“You’re moving where?” exclaimed my mother when I told her I was packing up and heading to Austin, Texas in 2009.
“But honey, they don’t have Brent’s Deli there, how will you survive?” She had a point.
But my free spirit was aching for a change and Texas was where my finger landed on the map so it was time to go. And here I am more than a decade later living without a Brent’s deli. This is why you can still find me stashing pounds of deli meats, bread, and cookies under the seat on my flights from LAX to AUS. What is it about Brent’s you ask? Well, yes it is about the food though it’s more about the memories I’ve made sitting at the tables. To this day, I can’t eat a pickle or pastrami slathered with mustard on egg bread (sometimes Rye) without time warping for just a moment long enough to bring a smile to my face.
I believe food is the axis of family. At least it certainly is for mine. The recipes I bake are versions of what my ancestors made. They are more than flour and sugar; they are part of my heritage. As award-winning cookbook author Joan Nathan says, “If you preserve the food, you preserve who your family is.”
My father was born in Brooklyn, New York. Dreaming of a better life, his grandparents left Russia and Poland on courageous voyages to America. Though I never had the opportunity to meet them, I know they are with me in the kitchen each time I prepare something they themselves enjoyed decades and even centuries ago. It is through the traditional foods of our heritage that we remain connected.
My mother journeyed to America from Germany when she was a young girl. She learned how to cook authentic German food from her mother who is hands down one of the best cooks I’ve known; tied with my mom of course. I would watch both of them with amazement as they prepared some of the most intricate recipes with such ease. Her natural talent for creating and preparing delicious recipes landed my mom on Food Network and helped her win countless recipe contests. Following her lead, I myself entered several recipe contests over the years and had a few notable and celebration-worthy wins!
In 2010, I won a recipe content with Bertolli and Chef Rocco DiSpirito which jet-setted me to NYC where my recipe was recreated and served at the Bertolli Ristorante party celebrating Zac Posen during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I have also been featured in Good Housekeeping magazine as well as winning a competition sponsored by Wolfgang Puck soups.
So there you have it. I am a nice Jewish girl who loves food, family, friends, and enjoying it all together. I bake and share traditional recipes that connect me to my past and keep our family heritage alive. I use the finest ingredients and never compromise on quality. Everything is made with love and packaged fresh. If you don’t see something on my menu that you’d like to request or you have a special event and would like to talk about larger quantities or individually wrapped gifts, challah at me!
I hope that you enjoy my treats and I thank you for supporting my small female-owned local bakery. Follow me on my journey and I’ll tell you more stories and even share a family recipe or two.