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Advisory Council

Abby Cherner

Abby Cherner

Abby Cherner took her love of entertaining and cooking and founded At Home With Abby in 2012. Her classes capture her entertaining aesthetic and provide students with a carefully selected menu, interactive cooking demonstration, tabletop ideas and serving and presentation tips designed to build confidence in cooking and entertaining. Classes encourage students to open their homes, roll up their sleeves and enjoy home-cooked food with family and friends.

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Bonnie Benwick

Bonnie Benwick

Bonnie Benwick came to The Washington Post in 1989. The Food section, which she joined in 2004 after working on the Style, Sports, Metro Weeklies, News and Outlook desks, was where she always wanted to be. She writes the weekly Dinner in Minutes column, cookbook reviews and manages recipes and photo shoots. She edited The Washington Post Cookbook: Readers’ Favorite Recipes (Time Capsule Press, 2013).

Debra Moser

Debra Moser

For over 30 years Debra Moser has guided businesses in marketing and strategic positioning, currently bringing that expertise to Central Farm Markets and MeatCrafters, both founded with her husband, Mitch Berliner. She has a professional certification in pastry from L’Academie de Cuisine. Before she let her culinary spirit loose, Debra was the founding executive director of the Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts in Rockville.

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Elyse Cohen

Elyse Cohen

Elyse Cohen is the former deputy director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, aimed at helping America raise healthier kids. She has led health communications initiatives spanning food and nutrition policy, public-private partnership development, marketing and social impact. Elyse guides companies, nonprofits and individuals on their social missions and strategic partnerships around food, nutrition and wellness. Find her on Twitter: @ElyseCohen

Jonathan Stahl

Jonathan Stahl

Jonathan Stahl is a member of the Jewish Food Experience’s leadership team and has helped guide the initiative since its launch in 2013. Jonathan is Executive Director of Ballpark Operations and Guest Experience for the Washington Nationals. He oversees, recruits and taste-tests all the culinary offerings at the ballpark including Shake Shack, Shawafel and Mike Isabella’s G Sandwich, as well as homegrown concepts like Throwin’ Cheese.

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Laura Apelbaum

Laura Apelbaum

Laura Apelbaum is a native of the Washington area and has been Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington since 1994. Her work has centered on preservation of the 1876 historic synagogue, building the community’s archives, expanding the Society’s school and family programs and outreach in the community.

Leah Hadad

Leah Hadad

Leah Hadad once worked as a lawyer, but her lifelong love for cooking and baking led her to start Tribes-a-Dozen and develop its signature product, Voilà! Hallah, a line of all-natural, kosher challah bread mixes. Her calling now is to revive the tradition of baking challah at home. Leah draws on her Yemenite-Israeli roots as she is mixin’ traditions in her kitchen for family and friends in Washington, DC.

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Meredith Jacobs

Meredith Jacobs

Meredith Jacobs, vice president of marketing and communications for Jewish Women International, is an award-winning journalist and former editor-in-chief of Washington Jewish Week. She is the author of The Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat: Connect and Celebrate—Bring Your Family Together with the Friday Night Meal (HarperCollins) and co-founder and editor of www.ModernJewishMom.com, now part of Kveller.com.

Mitchell Berliner

Mitchell Berliner

A trailblazer and entrepreneur in the food industry for over 35 years, Mitch Berliner has been instrumental in making the Washington, DC, area a world-class food market. He started with a gourmet-to-go concept in 1971 and then founded Berliner Foods in 1974. After it was acquired in 1985, he opened Berliner Specialty Distributors and, later on, Central Farm Markets and MeatCrafters with his wife, Debra Moser.

Nick Wiseman

Nick Wiseman

Nick Wiseman owns DGS Delicatessen with his cousin and business partner David Wiseman. Nick began cooking in professional kitchens when he was just 15 years old. He has worked at some of the best restaurants in DC and NYC, most recently at two-Michelin-star Alto under chef Michael White. He returned to DC in 2012 to open his “new school delicatessen” in Dupont Circle.

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Pati Jinich

Pati Jinich

Only after Pati Jinich got her dream job as a policy analyst did she realize, with a nudge from her husband, that food is really her first love. Nostalgia for her childhood meals in Mexico City inspires her mission to teach true Mexican cooking through classes, her public television show Pati’s Mexican Table and her blog and cookbook.

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Sara Polon

Sara Polon

Inspired to get involved in the local food movement, Sara Polon (Soupergirl), together with her mom (Supermom), launched Soupergirl, creating healthy, kosher, vegan soups, which are available at their two DC area stores (Takoma Park and M Street NW), several other locations around town and by delivery.

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Susan Barocas

Susan Barocas

Susan Barocas adores food, film, family and friends…although not necessarily in that order. She helped launch the Jewish Food Experience as its first project director following several years as director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Currently, Susan writes, produces and directs documentaries and films for non-profit organizations. She also organizes special events, teaches cooking, caters and considers hosting a holiday meal for less than 20 to be small.

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Susan Rothstein

Susan Rothstein

In 2011, inspired by her grandmother Judy, who had graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in France, Susan Rothstein followed her passion for food and launched Susan Rothstein Catering, which offers comfort food with a health-conscious and gourmet twist and presentation. Specializing in cocktail parties, corporate events and lifecycle celebrations, Susan has a flare for creating festive events where the atmosphere and individuality complement the delicious food.

Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray

Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray

Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray are co-owners of Equinox Restaurant and Harvest Moon Hospitality Group, which includes three other restaurants and two catering companies. They are co-authors of The New Jewish Table (St. Martin’s Press, 2013).

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Vered Guttman

Vered Guttman

Vered Guttman is passionate about Jewish and Israeli food. She writes the popular Modern Manna food blog for Israel’s daily newspaper, Haaretz, and her articles appear in the Washington Post and slate.com, among others. She is also chef and owner of Cardamom & Mint, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern catering company in Washington, DC. Growing up in Israel, Vered took her first steps in Jewish cooking at the tables of her two grandmothers, one from Poland, the other from Iraq.

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