Chef Kalika and his Jewish cuisine head to Manhattan

(Fine Dining Lovers) “I never dreamed I’d take my pastrami, one of Jewish cuisine’s most famous dishes, to New York,” says chef Tomás Kalika, who is just days away from popping up with his restaurant Mishiguene at Manhattan’s Intersect by Lexus for four months from 8 September.

Chef Tomás Kalika. Ph: Santiago Soto Monllor.

Starting out as a dishwasher with no formal culinary training, Kalika notched up a decade working for superstar chef Eyal Shani in Jerusalem, Israel, before co-founding Buenos Aires-based Mishiguene with gastro entrepreneur Javier Ickowicz. Four years on, the Jewish-Argentine cook is about to embark on what could be his biggest challenge to date: taking up a global chef-in-residence tenure with Mishiguene at Intersect.

Mishiguene, which means “crazy” in Yiddish, draws flavours of traditional Jewish recipes from the Diaspora, Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By bringing together these influences under a contemporary Argentine lens, Kalika creates his version of modern Jewish cuisine inspired by his Polish and Russian roots. This mouth-watering mash-up is exactly what captivated the gastro crack team sent to South America by restaurateur kingpin Danny Meyer to discover innovative culinary concepts for his Intersect by Lexus project back in early 2017.

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