Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of the acclaimed eponymous Levana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (alas, recently closed after thirty two years), and the pioneer in Kosher Upscale Dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, the diva of modern simple natural meals, and is entirely devoted to the busy health-oriented modern mom. Lévana gets cooking demo engagements around the country and beyond: Dinner and a Show! Not for nothing has Lévana been affectionately nicknamed the Jewish Julia Child. Her best-selling cookbooks are Levana’s Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone, Levana Cooks Dairy-Free, In Short Order, and her Magnum Opus, aptly titled The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple. Lévana blogs on her popular site, LevanaCooks. Book Lévana for your next cooking demonstration event in your community, and order her Cookbooks www.levanacooks.com
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 brother in law Sol Kirschenbaum, who ran Levana Restaurant, has been running 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, around the country and beyond. Levana makes the preparation of nutritious and exotic cuisine easy and fun. 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 Cooking Demos to celebrate special occasions. The most amazing thing of all is, Levana prepares an entire spectacular meal for her demo guests right on the spot, in just under two hours, and serves hearty helpings to a crowd any size!
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.