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Augie’s Montreal Deli, which opened in Berkeley in early 2018, is taking a few months hiatus, according to Berkeleyside Nosh. Owner Lex Gopnik-Lewinski told Nosh that the cost of food has gone up, and while dining rooms are opening, not all diners are ready to return.
He sounded optimistic that it would reopen in the fall and spoke of plans to get a liquor license. Augie’s smoke meat is available at Berkeley Bowl and some other locations, so fans can still get their fix until the restaurant reopens.
Tel Aviv–based food writer and cookbook author Adeena Sussman is a guest on the latest “Schmaltzy” podcast, which is put out by New York’s Jewish Food Society. Sussman has appeared in this column a couple of times before, when her popular Israeli cookbook “Sababa” came out in 2019 and when she and her sister launched an annual Thanksgiving pie fundraiser around 2008 in memory of their mother, Stephanie Sussman. But there has been no mention here of her family’s long-ago garage kosher cheese business.
A native of Palo Alto, Sussman speaks in the podcast about her Orthodox upbringing in a non-Jewish neighborhood and how she eventually stopped keeping kosher. She also shares some family history.
Whenever her father, Stan Sussman, would go to New York on a business trip, he’d load up a suitcase of kosher cheese to sell back at home. One time, his suitcase busted open on the floor of SFO and cheese went tumbling everywhere, and DEA agents had to be convinced there was nothing “far more nefarious than cheese,” Sussman said.
Finally, he got tired of the schlepping. The Sussmans bought refrigerators for their basement, made labels saying S&S Cheese, and people who kept kosher started coming from throughout the Bay Area to buy it. Sometimes Adeena and her sister Sharon would deal with the customers themselves.
“We were the kosher kitchen saviors of Palo Alto,” she said.
In other news, she has co-authored a cookbook with Benny Briga, and it’s just come out: “Gazoz: The Art of Making Magical, Seasonal Sparkling Drinks” (Artisan). Briga is the owner of Tel Aviv’s Café Levinsky 41, where he is known for his fruit-forward, nonalcoholic fizzy drinks using seasonal fruits, herbs and house-made syrups and ferments.
We recently learned that David Nayfeld, chef-owner of Che Fico, has a podcast, too. Called “The Main Ingredient,” it features mostly food personalities, but some outside the food industry, too. Past guests have included “Top Chef” judge chef Tom Colicchio and actor Gwyneth Paltrow.