RARITAN TWP., NJ - After a successful event last year, Chabad of Hunterdon County will once again host its Kosher Food Cook-Off.

Though last year’s event did not air on the Food Network, its organziers say it served up just as much excitement and delicious food as Chopped or Top Chef. This year’s event will once again feature two celebrity chefs, including a previous Chopped competitor.

Rabbi Hanoch Hecht competed on Food Network's popular show Chopped (episode "Leap of Faith"), where he competed against a priest, a nun-in-training, and a pastor in the Chopped Kitchen. He made history by competing and not tasting any of the food he cooked because it was prepared in a non-kosher kitchen. His recipes have been featured in publications all over the globe as he explores kosher and modern Jewish cuisine.

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Hecht is also known as the “six-minute rabbi” and provides spiritual as well as culinary inspiration to students who attend the Culinary Institute of America.

Chef Giorgio V is the head chef at the Flemington-Raritan Diner, where this year’s Kosher Cook-off will take place. He brings decades of experience and flare to the competition and is seasoned at working under time constraints and making quick culinary decisions. Event organizers say Chef V is a world class culinary talent and will certainly not give up on the title easily.

“This is a great opportunity to bring all food lovers and individuals from the community together for a social night of fun, competition, and delicious food and drink,” said Stephanie Mraz from Flemington, who attended last year’s cookoff.  

“Last year we opened up the world of high-end kosher to more people and made it accessible and fun. It’s a cutting edge field right now that’s really hip for anyone who’s a foodie or loves to cook. We anticipate this year’s event to be even more successful,” said Rabbi Eli Kornfeld, Director of Chabad of Hunterdon.

The Cook-Off will be hosted and judged by Dini Klein, of DiniDelivers.com. After graduating with a degree in Fashion and Culinary Arts, Klein went on to launch her food blog in 2010 and catering service, Dini Delivers. In addition to serving as a personal chef, Klein writes articles for food magazines and websites, including the FeedFeed and Refinery29, creates food videos for Tastemade, and has done restaurant popups. Klein’s recipes have also been published in cookbooks.

“It's incredible to me how sophisticated the kosher food world has become,” said Klein. “With kosher food bloggers, high-end restaurants, and unique kosher products, the bar is set and we keep getting better and better.”

As the chefs face-off for three courses, guests will be invited to watch all the action while enjoying an open bar, sushi, gourmet sandwiches, and finger food. Judging the dishes will be Chef Elana Korn, and three attendees that will be randomly selected via a raffle for each of the three rounds.

Last year’s event drew more than 70 attendees and this year is expected to produce an even larger turnout. The event will take place Sunday, Jan.29, at 6 p.m. at the Flemington Raritan Diner, located at 324 Rt. 31 here. Admission is $36 per person and includes open bar, sushi, and finger food.

For more information or to reserve tickets call 908-238-9002 or visit www.jewishhunterdon.com. Space is limited, so reservations in advance are suggested.