Close to 600 oenophiles and gourmet revelers flocked to Mason Fine Art on Thursday, Feb. 2, to honor Rita and Michael LeVine and Yaarit and Ian Silverstone at Kosher Food and Wine Atlanta.
Thirty vendor displays rivaled a New York or Chicago showing of the ultimate in kosher wine and food. Chabad of Georgia coordinated the one-night festival, mirroring its premiere in Atlanta in August 2015. Rabbi Yisrael New engineered the event.
Before the main event, the Silverstones and LeVines were adored by the crowd at the sponsors dinner. Sandra Bank of A Kosher Touch, the honoree at the first Kosher Food and Wine Atlanta, once again outdid herself with several stations. My favorites were a buffet-style ahi tuna bowl with toppings and sauces, then spring chicken and an avocado slaw.
“Tonight is a reflection of the growth and community outreach of Chabad in Atlanta in all walks of life,” Rabbi Yossi New said.
He greeted the sponsors and toasted the honorees by reminding us that the Jewish people were instructed to have lunar and solar calendars. He compared the constancy of the sun to the LeVines, “who serve the community day in and day out,” while the moon parallels the Silverstones, “who demonstrate humility and reflect light.”
The honorees were given exquisite metal candlestick platters.
Rita LeVine, a former president of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, said she feels good about the work of Chabad, and her own cup “overflows with so much of life’s goodness.”
Her husband, named the 2016 Premier Physician of the Year by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, said, “After 47 years of marriage, you won’t have to hear more from me.”
Yaarit Silverstone, a managing director with Accenture and a board member of the Atlanta United Way, said, “Chabad provides a haven for give and take, a map of responsibility for us to pass along to our children in an increasingly complex world.”
During the sponsor reception, Bev Lewyn said, “Yaarit is one of the most brilliant and warm women I have met.”
Marc Lewyn added, “Ian is a loyal friend, a brilliant businessman, and, most importantly, a relentless philanthropist.”
Ian Silverstone is the CEO of homebuilder Waters Edge Group.
Lynne Halpern, dressed in a stunning tangerine coat dress, said: “Rita is so deserving. Her gift is serving as a connection for and with the Jewish community.”
The main gallery opened at 7 p.m. with new vendors. The offerings included stir fry (Kosher Gourmet), teriyaki salmon (Julie’s), a mile-high, colorful assortment of sweets with tiramisu (The Spicy Peach), healthy juices (Arden’s Garden), a soup bar (Bijan), and a gallery of even more wines (Royal Wine).
A novel display was liquid nondairy cream frozen into ice cream with nitrogen. The chocolate-chip mint was divine.
Wolfgang Puck, Cotton Cravings, FuegoMundo, Avenue K, Ali’s Cookies, Classic Pita, Chai Peking, Dolce and Goza Tequila also helped ensure that no one left hungry.
The event showed the elegance and beauty of keeping kosher. It’s not just Manischewitz anymore.
Photos by J. Braxton Photography