Photo Credit: Got Cholent? website
New Yorkers munch on kosher barbeque.
New Yorkers munch on kosher barbeque.

A portable kosher barbeque rig is giving New York and the East Coast a taste of the backyard BBQ of yesteryear.

“There’s no one else doing this,” Got Cholent? president Ari White told Kosher Today. “I’m making it my mission to liberate New York’s kosher community from the exile of the great barbeque.” Gemstone catering, a division of Got Cholent? and under Star-K kosher supervision, is providing “pop-up” barbeque catering for events.

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“Most Orthodox New Yorkers tend to marinate their steak in some store bought sauce and call it ‘barbeque’,” said the Texas-born White. “But for something to really be barbequed, it needs to be wood-smoked, and there’s no way to fake that genuine, barbequed taste.”

He calls himself the “pit boss” over the “Texas Roadside Smokehouse BBQ.”

White remembers his father and their rabbi smoking 40 turkeys for 5 days straight to prepare for the holidays. “My grandfather was an avid ‘smoker,’ and he passed this on to me and my father. When I moved from El Paso to New York, I knew the tri-state area would appreciate what real barbeque means — I just had to get them to taste it,” he stated.

His 2-ton wood-burning “HaKodesh Barbeque” provides “pop-up” barbeques, complete with a dining tent, bales of hay and country music.

“At our first pop-up in Riverdale, we served more than 3,000 people in four afternoons, and we had to turn away hundreds more,” according to White. “We had a similar smashing success in Westchester’s Lincoln Park.”

HaKodesh Barbeque will be making appearances in New York’s street fairs a week after Pesach and will be the first kosher “smoker” to compete in the Food Network’s Brisket King NYC competition.

New Yorkers will have a chance to feast on mid-city barbeques at upcoming street fairs, starting with an April 7 event at Union Square.

On Yom HaAtzmaut, when hundreds of thousands of Israelis can’t get through the Independence Day holiday without a cookout on the coals, White will serve’em up at a location to be announced later.

A large barbeque event also is scheduled for Philadelphia in early June.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Please forgive me for "raining on the parade," , but as President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America and author of the book “Judaism and Vegetarianism,” I feel it important to point out that.
    (1) the production and consumption of meat and other animal products contradict basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources and help hungry people, and (2) animal -based diets and agriculture are causing an epidemic of diseases in the Jewish and other communities and contributing significantly to climate change, deforestation, water shortages, and many other environmental problems that threaten all of humanity.

    I believe it is essential that the Jewish community address these issues to show the relevance of eternal Jewish teachings to current issues and to help shift our imperiled planet to a sustainable path.

    For more information about the Jewish basis for a plant-based diet, visit http://www.jewishveg.com and please see our acclaimed documentary "A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World" at ASacedDuty.com.

  2. Check it out: "HaKodesh Barbeque" will be making appearances in New York’s street fairs a week after Pesach (Passover) and will be the first kosher “smoker” to compete in the Food Network’s Brisket King NYC competition.

  3. And until then, Stephen, you are willing to have a diet that arguably violates Jewish mandates to preserve your health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and help hungry people?

    Did you know that Rav Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook, Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel, believed, based on the prophecy of Isaiah (11:6-9( that the Messianic period would involve only non-animal sacrifices.

  4. Well, since the Torah and Halacha clearly allows for killing animals to eat their meat, and in fact requires it at certain times, I'm going to have to answer that there is no halachic problem with eating meat, and that your statement that eating meat violates Jewish mandates is incorrect.

  5. I have to agree in whole with Stephen Leavitt as I grew up an Orthodox Jew with a Father being a Rabbi and Grandfather a Chicken Slaughterer. Never have I heard that eating meat was forbidden in any way shape or form.

    To be a vegetarian is great and I am sure a healthier way of life but it has nothing to do with halacha no matter how many Rabbi's say so. Just my thoughts.

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