviv’s Shenkin Street with husband Akram and was a runner-up in Israeli Big Brother.

She hosts Israeli cookery show Opening the table with Futna and written cookery book From Futna’s Kitchen. She is also a co-founder of social action project Open Table Open Heart, through which Arab and Israeli families host each other for dinner.

Brought here by the New Israel Fund, she will be demonstrating makloub — a rice dish she made so often on Big Brother, viewers named her Futna makloub —and knafeh, a pastry pud. 

Down with the kids 


Keep litle hands busy with a full menu of activities — from seed planting and making clay bagel characters for the tiny tots to Jewish restaurant menu design and making a scratch and smell book for participants aged four and over.

The team from Mitzvah Day will be hosting an interactive session preparing chocolate biscuit brownies and marshmallow treats to donate to the Liberal Jewish Synagogue’s asylum seeker drop-in. 

Ashkenazi action

Several Gefiltefesters are flying the flag for Eastern European nosh. Laurina Todesaite (founder of #cookjewishbejewish which aims to popularise Jewish cookery from Lithuania and Ukraine) will be demonstrating how to chop herring the “right” way.

Danielle Levinson will put a modern spin on the fish that inspired the fest — gefilte. Naomi Joseph will be explaining how the humble herring caused an economic, social and culinary revolution and Alissa Timoshkina will be sharing the story of borscht — that most simple of soups. 

And there’s more...

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty,  try one of the demos from a host of foodie favourites, among them former MasterChef finalist and Fress author Emma Spitzer.

Denise Phillips will be making pretzels and Anne Shooter (author of the wonderful Sesame and Spice book of Jewish baking) will demonstrate one-tray dinners for a kvetch-free kitchen (if only!).

Joel Braham will explain how to make The Good Egg’s trademark babka and New York cheesecake and Hanna Goldsmith of Building Feasts will be making salmon burgers.

Wash them down with some of the vodka Richard Verber will be talking about. 

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