2007-12-07 / Community

SJEH Brings Kosher Chef To FR Facility

St. John's new kosher chef, Russell Perlmutter (left), displays his sushi. Admiring Perlmutter's handiwork is St. John's Chief Executive Officer, John Gupta. St. John's new kosher chef, Russell Perlmutter (left), displays his sushi. Admiring Perlmutter's handiwork is St. John's Chief Executive Officer, John Gupta. St. John's Episcopal Hospital is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its kosher kitchen, by adding freshly prepared hot and cold kosher lunches and breakfasts, with menus that feature tilapia, salmon and whitefish, penne pasta, lasagna, sushi and fresh vegetables. Breakfast may include French toast, vegetable omelets, and blueberry or strawberry pancakes.

The new menus and hot meals are the creations of Russell Perlmutter, who, as a specialist in kosher cuisine, brings to St. John's kitchen more than 15 years of culinary experience. Under his direction, the Hospital's kosher kitchen and menus were completely revamped. The kashrut of the kitchen is overseen by Rabbi Zalmon Baida, the Hospital's Chaplain, and follows the standards set by the Vaad Harabonim of Far Rockaway.

"Every food item for breakfast and lunch is fresh, with nothing boxed or frozen," Perlmutter emphasized. Hot kosher breakfasts and lunches prepared by Perlmutter are served at St. John's on Mondays through Fridays. Prepackaged kosher meals are served at dinner and on weekends. Upon request by mothers who are delivering and their husbands, he will prepare in advance, a full Shabbat meal. He also provides the same kosher breakfasts and lunches to Bishop MacLean Nursing Home, an affiliate of the Hospital.

Rabbi Baida, who is St. John's Chaplain, pointed out that the Hospital extends a welcome to Jewish patients and visitors that includes a Shabbat elevator, easily-arranged overnight accommodations and a dedicated Jewish meditation room.

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