As my dad would say: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Well, Melbourne-based chef Malki Rose is giving people an opportunity to do just that.
Her new business Made With Luv is packaging kosher meals for the High Holidays, spreading through a facebook group and the traditional Jewish word of mouth. Her menu boasts cuisine as varied as chicken soup with kreplach and Thai Green Curry Paste (sorry, we don’t have that recipe in MJL’s database…yet.)
Malki took a break out of her frantic pre-holiday preparations to chat with us, and to get us in the mood for some good, homemade repentance-style eatin’.
What made you decide to take the big leap — cooking for friends and family to official, no-holds-barred catering?
Cooking for family and friends, I guess, isn’t frequent enough for me. When you’re a cooking freak like I am, you just gotta keep on cooking. And, unless you have a zillion friends that want freshly-cooked meals every day, it’s just not enough.
I wanted to share all my old shtetl recipes with the world. All the stuff my grandparents taught me — especially my Nana, cooking is about sharing the love. So I suppose cooking for the wider community is like creating a larger family!
How has the response been? What sort of people are you getting — big families, singles, old people, normal folks who don’t feel like cooking?
Within 10 minutes of advertising I got 16 orders. And what was really cool was, it was mainly the non-Jewish people who wanted to try my kreplach and matzo balls and gefilte fish! The Yids are loving it, too — the elderly love that they can have the tastes they remember without all the hassle of cooking, and the young singles too. Everyone loves the nostalgia. Especially those who’ve never had it before!
So how does that break down? Is there one group that you’re cooking for more significantly than the rest?
Not really — it’s the week before Rosh Hashanah and I’ve got slightly more orders for the elderly and families. But the young couples and singles are still madly ordering tubs of Blood Orange Sorbet and Kishkeh!
Do you prepare different dishes for different holidays? How will your Rosh Hashanah dinner be different than your Sukkot one?
It’s just generally festive. It’s yummmy food that is great for all the festivals, for Shabbat or any time. Stuff that warms the soul, reminds people of home and brings people together. Sometimes people suggest stuff for the menu and we add it and sometimes people ask for something to be put back on. People are asking, will the honey cake be around after Rosh Hashanah?
Which new fruit are you going to eat for yourself on the second night of Rosh Hashanah?
Well, my Blood Orange Sorbet is made of a citrus that is seasonal in Australia, and a lot of people are going to have that. But this year, I think I’m gonna give kiwi fruit a try. I’ve never eaten one in my entire life….I think I was scared of them because they’re furry. I’m doing it in honour of Rosh Hashanah — and in honour of my birthday, which is erev Rosh Hashanah.
There’s no chance of getting you to ship to the US, is there? Say…Brooklyn, this little apartment near Prospect Park?
Would love to, if there was a way! Maybe next year….
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Pronounced: KREP-lakh, Origin: Yiddish, small dumplings, often filled with meat and served in soup.
Pronounced: roshe hah-SHAH-nah, also roshe ha-shah-NAH, Origin: Hebrew, the Jewish new year.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Pronounced: shTETTull, Origin: Yiddish, a small town or village with a large Jewish population existing in Eastern or Central Europe in the 19th and early-to-mid 20th century.
Pronounced: sue-KOTE, or SOOH-kuss (oo as in book), Origin: Hebrew, a harvest festival in which Jews eat inside temporary huts, falls in the Jewish month of Tishrei, which usually coincides with September or October.