December 15, 2014

Gil Marks, Award-Winning Author Who Defined Kosher Food, Loses Battle With Cancer at 62

JERUSALEM — Sadly, Gil Marks did not make the trip to Kosherfest last month as his battle with lung cancer became too painful, all documented on his Facebook page. Earlier this month, the affable Gil lost his battle with the disease in Jerusalem, where he had moved several years ago to join some of his family.

Despite his frequent visits to the hospital for treatments, Gil always made it his business to somehow make the trip to Kosherfest just as he had for most of the show’s 26-year history. He would frequently review the show for Kosher Today in his brilliant analysis of the trends and concepts that defined the industry. For no one could better define kosher than Gil, so poignantly and magnificently projected in his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, where Gil embarks on a breathtaking journey of Jewish history  through the foods of each stop of the Jewish diasporan experience. In his four other books, he combines his love of cooking with his magnificent insight into the finest dining experiences and his mastery of teaching the art of cooking.

Unlike many of his colleagues, Gil never graduated from a culinary school. Yet, he is one of the few kosher and Jewish cookbooks to be honored with the prestigious nomination of the James Beard Awards. Gil Marks was decades ahead of his time, well before the myriad of kosher cookbook authors and magazine supplements that today are present in every Jewish home. His Kosher Gourmet magazine in the ‘80’s was in the spirit of the finest cooking periodicals, every recipe meticulously chosen, complimented by outstanding photography.

Gil loved Kosherfest, which he often called the fulfillment of his dream of “taking kosher to the next level.” How he would “kvell” when he would see “out-of-the box” creativity in kosher. Gil Marks will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends. But for the kosher food industry, the void will deeply felt for the man who defined kosher!