December 30, 2013

Jewish Cuisine Through the Ages to Include White House Pastry Chef

New Haven, CT - Dina Hecht’s passion for gourmet cooking and quality kosher food stems from her upbringing in Milan, Italy. It was this background that drove her to last year produce the “Jewish Women through the Ages” Fashion Show, a professional runway show that featured costumes of biblical figures as a narrator explained the lives of these notables as well as the era that they lived in. Some 800 women jammed into the Omni Hotel for this unprecedented event. Dina is about to emulate that success with food as she plans to feature some of the most magnificent international dishes, many from Persia and the Middle East, at an event called “Jewish Cuisine Through the Ages” at the Omni Hotel on Sunday March 23, 2014. She notes: “The Jewish Diaspora spans the globe. Each community has taken on the color and shading of its host, borrowing ingredients and adapting techniques to suit the values of the Jewish Kitchen. From pumpkin risotto of the Venice Ghetto, to spicy fish and couscous of North Africa, to Latin American picadillo – the Jewish kitchen is dazzlingly diverse, an edible coat of many colors.”  


In a series of rotating workshops hosted by distinguished chefs with roots in Italy, Morocco, Persia, France and South America; each presenter will showcase a selection of personal recipes, which tell a story of a family, a community, a festival or simply a special memory. One featured guest will be Chef Roland Mesnier, the longest serving chef in the history of the White House. For more than twenty-five years, Chef Roland served five American Presidents and their families, countless dignitaries, royalty and Heads of State. He is the author of five books and creator of over 10,000 recipes. Born in France, Mesnier began his career at the age of twelve, learning and mastering his pastry making skills first in France, then in Germany and England. After making his way over to the US he was hired by first lady Rosalynn Carter in 1980.  Since 2006, when Chef Mesnier retired from the White House, he has traveled the U.S. and around the world giving speeches, judging pastry competitions and participating in fundraising events, book signings and much more. Remarkably, Dina is producing these events as a way of “introducing the beauty of Jewish life to some of the 8,000 Jews who live in New Haven. Mrs. Hecht is hoping to attract many sponsors to this unprecedented event.  (