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Holiday Wars: 2 Chefs, 80 Minutes, 4 Courses, 1 Secret Ingredient


Last year we filmed and wrote about the first Kosher Chef Holiday Wars.  In case you missed it or to see it again because really who remembers last year, we wanted to showcase the videos and share a little bit of what was in our Rosh Hashanah Magazine last year.

Two of the world’s top kosher chefs, Chef David Kolotkin of The Prime Grill and SOLO, and Chef Makoto Kameyama of Prime KO faced off in a cooking duel to each create a four-course holiday meal—in only 80 minutes. After all, we wanted a meal we could make in our homes.  The only catch for them, was that we threw in a last minute secret ingredient they had to incorporate into one of their dishes.  Anyone know the cactus pear? Well it is full of seeds, but they figured out a way to use them.

To watch the full three part series click on Kosher Holiday Wars.

Now, for some behind the scenes chatter you may have missed.

“Chef David is at a little bit of a disadvantage because it isn’t his kitchen,” Jamie says. “He has to look for everything.” The Prime KO kitchen—as the larger of the two kitchens—has been chosen as the venue for the event.

Chef David tells us a little bit about what he’s preparing today, “Right now, I’m making a corn flan and hot smoked salmon fritters. They’ll each have a few components, and hopefully they will all come together.” Chef David admits that all of the dishes he is preparing today are ones he’s never made before.
“Are you trying to challenge yourself?” Jamie asks.
“Well, I want to give you sweet and healthy dishes for the new year, and a meal that can be prepared in less than two hours,” Chef David says as he reaches for an onion. “These are dishes I’d make for my own family.”

The Prime KO kitchen is warm—Chef Makoto knows this and was smart to choose the other side of the kitchen to work, away from the stovetop and ovens. Since a lot of his dishes are raw, he doesn’t need to be in close proximity to the appliances—and one of those dishes is already plated.
“Look, he’s searing the fish with a torch,” Tamar calls out. We run over to Chef Makoto’s side and see a beautiful plate of—what kind of fish is that?
“Flounder,” Chef Makoto tells us.
Chef Makoto is now mixing spicy mayonnaise with masago caviar-
“What do you use in your spicy mayo?” Victoria asks.
“Mayonnaise, Tabasco, and cayenne pepper,” Chef Makoto tells us.
Now—Chef Makoto is rolling thin slices of another white fish super thin under a layer of plastic wrap. “You always think about tenderizing meat, but I see it works with fish as well,” Jamie says.

Jamie points to Chef Makoto’s fish dish, which is finally complete with five components: the masago, the poached tuna, the cold soba noodle salad, the fried fish chips, and finally—Chilean sea bass which marinated in mirin and soy sauce.

Chef David’s steak is coming off the grill now. He lets it rest.
The fritters are also ready and are being fished from the deep fryer. Chef David’ a mango aioli is going beneath and above it…and now the flan is coming out. Chef David pops a hole in the bottom of the aluminum. “That’s so the air gets released,” he says. That’s why he’s using aluminum instead of another type of ramekin. He runs a knife around the edges, turns it upside down again, and voilà—a perfect flan. He tops it with a thin slice of black truffle.

“I absolutely see people picking a couple of the components from Chef Makoto’s fish dish, and serving it as their appetizer—like the sea bass with the soba noodle salad, or the tuna with the fish chips,” Victoria says.
There’s salad going on top of Chef Makoto’s pizza, then meat across the top of the salad. The diced cactus pear goes across the pizza as well. It looks really beautiful.

Who's the winner? Everyone is! The chefs made amazing food and we all got to enjoy them and try them out in our homes.