Cartoonist Ben Katchor’s nostalgia for the Kosher dairy restaurants of his childhood prompted him to write The Dairy Restaurant, the first serious look at this once-common eatery in Jewish neighborhoods. In a Live Zoom Meeting, lavishly illustrated with his own impressionistic renderings of Jewish life and these special venues, Katchor offered his memories, experiences, and musing about the role played by these icons of Jewish dining. Once community cornerstones with cheap, filling meals, dairy restaurants in the early 20th century made it possible for Jewish immigrants in New York to eat out according to kosher law. A century later, such restaurants have nearly all disappeared. The presentation was moderated by James Malin.
In advance of the event, Katchor shared recipes for cold beet borscht, based on the 1955 “Molly Goldberg” cookbook (a pseudonym for actress Gertrude Berg) and kasha varnishkes, based on a recipe from Joan Nathan, an authority on Jewish cooking, so we could all enjoy a dairy meal.
CHNY members and paid ticket holders can revisit the recording now; it will be available to the general public for free in March.