Fifth Manischewitz Cook-Off Finalist Announced!

Fifth Manischewitz Cook-Off Finalist Announced!

Eric Silberman of Lincolnwood, IL
Will Join Four Other Finalists in New York City on March 28, 2012!!

NEWARK, NJ (February 2012) —The Manischewitz® Company today announced the 5th finalist who will compete LIVE in the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off! Eric Silberman, of Lincolnwood, IL, was selected from thousands of entries nationwide, as the “People’s Choice” entry and joins the four other finalists competing for the $25,000 Grand Prize on March 28th, live at the JCC in New York City. His entry was posted on line along with four other “People’s Choice” finalists. His entry won based on a combination of votes and meeting judging criteria.
Eric, a 20 year old Princeton University student, hails from Lincolnwood, IL, which is just outside of Chicago. He is very close with his family and they all love cooking, often having mini cooking competitions when they’re all home. He was raised Modern Orthodox, keeps Kosher, and also enjoys playing piano and oboe, creative writing, volunteering, and participating in campus activities at school. Growing up, he had Matzo ball soup every Shabbat! Now, as an adult, making the matzo balls is his job whenever he is home. For the contest, he thought it would be fun to modernize the traditional soup recipe and use vegetable broth, cook the matzo balls in the soup, and add roasted vegetables. His favorite Manischewitz product is the Matzo Ball Mix.
The Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off is the only national kosher cooking competition in America and it encourages home chefs to experiment with kosher products while preparing delicious recipes that could become a new family favorite, or that has been shared from generation to generation. The lucky finalists were selected from thousands of entries nationwide and they will compete live at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan (JCC) for the $25,000 Grand Prize, which includes Maytag ® kitchen appliances and cash. In addition, Mayor Bloomberg has proclaimed the date as “Man-O-Manischewitz” day.

The Grand Prize winner will be selected on site by a panel of prestigious foodies led by chef and TV host Claire Robinson as head judge and guest of honor. Chef Robinson, who was a finalist on Top Chef, is currently host of Food Network Challenge and previously, 5 Ingredient Fix.

The finalists’ recipes were selected and tested by an expert panel of judges which includes chefs, food experts, home cooks and company executives. The finalists’ recipes were judged on the following criteria: taste, 50%; ease of preparation, 25%; creativity and originality, 25%.

The finalists come from all over the nation and include kosher and non-kosher consumers. Here are the other four finalists:
• Jennifer Daskevich—Los Angeles, CA—Crispy Chicken and Cherries
Jennifer lives in Los Angeles, CA but was a military child and has lived all over the country and several other parts of the world. That experience helped her develop her love for food and the many types of cuisine she enjoys cooking. She is not married and has no children but enjoys many things such as her job as a law professor, cooking, watching movies, traveling and wine tasting. She loves to cook and has been in cooking contests before. The recipe she entered she has made before and her family loves it. She loves chicken thighs and preparing meals with them because of how great they taste when they’re crispy. Her favorite Manischewitz product is the Manischewitz Egg Noodles, and she uses them a lot.
• Jacquie Serebrani-Kesner—Lexington, MA—Gnocchi
Jacquie currently lives in Lexington, MA with her husband and 3 great kids, and they all love cooking. She also enjoys gardening, reading, music, theater, and family events. Her favorite Manischewitz products are the All-Natural Broths because they are simple, pure and have so many uses. Her recipe was inspired from her love for her family and the need for simple quick recipes that her family will enjoy.
• Ronna Farley—Rockville, MD—Chicken Puff Sandwiches
Ronna is a grocery store cashier from Rockville, MD. She lives there with her husband, and has 2 adult, married children and also has 3 grandchildren. She is excited to be a part of this contest, and in addition to cooking she enjoys gardening and photography. Her favorite product is the Manischewitz Potato Pancake Mix. She came up with her Cook-Off recipe by putting things together, including leftover chicken. She enjoys puff pastries and wanted to utilize and experiment with them for the recipe.
• Andrew Dorsch—Scotch Plains, NJ—Torte Vegetali
Andrew is married with 2 children and lives in Scotch Plains, NJ. He is an accountant and also enjoys teaching Sunday school, cooking, and spending time with his dog. He decided to choose this recipe because it is a staple meal in his household. He likes using the Manischewitz broths best because he can use it in many recipes.

Here is Eric’s winning recipe:

“Mod” Matzo Ball Soup
Serves 6


6 medium carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 medium turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 box Manischewtiz® Matzo Ball Mix
2 eggs
½ tsp. ground cumin + pinch
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 cups Manischewitz® All Natural Vegetable Broth


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place cut carrots, turnips and onion in mixing bowl, toss with 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, a pinch of cumin and kosher salt and freshly gound black pepper to taste. Place on a metal sheet pan
2. Roast in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until brown, mixing halfway to ensure even browing.
3. While vegetables are roasting, prepare matzo balls according to package directions with a few “secret” changes. Crack 2 eggs, separating whites and yolks into two medium glass bowls. With a fork, beat egg whites first and then incorporate yolks: tilt the bowl to one side and “pull” whites up and beat until frothy. Then break yolks and beat together until light yellow and bubbly. Add remaining 2 tbsp vegetable oil and whip again until fully incorporated and bubbly. Add packet of mix and stir just until combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
4. Combine 4 cups Manischewitz All Natural Vegetable broth, ½ tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp ground cumin in a 4 quart pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
5. Remove matzo ball mix from fridge. Form into balls with hands, just under the size of ping pong balls; makes about 8
6. Drop into broth, cover and lower heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. When vegetables are finished roasting, remove from oven and set aside briefly. Remove cover from pot and add remaining 2 cups Manischewitz All Natural Vegetable Broth and diced tomatoes. Add vegetables and bring soup to boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and add salt, pepper or cumin to taste.

For full recipes from all finalists and for all media inquiries, please contact Courtney Manders at 973.744.0707 or

*For full contest details, log onto

The cook-off will raise awareness regarding Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM), a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture, celebrated in May. JAHM acknowledges the achievements of Jewish Americans in fields ranging from sports and arts and entertainment to medicine, business, science, government, and military service. The Manischewitz Company is the proud founding sponsor of JAHM. Updates on this historic month are available on

About The Manischewitz Company:
The Manischewitz Company is a specialty food company that includes the Manischewitz brand®, Season®, Guiltless Gourmet®, Asian Harvest®, Tam Tam®, Rokeach®, Mishpacha®, Horowitz Margareten®, Jason®, Mother’s®, Carmel®, Croyden House®, Mrs. Adler’s® and Goodman’s® brands. The company offers a diversified line of premium kosher food products that covers over 60 different categories.
The Manischewitz® brand was founded in a small bakery built to make Passover matzo in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1932, Rabbi Manischewitz opened a plant in Jersey City, NJ, replacing the operation in Cincinnati. This move paved the way for the introduction of new products like Tam Tam® Crackers, Chicken Soup, Noodles and Gefilte Fish.

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