Cantor Mitch to bring music, recipes to Newport News

by | Mar 20, 2015 | What’s Happening

Sunday, May 3, 2 pm, Temple Sinai

Mitchell Kowitz is not just another cookbook author.

Kowitz, better known as “Cantor Mitch,” is the author of Kosher Cuisine for a New Generation. In the book, he not only provides kosher recipes that are light, simple and tasty, he pairs his dishes with an appropriate song.

At Temple Sinai in Newport News, Cantor Mitch will bring his recipes, his songs and some other unusual skills, such as chopping vegetables blindfolded, to back up his belief that kosher cooking is easy and fun.

As a young man, Cantor Mitch moved to New York to pursue a career on the stage. Like many other aspiring performers, he worked in restaurants between shows and decided, “I would rather make food than serve it.” He started out as a vegetable cutter, moving up to broiler man, short order cook, prep chef and finally a sous chef.

After several years in New York, his musical aspirations also took a new course, as he began studying for the cantorate, spending 25 years as a full-time cantor.

Finally he brought both his careers together as “The Singing Chef.”

In Kosher Cuisine for a New Generation, Cantor Mitch presents a more modern and less complicated take on kosher cooking, with recipes such as Tilapia Alfredo and Spiced Rice and Beef, along with recipes for salads, vegetables and desserts. But tradition is not ignored. A chapter is devoted to his Bubbie’s recipes for Matzoh Ball Soup and Potato Latkes.

Most recipes also have a song pairing, providing an appropriate musical accompaniment to the dish. Tilapia Alfredo goes with O Solo Mio, preferably the Mario Lanza version, while I Get a Kick Out of You, by Frank Sinatra provides the perfect backdrop for the Spiced Beef and Rice.

Cantor Mitch’s program is made possible through Temple Sinai’s membership in the Jewish Book Council and is also supported in part by a grant from the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula. Temple Sinai is located at 11620 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. Call 596-8352 to RSVP by April 30.