Kitchen Kibitz: The Land of Milk and Honey

Kitchen Kibitz: The Land of Milk and Honey | Sassy in SequinsIf you live in Boston and haven’t heard of Kitchen Kibitz, you’re missing out. The brainchild of foodie Jeff Gabel, Kitchen Kibitz joined the Boston popup movement with a focus on bringing the experience of Jewish style food to local restaurants through delicious flavor mashups…without the Jewish guilt.

My first Kitchen Kibbitz event was Southern Schmear, back in August. The popup held at State Park restaurant in Cambridge was a fusion of Southern and Jewish foods (think moonshine cured trout instead of smoked salmon and peach pecan kugel). In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, I recently attended Kitchen Kibbitz’s newest event “Land of Milk and Honey”. 
For those of you not in the know, Israel is referred to as the land of milk and honey…well, more accurately Canaan, the promised land in the Old Testament is referred to by that moniker, but this is a post about food and tight pants; not religious history. Regardless, it was a fitting  name for this Rosh Hashanah popup, as the New Year is celebrated with sweet foods to signify wishes for a sweet new year. Nice, right?
The popup was held at The Met Back Bay, a great restaurant right in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Jeff came up with the Yemenite-inspired menu with the amazing Geoff Lukas, the chef de cuisine at Sofra Bakery. Sofra is known as “the” Israeli bakery in Boston so it’s no surprise that the Yemen influenced food at this Kitchen Kibitz event was out of this world amazing.
From hummus and flatbread meze style starters to the entire lamb shoulder served with brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds and autumn-colored rice, the food was like a party in my mouth. A self-proclaimed hummus snob, thanks to time spent living in Israel, I was pleased to admit that Lukas’ hummus was quite tasty. I had brought a non-Jewish foodie friend with me to introduce him to the awesome flavors of Rosh Hashanah and warned him about eating too much hummus–it is very high in fiber!

No matter how good the hummus is (I’m talking REAL hummus, not Tribe in a tub), you should always stop before you want to, lest you find yourself too full for the main course and nursing a belly ache after dinner. Trust me on this one.

The feast was incredible and the Yemenite-inspired flavors were well accented by the belly dancer shaking her hips and chiming her timbrels. The belly dancer was amazing and a welcome change to a festive dinner. The cultural music was also a nice respite from a chorus of, “OMG this is sooo good! Wow! You try this–no, have more, this is amazing! The flavors…I just..I…I…yum!” (Dude, I know I’m right here eating it too!) emitted by my goyish guest. It’s good to know that although “Jewish inspired,” that Kitchen Kibitz was well received by my most critical German friend.

One of my favorite things about Kitchen Kibitz is the chef-to-table experience. In both of the events that I have attended, the chefs come out before each course to explain it to you. Chef Lukas told us about the spices used that came from Yemen and the Spice Route history of Yemen.  He explained that Yemen’s Honey Trade was the impetus for using the country as the inspiration for a Rosh Hashanah menu.  
It’s not often that you get first hand perspective from the chefs themselves and Kitchen Kibitz brings a unique experience to the diner. The mashup menus of Kitchen Kibitz take considerable time and creativity and undoubtedly challenge these kitchen masters. My only hope is that these chefs enjoy it as much as I did–and that Kitchen Kibitz hosts another event soon!

5 thoughts on “Kitchen Kibitz: The Land of Milk and Honey

  1. Maddie~The Whimsy One says:

    I went our last visit up to my in laws. My husband is from Sharon and he is the only one of his 7 best friends from high school that isn't Jewish. They call him an honorary one. haha We had a great time. and the hummus, yea…my mother in law is Lebanese, if I bought hummus from a tub…my husband may leave me;)

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