Atlanta’s Top Jewish Chefs Share Passover Recipes
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Atlanta’s Top Jewish Chefs Share Passover Recipes

Six chefs from the Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Midtown, Emory and Woodstock areas came up with the recipes, including one for non-beef eaters.

Robyn Spizman Gerson is a New York Times best-selling author of many books, including “When Words Matter Most.” She is also a communications professional and well-known media personality, having appeared often locally on “Atlanta and Company” and nationally on NBC’s “Today” show. For more information go to

When it comes to making Passover delicious, Farmers & Fishermen CEO Kirk Halpern knows just what to do. His family-owned, award-winning company, which he runs with his son, provides customers with the finest fresh fish, meat, poultry and delicacies. Now, he’s assembled a selection of recipes from local Jewish chefs that will make your mouth water and your Passover Seder an occasion to remember.

“The Passover Seder is a wonderful opportunity for the Jewish community to gather around our tables together as a family,” Halpern said. “In our business, we have a strong appreciation for every family. We value those treasured recipes from beloved family members, while also enjoying changing it up a little bit. To make Passover even more irresistible, we’ve collected some great Passover recipes from Jewish chefs around Atlanta, including some from Woodstock, which is a fantastic, thriving restaurant community.”

Six chefs from the Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Midtown, Emory and Woodstock areas came up with the recipes, including one for non-beef eaters, a great duck recipe from chef Mike Baker and a delicious Sephardic lamb chop recipe from Stephen Kaplan, director of Operations at Rumi’s Kitchen.

“When you think about what Passover is, it is a new beginning and redemption,” Halpern said. “People know that the restaurant community is the first employer for many people coming from redemption. In a lot of kitchens, whether it’s a server in the front going to trade school or college, it’s their first job; and the other big part is people that are coming out of life challenges. The dinner table is communal.”

“Ideally, Passover protein popularity is still focused on brisket and lamb, with brisket being the most popular,” Halpern explained. “We selected two different lamb dishes that are creative and, for those that want to do an alternative to meat, we’re showing some poultry with duck and chicken. Some folks would use salmon as well. In preparation of the traditional lamb shank bone treasure hunt, which so many people end up searching for at the last minute, I have plenty for the seder plate. Historically, people would buy a lamb shank and take the meat off, so they had the bone. We are prepared with a couple hundred pounds of lamb shank bones, which are ready to go. Some of our customers make gefilte fish from scratch and order carp or raw white fish. I’m a charoset guy and love Grandmother Hattie’s recipe.”

“When it came to preparing these great recipes for the holiday, my mom (Lori) would often task me with the chopping, dicing and slicing when I wasn’t busy taste-testing our family’s charoset,” says Halpern’s son, Ben. “I’ve always loved brisket, and while it was certainly tough watching the brisket while it was slowly braising to perfection, I learned during the holidays the importance of patience. It’s an honor to be a part of the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation and learn from some of the best chefs and restaurant operators in the community.”

Growing up, Ben recalls his father bringing home the finest cuts of meat and the freshest fish. The recipes were passed down from Ben’s maternal great-grandmother, “often hand-written and laminated for the next generations to also cherish.”

“Along with my sister Erica, her husband Ryan and my girlfriend Carlin and her beautiful family,” he says, “we’re all looking forward to being together and continuing to create special memories during Passover.”

Recipes for Passover

Seared Duck Breast with Blackberry Demi-Glace by Mike Baker

Jurgielewicz Seared Duck Breast with Blackberry Demi-Glace
By Chef Mike Baker, Corporate Chef at Farmers & Fishermen

Recipe calls for:

2 ea. Jurgielewicz duck breasts
½ cup blackberry brandy or Manischewitz
½ cup fresh blackberries
2 cups water
⅓ cup Knorr Swiss Demi-Glace (Sauce)

Sauce Preparation

In sauce pot, add 2 cups warm (not boiling) water.
Measure ⅓ cup Knorr Swiss demi-glace.
Turn to medium high heat and whisk till smooth, add ¼ cup blackberry brandy.
When thickened turn heat down to very low and add ½ cup fresh blackberries.
Let simmer 10 minutes.

Duck Preparation

Score skin with a knife in a diamond pattern, trim excess skin if desired (be sure not to puncture the meat).
Season both sides of the duck breast with salt and pepper.
Place skin side down on a cold pan (Pro Tip: Heat duck breast in the pan lightly).
Cook skin side down on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
Flip and cook meat side down for 2 minutes.
Deglaze pan with ¼ cup blackberry brandy, add the finished and fresh blackberries (see below).
Put on a cutting board and let it rest for 7-10 minutes.


