When Rochester chef Andrew Lederman and his “sous chef” Harriet Renzi came to town in January 2008, many Modi’in residents stood to gain – but in a good way! As part of our Chef Exchange, Andrew, owner of Bodhi’s Café in Rochester, and Harriet, winner of Rochester’s baking competition, were the lucky recipients of a free trip to Modi’in.
Read Harriet's beautiful essay on the trip, submitted to the National Council of Jewish Women's newsletter. Click here.
Drew and Rubie showed a group of busy single moms some quick, nutritious recipes.
Learn more about the Chef Exchange.
Both Andrew and Harriet are glowing about the experience. Harriet says “thank you, thank you” to the Federation for a “fabulous, amazing experience.”
“People were so warm and welcoming. I was awestruck by the whole trip and proud to be part of the partnership. Not only were the sights so exciting, full of history,” continues Harriet, “but we got to see how people live in their daily lives. I stayed with a family with three children and the sounds, the sights and smells were the same as in my house.”
The chef visited the PACT program that Rochester supports in Lod.
While in Modi’in, the duo was matched with local chef Rubie Cordova, who will in turn travel to Rochester in the spring. With Harriet’s assistance, Andrew and Rubie cooked together, performing several demonstrations in the community.
Their first cooking event was a demonstration of healthy, quick recipes for a group of single mothers. Next was a trip to Lod, where Rochester supports a PACT (Parents and Children Together) program which provides education, assistance with language, and computer training for Ethiopian Israelis. While in Lod, the chefs did a demonstration on healthful cooking, Israeli style.
Drew visited a restaurant in Modi’in (Maskit) and created the evening’s “special” dish.
Andrew as invited to be a “celebrity chef” at Maskit, a restaurant for fine dining in neighboring Shilat. He cooked the specialty of the day, sesame tuna on jasmine rice cake with mango salsa. .
Finally, the chefs threw together a lovely dinner for friends of the partnership – steering committee members and local dignitaries.
Here it is! Tuna on rice cake with mango salsa and veggies.
While in Israel, Andrew and Harriet, accompanied by Federation staff member Isobel Goldman, toured food related businesses, including a chocolate factory in the north of Israel and a specialty bakery in Kfar Vitkin. They traveled to Jerusalem to see the old city and visit the kotel.
As Andrew, a first timer to Israel said, the trip was “interesting, educational, rewarding and fun.”
The chefs go shopping.