A new competitor is on the block, the wooden chopping block, in this case, where Eli Brafman of E.B Catering Co. has swept onto the kosher Atlanta catering scene. He brings his New York experience and mouthwatering new recipes to private homes, simchas, and events around town.
One of the most exciting venues in 2020 will be the much awaited and publicized opening of the new multi-level Atlanta Zoo Savanna Hall. Brafman is currently consulting with Proof of the Pudding on its new venture at Zoo Atlanta, helping to launch Atlanta’s newest kosher kitchen in Savanna Hall.
“All of the exciting changes at Zoo Atlanta, including the construction of Savanna Hall, the new kosher kitchen and partnership with Proof of the Pudding are sure to bring events at the zoo to a new level,” said Adam Noyes, Proof of the Pudding President.
Brafman began catering out of Congregation Beth Tefillah’s kitchen in December. Some of the events he’s done there and offsite are brit milah, birthday parties, upshirin, (ceremonial first haircut), weddings and meetings.
He began making Shabbat meals as a favor for some locals in need. Soon word got around about how good his food was, so he transformed this into a wider business.
Those of us who have hosted strictly kosher events know that there is a voracious market for dazzling and delicious food, not to mention keeping up with the nouveau trends building on the back of traditional bubbes’ recipes, which, in themselves, are layered and sentimental. Gone are the days of poopooing kosher food as unhealthy and undervalued.
Get the oil, milk and honey on what Brafman intends to bring to the table. “I’m very passionate and want to bring kosher cuisine here to a new level,” he said.
From Chabad to Jewish Outreach
He grew up in Brooklyn in a catering family, as his grandmother was the event planner at the old Crowne Plaza hotel. “My mother also was a gourmet cook and she built upon my bubbe’s traditional style to a modern gourmet style while still being heimishe.”
Brafman’s catering resume began at age 14, when he prepped the food at Chabad of Toronto’s farbrengens (Hassidic gatherings). “I was the ‘go to’ cook. I owe a lot to the Chabad system.”
He was in the Yeshiva of Postville, Iowa, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided Sholom Rubaskin’s nearby glatt kosher Agriprocessors, which led to the yeshivah chef leaving town.
As a result, Brafman took over at 16 as the Iowa chef and ran the kitchen for 80 students.
From there, he segued to Argentina for two years, where he built his background in quality meat preparation. The journey goes on to Los Angeles where he was a shaliach (outreach) for Jewish Educational Trade School and assisted a Wolfgang Puck-trained chef in a culinary program for students.
Passover Prep for the Particulars
Some observant folks frequent family vacations over Passover with gourmet kosher cuisine, services, children’s programs, and even movie stars.
I have been to Passover vacays in the Grand Bahamas, The Ritz-Carlton West Palm Beach, and Innisbrook Golf Resort. The price tag is not for the faint of pocketbook.
Enter Brafman, who ran the “back of the house kitchen” for Michael Schick (at KMR), arguably the most formidable New York kosher caterer, for Passover 2019 at Hilton Lake, Las Vegas.
Best of Brafman
Brafman’s specialties are meat boards and bar items such as sliders and chicken lollipops. “We have a dairy, pareve and meat kitchen. Flat bread pizzas are another of my go-tos. Our goal is to bring an upscale yet affordable contemporary New York style to Atlanta.”
Some of Brafman’s offerings are:
- Pulled beef sliders on pretzel buns, with Mexican slaw and house sauce
- Ahi tuna tower
- 48-hour marinated London broil, roasted vegetables and sweet chili roasted baby potatoes
- Sous vide meat board with shoulder roast, burgers, skirt steak and ribeye (Sous vide is a French method of cooking in which the item is placed in a vacuum-packed bag and cooked in water on a low and slow temperature)
- Burgers on pretzel buns, with arugula, onion jam and garlic
- Southern fried chicken and waffles with maple mustard, craisins and scallion garnish
- Mediterranean roasted branzino
- Yogurt parfait station
- Gravlax and cheese boards
The Shabbat takeout menu changes weekly.
For more about Brafman’s offerings, www.ebcateringco.com. For information on pricing and tours of the new Savanna Hall, overlooking the zoo’s new African Savanna, call 404-624-5650. Savanna Hall is booking now for 2020 events. Its Carlos Ballroom will accommodate 615 for a seated meal and 745 for a cocktail-style event.