While Cohen tackles old-school classics, like chicken soup with matzo balls and babka, he demonstrates that Jewish food can be so much more in the collection of over 100 modern recipes.
Influenced by his Ashkenazi heritage, and drawing inspiration from his husband’s Persian-Iraqi traditions, Cohen is an agile cook able to blend cultures and put a contemporary spin on classic recipes, making them fresh and appealing to a younger generation. Think hybrid desserts like macaroon brownies and pumpkin spice babka, cacio e pepe rugelach and matzo tiramisu, to name but a few.
Cohen is also able to speak to the modern millennial, giving each recipe plenty of context with a very personal narrative, as he offers up tips on entertaining, and menus for holidays like Passover and Rosh Hashanah.
The book should appeal to all home cooks with a love of food and feasting, with "recipes so good, you obviously don't have to be Jewish to enjoy them either."
Cohen studied at the Culinary Institute of America before launching into food media, first as a former food staffer at Saveur Magazine, then food editor of TastingTable.com, the food critic for Time Out New York, and the editorial and test kitchen director of The Feedfeed. He has also written about food in publications including Food52, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and more. He lives in New York City with his husband, Alex.
Recipes from Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes From a Modern Mensch
Can't wait to get started? Cohen shares two recipes from his debut book with us below.
How to Make Jake Cohen's Roasted Chicken Matzo Ball Soup
"How do you like your balls?" asks Cohen, introducing this recipe. "My balls fall somewhere in between, greased up with a healthy amount of schmaltz. I want them to be fluffy and easily scooped with the touch of a spoon, while also modest in size, so I can have two, of course."
Cohen became obsessed with babka after introducing it to his Iraqi Jew husband citing it as the dish that "sanctified" their relationship in the "sweetest way possible". Cohen has been pushing the boundaries of babka ever since, testing out sweet and savoury versions, from silky tahini swirled into chocolate ganache to pistachio pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.
These light, flaky and melt-in-your-mouth pain aux raisins are a delight of French patisserie and are great for a breakfast treat, or any time. Make your own pain aux raisins with this easy-to-follow recipe.
Geranium's Rasmus Kofoed has decided to stop serving meat at the restaurant currently ranked number two on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. But the Danish chef isn't yet willing to go purely plant-based.