By Inbal Khabieh
Simply Traditional is anything but simple. It is a celebration of hundreds of years of tradition – of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, granddaughters (even great granddaughters and beyond!) sharing their legacy through recipes and food that have been passed down through generations. Those who sign on for Simply Traditional gather for a day of cooking with family, photographers and videographers. Every moment of the day is captured, family members are interviewed, and it is all combined into a montage that becomes a family keepsake and heirloom. On Thursday, July 20th, The Sephardic Community Center’s Simply Traditional event gathered over 500 women for Grandma’s Dishes in Deal, NJ at the home of Shella & Toby Cohen and Rosie & David Bawabeh.
Grandma’s Dishes brought 30 community chefs together who curated recipes and demos for traditional food we all know and love. Many of them made it the way their grandmother taught them, and some even developed hacks they shared to save time but still enjoy the same rich food! An especially noteworthy hack, among others, is that of Ida Levy (@KitchenAccomplished on Instagram) who uses a pastry bag to pipe small meatballs, then uses a cookie scoop to make perfectly sized kibbeh that she stuffs with the small meatballs then hand rolls – saving her time but still giving her family homemade kibbeh for dishes like Kibbeh Mushroom and Kibbeh Hamda the way her grandmother made! Demos went on for three hours straight, with 10 chefs lined up for each hour starting at 10 AM. Guests could enjoy one demo at a time, and tastings were offered at each station. The finished dishes were offered for sale and those who purchased took them home in stunning copper pots. Almost every dish sold out before the demo was over!
While the demos were taking place, guests were able to cool down on the deck where they could also shop the bake sale for goods like banana bread muffins and loaves, fresh challah and sourdough for Shabbat, dips, pickles, and more! Also on the deck was Ginette Tawil (@MomentsByGinette on Instagram), curator of personalized, leather-bound video books perfectly tailored for those who sign up for a day of cooking with Simply Traditional.
As guests departed the deck to make their way to the cabana, they were able to stop at the cookbook tent and pick up a copy of Grandma’s Dishes, a collection of all the recipes shown throughout the day, as well as other cookbooks like Food by Paulette Jemal (@TheMarriedWife) and Confidence in the Kitchen by Susan Harari (@TheHungryHippos_). Respite under the cabana included a complimentary lunch and beverage, along with auction shopping that included everything from jewelry to fashion, cookware and more!
To top off the day’s events was a special visit from Sivan of @SivansKitchen who flew in all the way from LA to showcase her ‘Matboucha for Lazies’, Pan Kubbeh and Mediterranean Love Cake in a special feature demo. Not only was Sivan knowledgeable but she was kind, patient and made sure to spend time with and take pictures with as many guests as possible! She even spent time baking a special cake for the day’s hosts so they could enjoy it for Shabbat too!
George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” Grandma’s Dishes was a day full of love and delicious food, but it was also a celebration of legacy and tradition that, with the help of The Sephardic Community Center and Simply Traditional, is sure to continue for generations to come!
Want to learn more about Simply Traditional or looking to book a video shoot for your family? Contact Esther Haber at 917-696-6043.