We kicked off the holidays yesterday by participating in the Sylvia Center Latke Festival, a night of creatively delicious interpretations of this Chanukah tradition, from chefs and restaurants across the city. The event is a fundraiser for The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching children how to cook and eat well, through in-school programs and classes at Katchkie Farm.
It was our first year participating and the turnout was great, over 400 people/latke lovers. Making 400 latkes was no easy feat. No frying is allowed on site, so all of the latkes must be made ahead and then re-crisped in a pan or oven at the event. After a lot of shredding, frying, re-crisping in duck fat, and assembling, we had a bite-sized latke with a great crunch and bright flavors. We called it the Okinawa Latke since the base was comprised of a white japanese sweet potato of that name. We topped it with a duck-fat-roasted chestnut, miso meyer lemon creme fraiche, persimmon, micro shiso, and togarashi for a spicy finish!
We tied for judges favorite with Mae Mae Cafe, which featured Chef Batya Goldberg’s take on a classic: Latke with Whipped Creme Fraiche, Pickled Katchkie Farm Ginger & Cardamom Apple Bake.
The People’s Choice award winner was at the table next to us. Chef Peter Shelsky of Shelsky’s in Brooklyn made delicious sweet potato & celeriac schmaltz-fried latkes with house made chopped liver, cranberry, and a horseradish and apple relish.
All in all, it was great to raise money for the Sylvia Center programming, and to come home with a ‘Thanks A Latke’ t-shirt!
Below is a shot of the baby latkes getting re-crisped in duck fat. If you want to try the winning recipe at home, we will be posting it on the blog tomorrow.