World Chefs: Bernamoff aims to inspire modern deli cooking

Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:35pm EST
 
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Noah Bernamoff hopes "The Mile End Cookbook," which he wrote with his wife Rae about their modern spin on the Jewish deli food he enjoyed during his childhood in Montreal, will inspire others to make the comfort dishes at home.

The couple opened the Mile End Delicatessen in the borough of Brooklyn in New York in January 2010. The restaurant offers updated deli staples such as matzo ball soups and smoked meat, also known as pastrami. They launched the Mile End Sandwich shop in Manhattan earlier this year.

The 30-year-old former law school student spoke to Reuters about making deli food at home and sandwich sizes, and shared his view about modern delis.

Q: What do you want to achieve with your book?

A: "I want them to understand the difficulty and uniqueness of making deli food from scratch. Delis have become a generic thing. Many delis have become the Disney World of delis. They have become the caricature of this former thing. What we and a few new guys around the scene are doing around the country is that we are saying this food is legitimate and it's a unique North American treasury, just like what Italian-American cooking is and what Chinese-American cooking is. It has a life and tradition on its own."

Q: What is your advice for making deli food at home?

A: "Ingredients are 50 percent of the battle in making delicious food. Smoking meats, pickling vegetables, they are accessible but you might not get it right the first time. It's not like sautéing onions and this is the level I need my burner at. These are techniques and methods people rarely employ in their kitchen on a daily basis. My tip is just be patient."

Q: What could someone expect at his first time at Mile End?   Continued...

 
Rae (L) and Noah Bernamoff make challah at their restaurant Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn, New York in this undated handout photo received October 24, 2012. Noah Bernamoff hopes "The Mile End Cookbook," which he wrote with his wife Rae about their modern spin on the Jewish deli food he enjoyed during his childhood in Montreal, will inspire others to make the comfort dishes at home. REUTERS/Quentin Bacon/Handout