Former ‘Chopped’ contestant opens NJ kosher Italian eatery (Opinion)
Keep kosher? Keep reading.
It can often be a challenge finding upscale restaurants that accommodate food restrictions. For those that keep kosher, this happens pretty often.
A little over a year ago, La Cucina Di Nava opened in Teaneck and is one of the best gourmet “I’d eat here even if I didn't keep kosher” Italian restaurants New Jersey has seen.
The man behind this exciting concept is Chef Shalom, who has competed on "Chopped," (which he was hesitant to join due to a lack of kosher cuisine.) After speaking with producers, they agreed to provide him with kosher food ingredients, making him eligible to compete.
Chef Shalom Yehudiel, of Teaneck, refuses to be unloyal to his beliefs, which has, in turn, allowed him to raise awareness and educate others about kosher cuisines.
"Chopped" was his first televised opportunity to do this, and his new restaurant is the next. The menu stays true to any authentic Italian joint, but the ingredients are entirely kosher. From lasagna to truffle mac & cheese, and even eggplant parm, this place does not fall short.
What makes this place unique is that due to the kosher restrictions all ingredients are specifically sourced, meaning most of the menu items are housemade. Because of this, La Cucina Di Nava may as well be one of the most authentic Italian spots in the area.
Great restaurants that accommodate dietary restrictions are hard to come by, and we New Jerseyans are lucky to have a restaurant like this join our community. Looking for the next spot to have a big family-style meal? I think this place might be it.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.