With a sharp knife, slice breast on a bias in ⅛-inch slices, not deli thin but not too thick. Be sure to keep crispy skin intact on each slice.
Arrange duck slices on plate or platter at angle.
Ladle warmed blackberry demi-glace over the slices to your desired amount to include blackberries and enjoy!

Sephardic Marinated Double-Bone Lamb Chops by Stephen Kaplan

Sephardic Marinated Double-Bone Lamb Chops
By Stephen Kaplan, Director of Operations at Rumi’s Kitchen in Alpharetta, Sandy Springs and Midtown

Recipe calls for:

3 ea. 26-28 oz lamb racks or 6 ea. 12-14 oz. lamb racks
2g saffron
24g Kosher salt
5g ground black pepper
136g lemon juice
32g lime juice
40g garlic cloves
28g rosemary leaves
136g olive oil
136g Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Trim the fat cap off the racks. Butcher each rack into four two-bone segments.
In a large bowl, sprinkle the rack of lamb segments with salt and pepper.
In a blender, blend the saffron water, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic cloves, rosemary leaves and olive oil.
Pour the blended mixture over the rack of lamb segments and mix by hand to ensure all of the meat is coated uniformly.
Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Cook each segment on a hot grill until desired internal temperature is reached (145 degrees for medium), allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, and enjoy!

Slow-Braised Brisket Stew in the Crock Pot by Ted Kupferman

Slow-Braised Brisket Stew in the Crock Pot
By Chef Ted Kupferman, Executive Chef at Prime 120 in Woodstock

2½ lbs. brisket
1 tsp. Kosher salt, divided
½ tsp ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup corn starch
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1½ cups dry red wine
1 ea. large yellow onion
3 ea. celery stalks
2 ea. garlic cloves
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
4 ea. large carrots
½ lb. red potatoes
1 ea. bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
3-4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1½ cups fresh or frozen peas (no need to thaw)
Fresh parsley (optional for serving)

Cut the beef brisket into 1-inch cubes, removing any large, tough pieces of fat or gristle. (It may be easiest to cut it into 1-inch-thick large, round slices, then strips, then cubes).
Place the cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle on the corn starch, then toss lightly to coat.
Place a large, deep Dutch Oven over medium to high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Heat the oil, add one-third to one-half of the beef. Let the cubes of the brisket cook undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottom of the cubes develop a dark-brown crust and come away from the pan easily. Turn and continue searing until dark and golden all over, about 4 to 5 additional minutes.
Transfer the seared meat to a clean bowl or plate. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot, and once hot, sear the remaining beef. It may take two or three batches total depending on the size of your pan. If the pan gets too dry, add a bit more oil as needed.
While the meat browns, dice the yellow onion and celery and mince the garlic.
When the last batch of beef has been seared, transfer it to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and celery and cook until soft for about 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
While the onions sauté, peel and dice the carrots. Scrub the potatoes and cut into a rough dice. Set aside.
Increase the pan heat to medium-high heat and add the wine or beer (stand back, as it will sputter). Cook, letting the wine reduce and scraping up all of the brown bits from the pan. Continue to scrape and stir until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the sautéed vegetables and any sauce from the pan to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and 3 cups of beef broth. Stir to roughly combine.
Cover and cook on low for 6 ½ to 8 hours or high for 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours, until the beef is cooked through and fall-apart tender. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the peas.
If you’d like the stew thinner, add additional broth until it reaches your desired consistency.
Taste and add additional salt or pepper as desired and enjoy!

Brisket Tagine with Dried Yellow Plums

Brisket Tagine with Dried Yellow Plums
By Chef Todd Ginsberg, Chef Owner of The General Muir in Emory Village & Sandy Springs

Recipe calls for:
150g Dried Yellow Plums
12 oz. boiling water
Pour boiling water over plums and rehydrate. Allow plums to stay in water for an hour. You can take pits out at this stage (optional) Reserve liquid.
Preheat oven to 300-325 degrees
200g onions, diced
100g grapeseed or canola oil
3 ea. garlic cloves, smashed

Cook onions and garlic slowly over low to medium heat. A nice light caramelization is nice.
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. chili powder
1 pinch saffron (optional)

Add spices to onions and garlic and stir for 30 seconds over low heat to bloom the spices.

