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Local Caterers Compete for Title of “Best Matzah Ball in South Florida

It starts out like a typical old-time borscht belt joke – A rabbi and priest are seated together at a Matzah Ball contest. The priest turns to the rabbi and says, “I’m really not an expert on matzah balls but count me in when they start judging gefilte fish.”

Here’s the twist. The dialogue is not a joke but a hypothetical conversation between Rabbi Jonathan Berkun and Father Christopher Marino, a former Miami Herald food critic who claims his mother has the best gefilte fish recipe, two of the eight judges at the Forest Trace Second Annual Golden Matzah Bowl in Lauderhill, Fla. The competition, scheduled for 11:00 am, Thursday, April 7, highlights the best professionally-made matzah balls in South Florida, as well as the best homemade matzah ball recipe.

“Our 2010 Golden Matzah Bowl was the perfect prelude to Passover and a wonderful charitable event,” explained Owner’s Representative, Stanley Rosenthal. “So this year we figured, why not keep the matzah ball rolling?”

In addition to Rabbi Jonathan Berkun of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and Father Christopher Marino, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church and School in Miami, the panel of judges include TV personality Art Ginsburg, aka “Mr. Food,” freelance writer and former food editor of the Sun Sentinel Deborah Seeley Hartz, chef Michael Blum, Elaine Grossinger Etess, daughter of the famous hotelier and cookbook author Jennie Grossinger, and chair of the panel Jay Tabatchnick, grandson of the famous Louis Tabatchnick, founder of Tabatchnick Fine Foods.

“Our panel of judges is as diversified as our resident population,” explained Mr. Rosenthal

A South Florida call for the best homemade matzah ball recipe was posted on the Forest Trace community’s Facebook page and in local print and online media. The 2011 winner will be announced at the Golden Matzah Bowl, with a $100 donation made to the charity of his/her choice.

Eight chefs are participating in the Golden Matzah Bowl and will compete for the title of “Best All-Around Matzah Ball.”  Two hundred residents and invited guests, as well as selected judges, will rate the matzah balls and vote for “Best Floater,” “Best of Broward,” “Chef’s Choice,” “Father Knows Best,” “People’s Choice,” etc. The “Best All-Around Matzah Ball” chef will receive a $500 check for charity.

Admission for residents and guests is a box of matzah which will be donated to WECARE, the Broward organization that distributes food baskets to needy families for Passover.

Forest Trace is a luxury resort senior community situated on a scenic and tropical 73-acre campus with a 30-acre lake, flora and trees where senior adults can enjoy services, amenities, tennis, golf and dining.

5500 NW 69th Avenue in Lauderhill, just west of Fort Lauderdale, For more information or call 954.572.1800.