Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So….I survived Latke Mania! Barely! What started as a small cooking demo for “about 80 people” turned into an 600 person pow-wow. I’m not complaining-Can’t even tell you how flattered I was that everyone opted to spend their first night of Channukah with a Greek Jew who hasn’t had time for a hair cut or shave, let alone properly practice his candle-lighting prayers.

I’m lucky because I don’t get nervous in front of crowds. I didn’t have cold feet. I didn’t get performance anxiety. I was simply: psyched. I knew I’d be bringing my mom up on stage as my “sous-chef” and sounding board. Gotta say, she really sparkled up there. We loved talking about food and family with the crowd. It was actually an awesome moment together that I’ll never forget. (See, I’m not so arrogant, which is basically how they introduced me, LOL).

The cooking went beautifully, we tried to teach some culinary tricks, etc… The audience was a little intense about the kosher vs non kosher ingredients! I mean, we kept it “kosher style,” but come on, I was on Top Chef, not Top Rabbi. I will admit that neither of us realized Jello was such a no-no. Oooops.

So here’s what we made:
Sweet Potato Latkes
Zucchini Greek-inspired Latkes
Traditional Classic Latkes
Classic Apple Sauce
Mango Apple Sauce
Tzatziki Sauce

The sweet potato latkes were my favorite, not including the Tzatziki sauce (Tzatziki is my crack!!!).

The hundreds of latke-lovers and I went downstairs after the demo so everyone could get fed. It wasn't a lot but with so many everyone just got just a bite of latke heaven! It was really cool and refreshing meeting this new crowd of DC-ers. I spend so much time in the kitchen, I don’t get to kibitz too much these days! My mom, the belle of the ball, ended up inviting a few of the staffers over to my parents’ place, so we wound up eating, laughing and enjoying the good, kosher karma over there.

Today I’m a little latke’d out, but just when I was ready to return to my busy, stressful, not-as-mch-spirit-as-I-would-like life, my candles were…. rekindled, if you will. I walked into Good Stuff and saw dozens of people from the latke demo. It made me feel great.

And to the jewish mother mafia (love ya, ladies!) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with ordering a “big bacon meltdown burger” on the second night of Hannukah…Live and Let Live!

Bytheway, up top is me and Jackie Leventhal from the Synagogue at Sixth and I. Then it's all the volunteers that shared the stage, Jill, Cathy, my mom, Jackie and me!


  1. The apron-clad person in the photo up top would like to thank you and your family for giving the community (and me!) such a fun experience for the first night of Chanukah. And you got new customers out of it?! That's so great. Dare I suggest "Chef Spike's Passover Palooza" at Sixth & I? Ready to plan when you are.

  2. I was really sad to miss this event. Any way to get the recipes? Pretty please??

    orchidgirl1979 at gmail dot com

    Thank you!
    Planning on visiting Good Stuff on Friday for dinner: cannot wait.