Kosher Redefined Through Upscale Experience

Delight and Full
November 29, 2022
Delight and Full
November 29, 2022

Kosher Redefined Through Upscale Experience

Kosher Night at the Park Hyatt hotel offers unmatched ambiance to exceed all expectations of diners and food enthusiasts. There is a year-round fully Kosher Kitchen under the strict supervision of the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR) that can be utilized for community events and Jewish celebrations. Chef Antonio Soriano and Allen Varghese began the culinary adventure of Kosher Food Night at the Park Hyatt, because they wanted to showcase their ‘nose to tail’ culinary creations, in which they fully utilize all ingredients ‘head to toe’.

They make all dishes ‘in house’, including: bread and pastries, as well as sauces. These Chefs even use special kettles to simmer stock for sauces.They source only sustainable vegetable produce. Use all parts of vegetables and even use various parts of vegetables as garnishes for specialty dishes.

Chef Varghese chose the menu for the Kosher Food night at the Park Hyatt hotel. He wanted to bridge ‘old school with new school’ cuisine. They feature enriched food, redefined as new culinary creations. Chef Allen Varghese graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2018.

Cordon Bleu, which was founded in 1895, is considered to be the ‘largest network of culinary and hospitality schools in the world, with more that 35 institutes, in 20 countries and 20,000 students of over 100 nationalities are trained there each year’. Chef Varghese considers ‘Cordon Bleu to be the Harvard of Cooking’.Chef Varghese learned the ‘art of cooking’ under the tutelage of world renowned Chef Pierre Gagnaire (3 Star Michelin rated Chef) who has and operates 14 Michelin stars under his name; including three Michelin star-rated Sketch restaurant, in London, England. Chef Gagnaire also owns highly acclaimed restaurant in Paris, France that bears his name, which was awarded three Michelin stars.Chef Varghese initially worked as line cook and then advanced his career, becoming a Sous Chef. He went to Scotland and worked at a 5 star hotel in the mountains under a Michelin rated Chef. He went on to work at Langdon Hall, which is a Relais Chateaux property that houses 5 diamonds and is currently the number 5 restaurant, in Canada.

At the Park Hyatt Chef Varghese and his team apply the ‘farm to table approach’ for produce and ingredients in their culinary creations. His team includes 2 sous chefs and 6 line cooks. It is most interesting that Chef Varghese believes in using all parts of vegetables and food produce and does not allow any food ingredients to go to waste. Chef Vargehese fully utilizes all parts of produce when crafting culinary creations.

I found this ‘love of food’ and refusal to waste food to be even more impressive than the most delicious food served at the Kosher Night at the Park. This is because there is a Jewish law, known as Baal Taschit: “Chinuch (Mitzvah 529) writes that “it is the practice of very righteous people not to waste anything, even a grain of mustard”.[2] “The logic behind this principle is that if even in a time of war one could not destroy fruit trees, all the more so should one not destroy or waste anything under normal circumstances.”We can easily see from the above quotes, based on serious Jewish Halacha or Law that wasting food is a serious concern and is even considered a severe transgression.

Moreover, food that is deemed as being Kosher and fit for consumption by Jews is a complex matter. There are many laws and requirements for food to be considered Kosher and there are even restrictions on not combining foods that are Kosher with other Kosher food, such as not mixing milk and meat, even if either or both items are Kosher. But even vegetables that are Kosher must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that there are non-Kosher accompaniments are fully rinsed away.

I don’t know if Chef Varghese had Jewish Law in mind, or not, when deciding to not waste any food and to fully utilize and incorporate all parts of vegetables in Kosher dishes; sometimes using ‘odds and ends’ as garnishes to speciality meals.

Chef Varghese applies a ‘farm to table’ approach to the Kosher Night at the Park, at the Park Hyatt Hotel, in Toronto, Canada, well positioned in the heart of Yorkville. I do believe that this strategy, of using food fully is a practice befitting a Chef that worked in Michelin star-rated restaurants.

It is the pursuit of perfection and the demonstration of excellence, in all aspects of one’s behavior, both personally and professionally, at work or out in the community; in all environments and at all times a Chef must display ‘sense of superior effort’ in all of their endeavors. By a Chef, just like every ingredient and every spice; every word and every movement and every action is measured and done intentionally with just the right amount of effort. Precision, perfection and persistence to reach and exceed even higher and greater levels of quality is what sets a Chef above and beyond a simple cook. A Chef does not merely make a meal, a Chef crafts culinary creations that ‘dazzle the eye’ and ‘please the palate’, with each bite.

I dined at the Kosher Night at the Park, on Monday, July 17, 2023 and was immediately immersed into an ‘environment of exceptional awe’. All of the staff were dressed in clean and well-pressed uniforms. They all spoke politely to all guests in attendance. The waitress assigned to my table knew all of the items to be served during the meal and was able to articulate the menu and its courses and able to answer all of my inquiries about the food to be served. I was also given a menu with multiple options for each course of the meal. Actually each course of the meal had its own menu, which was provided to diners by the wait staff.

The first course was canapes, which were richly adorned and showcased a beautiful presentation on the plate and on the table. The appetizers were delectable and seemed fresh, right from the sea. I chose Tuna Tartare. For the main course I chose Lamb over fish and I believed that selected the better dish for my wish. I didn’t want to ‘seem sheepish’. Instead I wanted to savor Lamb that was soft and light and easy to chew, which was coated in a rich flavorful jus. Taste beyond words: “Mmm.mmmm.”The desserts were really yummy too! I never get stressed when I get my just desserts.

By the way the word ‘desserts’ is a palindrome that when spelled backward or in reverse spells out the word: ‘stressed’. Did I forget to mention that a varied array of new wines were offered to guests at each course of the meal. There was even a washing station and fresh bread for the traditional ‘ha motzi’ hand washing bread that precedes a meal. Olive oil was housed in small glass bottles that had spouts for pouring out the olive oil on to plates to dip the freshly baked bread.

I long, or rather yearn to once again, hopefully soon, attend Kosher Night at the Park Hotel, in Toronto, Canada. I am getting hungry now, just anticipating the ‘out of this world’ prime and upscale dining experience. Needless to say, I highly recommend that if you crave a Kosher dinner venue that offers food, service and ambiance that leaves a memorable impression on your taste buds, then you should definitely try Kosher Night at the Park. I doubt that you could only go once. You will want to go there as often as possible. There is no place like it