Kosher culinary rebel with a cause
October 3, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
He cures his own meats, knocks off KFC’s Double Down sandwich, and he makes a mean schnitzel the size of your head. And he does it all kosher.
Eran Marom, 32, is shedding new light on the kosher world, and with his Toronto restaurant, Marron Bistro, about to enter its seventh year of operation, he is showing no signs of slowing down. “If you don’t leave my restaurant inspired, I have not done my job. I want to come up with unique ideas so that more people will want to join the kosher market,” explains Marom, whose signature look is crooner meets hipster (a fedora on the weekend, Toms during the week, a beret for flare).
Born and raised in Haifa, Marom never had patience for classic schooling. At 16, his father enrolled him in a hotel and restaurant management school, and a small spark within him was ignited. However, it wasn’t until years later, after a stint in the Israeli army as a chef, that he was able to truly hone his skill.
Marom travelled to Lyon, France, and enrolled at the prominent Paul Bocuse cooking institute. It was there that his passion for food came alive. While working as a garbage collector in the local market, Marom recalls, “I gained a new appreciation for handmade, homemade food. I saw how it affected people, and began to think about the ‘why’ in cooking and not just the ‘what.’” Marom made his way to New York City where he worked under renowned chef Daniel Boulud. Marom eventually made his way to Toronto, on vacation, and has remained.
In a city with vast options when it comes to cuisine, it is refreshing when a chef, with a strict dietary restriction no less, embraces the vastness and proves that nothing is impossible.
What’s your favourite place to eat out? Breakfast: Omni (Java Café). Snack: Dr. Laffa. Lunch: Joe Boo’s smoked chicken or Chinese at Golden Chopsticks. Friday afternoon: Tov-Li. Saturday night: Pantry.
What is in your fridge? Water and frozen liver.
What is your favourite food? Schnitzel.
Who is your style icon? I just like trendy people.
What is your favourite utensil? A pointy spoon.
What is your favourite garnish? I don’t like to use a garnish. The food needs no garnish.
What would you do if you weren’t a chef? I’d be a stay-at-home dad.
What’s your favourite part of your job? Everything!
What would you say to people who think kosher cooking is limiting? I want to tell people to release their kosher Jew! Go crazy with your kosher food. You can combine things! Try putting parve chocolate on meat, it’s kosher!
Marron Bistro, 948 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto (416) 784-0128
Abby Feferman is a Toronto-based wardrobe stylist and urban writer.