Cory Booker attends the Manischewitz cook off

Newark Mayor Cory Booker attended the Manischewitz Cook off


Vicki Hyman wrote about the event in The Star Ledger.

San Franciscan Josie Shapiro walked off with top honors at the seventh annual Man-O-Manischweitz Cook-Off in Newark for her “faux pho,” a curried chicken soup with coconut milk, egg noodles, lime and basil inspired by the traditional Vietnamese rice noodle dish.


Shapiro, a 35-year-old married mother of two, won the grand prize of $25,000 in Maytag appliances and cash. She beat out hometown favorite Yitzi Taber, a 17-year-old from Bergenfield who brought along his own cheering section and his garlic chicken rollatini with falafel; as well as Allison Hoschander of Woodmere, N.Y., who baked a chicken, potato and leek pie; Michele Kusma of Columbus, Ohio, with a sweet and spicy seared tuna; and, just in time for Passover, balsamic mushroom matzoh panini with mango jam from Robin Saul of Atlanta.


(Full disclosure: I was on the one of the judges at the competition, along with kosher celebrity chef Jamie Geller and other food journalism colleagues.)


The finalists were culled fromthousands of entries — some of whom clearly didn’t read the instructions; bacon-wrapped scallops? really? The contestants had an hour to cook, and only nine ingredients to use, two of which had to be Manischewitz products, in makeshift kitchens in a curtained-off section of the sprawling Newark factory. (The company moved its headquarters from Secacusa few years ago when it bought Rokeach and consolidated its manufacturing in Newark.) Taste made up 50 percent of the score, with ease of preparation and creativity accounting for 25 percent each.

The Star Ledger: Kosher 'faux pho' carries annual Manischewitz Cook-off in Newark

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