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Jewish Moms Kick Off Restaurant Week

January 21, 2003, 12:00 AM EST

NYC & Company's Restaurant Week kickoff Blue Smoke Tuesday, 01.21.03, 11 AM to 12 PM
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You'd think that matzo ball soup would win a chicken soup tasting competition judged by two Jewish mothers. But not at the Winter Restaurant Week kickoff at barbecue restaurant Blue Smoke. And that wasn't the only anomaly at the event. As Blue Smoke owner Danny Meyer said, “It's odd to talk about Jewish moms eating chicken soup in a house of pork.”

Produced by M. Young Communications, the event kicked off NYC & Company's Winter Restaurant Week with a press conference and chicken soup tasting competition with chefs from Capsouto Freres, Dos Caminos, Osteria del Circo, Tse Yang, Second Avenue Deli and Tabla. After NYC & Company CEO Cristyne Nicholas, City Harvest's John Krakowski and Meyer made their remarks, the tasting competition—judged by Susan Moses and Carolyn Seiff, two actors from the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre—ended in a stalemate. “They're all winners,” Moses and Seiff declared.

The idea for a chicken soup event was formulated by Steve Gold of Murray's Chickens, an organic chicken purveyor in Rockland County. Although there wasn't enough time to coordinate 100 chefs and restaurants to serve their own versions of the classic soup (as Gold originally conceived as part of Restaurant Week), Melanie Young of M. Young used the idea for the press conference. “It was inspired by the cold weather and the comfort factor of chicken soup,” Young said. As for the Jewish moms, Young told us she initially wanted to use the participating chefs' moms, but none of them lived in the country, much less nearby.

Suzanne Ito

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