Jack’s Gourmet premiered exactly one year ago at Kosherfest 2010Â and after receiving rave reviews there was no turning back. This year,Â Jack’s Gourmet is bigger than ever and with Kosherfest 2011 beginning today, co-founders Dr. Alan Broner and Chef Jack Silberstein are excited to introduce three new flavors of poultry sausage to their line of high quality handcrafted products. Already receivingÂ accolades in the Kosherfest 2011 new product competition is their spicy Jamaican Style Jerk Chicken Sausage, filled with the flavors of onion, garlic, molasses, habanero pepper and lime juice, which took the award for Best New Product in the Meat, Seafood, and Poultry category. As a food blogger and self-professed foodie, I’m looking forward to attending Kosherfest 2011 to try so many new products and to taste the Buffalo Style Chicken, Turkey with Apple and Cranberry, and award winning Jerk Chicken Sausage. Over the past year, I have tested and reviewed, used and served all of Jack’s Gourmet products and I can’t wait to try the new flavors at this years Kosherfest.
Here is my interview with Dr. Alan Broner, co-owner of Jack’s Gourmet Kosher:
Hi Alan. Thanks for participating in this Jewneric.com interview. How did a dentist and former professor of dentistry get started in the sausage and deli meat business?
I guess Iâ€™ve been a â€œfoodieâ€ since my teen years. I love to cook, love to entertain, enjoy the finer tastes in life. But I never thought Iâ€™d take a place in the industry until I met Jack. Itâ€™s been a dream come true, and although I experienced a great deal of successes in my life, adding a few more is just as gratifying.
How did you connect with chef and co-founder Chef Jack Silberstein?
I take cooking classes at Macyâ€™s DeGustibus, and heard from my wife that a chef was giving classes in my neighborhood. She took a class and told me she enjoyed it, so I took the next one. Jack, a graduate of CIA, gave a really good class on pairing meats with beer. I was fascinated enough to take another class, this time pairing wines and cheese. It was at this class, after imbibing a substantial amount of wine, a friendship was forged, that led to explorations into smoking meats, and preparing sausages.
Please tell me about the handcrafted process of creating your products with minimal artificial ingredients, fillers, by-products and MSG.
The traditional way of making sausage, was to grind up meat, with favorite spices, stuff a casing and voila…sausage. Only â€œmodern technologyâ€ led to fillers, additives, by products and other assorted ways of making money by diminishing the meat content. Jack and I returned to the â€œold wayâ€ of just taking meat and spices, to create authentic flavors the way they were intended. No MSG and all but one of our products gluten free.
What are the inspirations for your unique and ethnic sausage flavors?
I will speak for myself, in that I only first became orthodox at the age of 30. So Iâ€™ve been out there in the world, and enjoyed many types of cuisines. When I became religious, I no longer had any cravings for non-kosher foods, but I still had cravings for well made, tasty food. Iâ€™m sorry to say, that there have been voids in kosher cuisine that are first being catered to. My inspirations have been, to produce for the kosher consumer, the same quality and flavor that can be found in world cooking.
Congratulations on the award for Best New Product in the Meat, Seafood and Poultry Category at Kosherfest 2011 with your Jamaican Style Jerk Chicken Sausage. How does it feel to have the winning product?
To say the least it feels good. But more profoundly, it is gratifying, in such a short period of time (weâ€™re only a 1 year old company), to have gained recognition and accolades from industry experts, and iconic giants of kosher cuisine. I think Jackâ€™s Gourmet is taking itâ€™s place in â€œraising the barâ€ for what kosher consumers can come to expect. I think weâ€™ve established ourselves as a trendsetter and a model for others to follow suit.
Do you have a favorite recipe that showcases Jacks Gourmet product(s)?
Too many to mention, and the recipes keep pouring in. Jack is very innovative as was demonstrated at Royal Wineâ€™s Kosher Food and Wine Experience 2010. We were the only vendor invited that was not a restaurant, caterer, or supplier of prepared foods, and it was expected we would simply serve up samples of our sausages. But Jack came up with killer recipes and we wowed them with Chorizo Tacos and Bratwurst sliders. You Melinda, have been incredibly creative with recipes Iâ€™ve yet had the chance to try, but read like absolute successes. There are youtube videos of Levana Kirschenbaum being very creative with our products, and David Kolotkin of Prime Grill demonstrated a dynamite Gumbo using our chorizosat at DeGustibus.
Whatâ€™s next for Jackâ€™s Gourmet?
Jack and I have a great deal of things planned. But we are doing it the smart way. Slowly and carefully, with attention to details. A hallmark of our products remains our standard of perfection. We will not launch a product until it is the best we are capable of. I think we have some real surprises in store, so follow us on our Facebook page, or Twitter, or our website, to keep abreast of developments as they unfold.
All I can say is….â€you ainâ€™t seen nothinâ€™ yetâ€