The community is invited to attend in person Congregation Anshai Torah’s annual Kashrut Event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the synagogue, 5501 Parker Road in Plano. Chef Yehuda Sichel, who in 2019 “Beat Bobby Flay” with his magnificent matzo ball soup, will whip up a delicious and decadent menu.
“We are so happy to be back in our building and to invite guests to learn and dine on some really incredible kosher food together — as one,” said Congregation Anshai Torah’s Rabbi Michael Kushnick. “Chef Yehuda will inspire and encourage us all to create really special meals in our own home, meals that follow the rules of kashrut and rival the flavors found in any restaurant.”
Sichel, the owner of Huda in Philadelphia, is proud to live in his native town with his wife, Ali, and their children, Liliana, 3, and Leo, 18 months old. Born in Philadelphia, but raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he is the son of Miriam, of blessed memory, and Steve and Leah Sichel and the brother of Malka, Dovid, Rachel, Shimi and Binny. Dovid and his wife, Dena, and their children, Nava, Noam and Ella, moved to Dallas last fall and no doubt look forward to welcoming Uncle Huda to their home, their new community.
After high school, Sichel moved to Israel to study at The Jerusalem School of Kosher Culinary Arts in Beit Shemesh. He returned to the U.S., making Philadelphia his home, and worked in numerous restaurants to hone his craft.
In 2009, Sichel joined the CookNSolo group, under multiple James Beard Award-winning restaurateurs, Chef Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, where he spent time in the kitchen at Zahav, moving up the ranks from line cook, to pastry, to sous chef. In 2012, Sichel was the opening chef de cuisine at Citron & Rose Tavern and then Abe Fisher in 2014, where he created a menu and dining experience embracing Eastern European Jewish cuisine inspired by the journey of the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland to the Diaspora.
In 2017, Sichel participated in the Maccabi Games for Culinary Arts in Israel; he was featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern “Best Thing I Ever Ate”; and Abe Fisher was named “Best New Restaurant” by Travel + Leisure. Zagat named Sichel to its 30 under 30 Rock Stars Redefining the Industry.
Timing is everything — usually — but for Sichel it was the last day of February 2020 when he signed a 10-year lease to go out on his own; plans for Huda were then waylaid six months until the pandemic began to cool. In August 2020, he opened the doors of his downtown Philly restaurant, a daytime spot that allows the new father a more rounded family life, not an easy task in his chosen field.
“People need to know they can bring the experience of delicious restaurants into their own homes while cooking kosher,” said Sichel, who enjoys creating dishes that pay tribute to his heritage. “It’s a solid way to cook and really, it doesn’t have to be the same ol’, same ol.’”
Bringing some of his favorite flavors to Anshai Torah, Sichel will demonstrate, then serve, a four-course meal including a grilled Lebanese flatbread with hummus, stewed lentils and a 10-minute egg followed by a king salmon prepared roasted with sliced Texas oranges, olives and Israeli olive oil. The menu moves on to a burek with braised beef cheek, dried apricots and almonds baked with pickled green beans on the side. Closing out the night will be a dark chocolate pudding with raspberries and candied hazelnuts.
Congregation Anshai Torah has previously welcomed chef and “Top Chef” finalist Sara Bradley; cookbook author, chef and teacher Susie Fishbein; the executive chef of City Hall Bistro at The Adolphus, Jeramie Robison; and “Top Chef” and “Chopped” success Katsuji Tanabe, to share the secrets of their kitchens.
“I promise, you can create kosher elegance at home without sweating it,” said Sichel. “This menu is a great one for parties large and small and I’m excited to come to town and teach.”
To register to attend the March 24 event, $36/person, visit tinyurl.com/3-24-ANSHAI-KASHRUT-EVENT call 972-473-7718.
for Congregation Anshai Torah