When Levana opened her eponymous restaurant with her husband and two brothers-in-law in the late 1970s, all Kirschenbaums were perfectly aware they were facing a hard sell: introduce fine kosher dining to the Kosher public, who until then was content either eating at home or grabbing a bite in the rare joints that served institutional old world treats. The general prediction was that the presumptuous idea would fall flat on its face.
Undaunted by being the trailblazers of the trend, Levana and her partners surrounded themselves with the best chefs, developed the most delicious dishes and waited patiently until the idea of upscale kosher caught on. The rest, as we all know, is history: The kosher food and wine market has experienced a veritable explosion and occupies pride of place among the most prestigious competitions. Many luxury kosher restaurants have opened and thrived since Levana’s pioneering days, bearing out the dictum that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Although Levana Restaurant closed its doors after thirty exciting years, her former partner Sol Kirschenbaum, co-owner of the wonderful Nobu Teaneck Restaurant, still runs Passover programs in three of the world’s most prestigious Fairmont Hotels Passover Programs.
Levana’s Cooking Demos: Get Ready for Dinner and a Show!
Celebrity chef Levana has been offering cooking demonstration for over thirty years, in her classroom on the Upper West Side – where she gives demos – and around the country. She makes the preparation of nutritious and exotic cuisine seem easy. Levana gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking, and spreads the good word on simple, streamlined, elegant and wholesome dining. Serious ingredients, fun dishes: This is her motto! Watching Levana in action as she prepares fabulous meals, seemingly effortlessly and with great humor, often with the most rudimentary appliances and utensils in the makeshift kitchens she is offered as venues for her demos, and hearing her exhort the crowds about using nothing but the real thing, has been a real source of inspiration to thousands of admirers. Levana’s warmth, enthusiasm and expertise keep her demonstrations lively and rewarding in every way, going beyond cookery into significant byways of nutrition, kitchen tools, food shopping and personal experiences. It is no wonder so many people choose Levana’s demos to celebrate special occasions, from just bringing a few guests to her weekly demos to booking her for much larger events.
Fine dining that is also contemporary, nutritious and easy to prepare is a way of life that Levana instills in her classes. Levana’s unfussy, straightforward approach utilizes fresh, all natural ingredients to create international flavors from her native Morocco and other wide-ranging culinary influences. She teaches on every imaginable culinary theme yet scorns all culinary trends and diet fads, instead urging her students to express their personal style and let their cooking and entertaining be an emanation of them: This generosity in sharing the philosophy of her craft well beyond the recipes could well be the secret of the timelessness of her cooking.
Levana’s Cooking Class Demos are truly like no other. Watch as Levana demonstrates how easy it is to prepare delicious nutritious meals within a reasonable budget, and then have to opportunity to sit down, eat, and enjoy the gourmet meal she has prepared for you!
Levana shares stories, practical shortcuts to gourmet cooking, preparation and kitchen tool tips, as well as ingredient sources. Levana prefers to use healthy whole grains, seasonings, and sweeteners, and when possible, gluten-free ingredients. For Levana, it’s not only about the meal or the recipes, it’s about the philosophy of cooking, eating and entertaining. You will not be getting your hands dirty, but the classes are definitely interactive, and each student gets to take home a recipe booklet providing step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the evening’s meal.
Each student receives a full recipe booklet detailing each dish. When you attend Lévana’s class, you get so much more than just recipes. You’ll get the full benefit of Levana’s experience and recipe development. Unlike a recipe in a cookbook, you will have seen the finished product and tasted each dish before you even consider making it yourself. Want to know what side-dishes go best with a dish? Need to make substitutions for health reasons? Are you an absolute beginner who needs help purchasing the tools to begin cooking? Levana will provide all this and more. You’ll find classes with Levana so much more informative than any cookbook.
Levana’s cooking demos are on every theme imaginable, and takes into account all special needs and requests suggested to her. You can submit your demo ideas too!
Levana has published Levana’s Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone, Levana Cooks Dairy-Free! , a book/dvd set based on her demo series called In Short Order, as well as her latest masterpiece The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.