A recipe for fun: Celebrity chef Ric Orlando takes over Kosher Kitchen

Publication Date

Ric Orlando, renowned chef, restaurateur and all-around food pioneer, visits Union Thursday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. to cook up a little culinary magic in the Union College Hillel Kosher Kitchen.

He will demonstrate how to make latkes, or potato pancakes, the popular Ashkenazi Jewish food.

It was his latke recipe that brought him widespread acclaim when he bested Bobby Flay in a latke competition on the Food Network show, “Beat Bobby Flay.”

Ric Orlando

“We are excited to share a space that is so comfortable and important to many of us with Ric Orlando, the master of latkes,” said Kosher Kitchen President Asher Zive ’25.

Though enjoyed year-round by people of all ethnicities, latkes and other foods fried in oil traditionally are associated with Hanukkah as a reminder of the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days during the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.

“The concept of moving forward with action – even when there appears to be ‘not enough’ – is a core Jewish message,” said Bonnie Cramer, Union’s Hillel director.

The Kosher Kitchen is located on the first floor of West College. It is used by numerous students who keep kosher, as well as for Friday night dinners and a Sunday dinner that Cramer cooks for the Jewish Learning Fellowship.

Orlando has been appearing on local and national TV shows for several decades and is a fixture on the Hudson Valley culinary scene. He and his wife, Liz, owned and operated the legendary New World Home Cooking Company in the Woodstock/Saugerties area for 25 years. For 11 years, until 2020, he cooked and curated the menu at the New World Bistro Bar in Albany (now closed).

In addition to beating Bobby Flay, he was a “Chopped” champion twice. He regularly holds cooking classes, pop-ups and foodie events in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley.

The Hillel event is open to the campus community only. Seating is limited.

To RSVP, contact Cramer at cramerb@union.edu.