4 lbs. brisket, cut into large cubes
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
120g honey
500g canned whole tomatoes, crushed
1 cup water from soaked plums
½ ea. beef bouillon cube
100g sundried tomatoes
200g small-med carrots, cut into thirds

Add rest of ingredients to pot. Bring to a simmer. Place in oven uncovered. You are looking for liquid reduction, caramelization of meat and concentrated flavors.
Check every 30 minutes. Stir meat, and add water as needed. You don’t want the same amount of liquid when the beef is finished cooking as when you first started. You want more of a sauce-like consistency. Should take 90 minutes in oven.
Take out of oven. Check for doneness of the meat. When finished put a lid on it and let come to room temp over an hour or two. Place immediately in fridge. Best served the next day.

Lamb Rosemary Tortellini by Greg Lipman

Lamb Rosemary Tortellini with Spring Onion Broth
By Chef Greg Lipman, Chef Owner of Piastra in Marietta

1 lb. lamb stew meat
1 bunch spring onions – greens cut off and reserved for later – white and light green sliced in thin rings (Keep ¼ cup for the final cooking)
15 ea. garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
3 ea. medium shallots, finely diced
2 ea. large stems rosemary, picked
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup red wine
½ cup white wine
2 cups water
3 sheets fresh pasta
salt & pepper (to taste)

For the Filling:
Heavily season stew meat with salt and pepper.
In a heavy bottomed pan, over high heat, sear the lamb meat in half of the olive oil (⅛ cup) very thoroughly. Turning the meat as needed to sear all sides.
Add ½ of the chopped garlic, and ⅓ of the sliced onion and all of the picked rosemary when the meat is all seared.
Cook for 30 seconds, stirring, or until the garlic begins to brown slightly.
Add the red wine and reduce until nearly dry. Remove from heat, let it cool for 10 minutes.
In a food processor, chop the meat until finely chopped, but not paste.
Using a 2-inch ring cutter (a sturdy plastic cup would work, but a round cookie cutter is much better), cut 20 to 28 pieces of the pasta into circles. Using water, lightly brush the top half of the circle.
Place 1 tablespoon of the lamb filling in the center of each circle. Fold the circles in half, holding all the filling inside and making sure no extra air is trapped inside. Press the edges firmly to make sure they are sealed well. Holding each point of the half moon, gently pull the corners together, using a finger to dimple the center of the crease. Press the two corners together firmly.
After all of the tortellini are finished, make the broth.

For the Broth:
In a 2-quart pot, place the remaining olive oil, garlic, and onions on medium heat.
Slowly cook, until the onions and garlic are nearly translucent but no browning. Stir occasionally.
Add the white wine and water, bring to a simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain liquid, keeping the broth and discarding the vegetables.

Final Cooking:
In a 2-quart (or larger) pot, fill with water ⅔ to top. Bring to rapid boil, add 2 tablespoons salt.
Once boiling, add tortellini. Let it cook 2 minutes.
In a large pan, add the final amount of onions, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sauté for 1 minute until onions have a little browning. Add onion broth and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a deep dish or shallow bowl, place cooked tortellini, and ladle broth over until desired amount of broth, and enjoy!

Slow-Braised Lemon-Rosemary Chicken by David Silverman

Slow-Braised Lemon-Rosemary Chicken in Saffron Mustard Sauce
By Chef David Silverman, Chef Owner of Reel in Woodstock

2 lbs. skin-on chicken thighs
or 2 lbs. of your favorite cut, like drumsticks or breasts
2 ea. whole lemons (using a grater or zester, grate, zest off lemons & then set aside both zest and juice with seeds strained out, set half the fine zest aside)
2 oz. rosemary chopped (half for seasoning raw chicken and other half for sauce)
4 oz. white wine
6 cups chicken stock (broth)
2 oz. yellow mustard
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
salt & pepper (white & black)
1 tsp. saffron

Pat dry the chicken thighs or your choice of chicken.
Lightly sprinkle salt, black pepper, grated zest from lemons and chopped rosemary in large skillet preheated, add 3 oz. preferred cooking oil and sear chicken skin side down for 5 minutes on medium heat.
While skin is searing, lightly repeat seasoning procedure on skinless side. Turn thighs over and sear for 3 minutes.
Remove from pan, set aside thighs, and pour out oil and deglaze pan with white wine.
Reduce wine by half and add stock, mustard, pinch of rosemary, garlic, saffron, lemon zest, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric and juice of the 2 lemons. Add a pinch of salt and white pepper.
Bring to light boil and put in thighs skin side up. Put in oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove thighs and strain sauce through household strainer (china cap also works — the finer the strainer the cleaner the sauce will be.)
Plate thighs and spoon sauce all over and serve with favorite roasted potatoes such as roasted reds with salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary and enjoy!

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