Published in the OC Register-Rancho Canyon News May 28, 2013 and in Coto De Caza News

Shabbat in 60 – A Dive into Jewish Community and Cuisine

“Rachael Ray step aside!” read the announcementfor “Shabbat in 60 Minutes,” put on by the Jewish Women’s Circle early in May. This seemingly bold statement was not as bold as it seemed, considering that the person billed to take Rachael’s place was a well-established culinary expert of her own, local creator of authentic, gourmet Jewish cuisine, Rochel Kantor of Chabad Jewish Center of RSM.

Without a show of her own but with a roomful of admirers, Rochel set about racing the clock to complete a five-course Shabbat dinner in just one hour.

Her hands were almost as quick as the rapid-fire, lively, Brooklyn-accented commentary that accompanied her peeling, chopping, shaping, stirring. Even before the timer rang, participants had learned how to produce neatly-shaped six-braid challah breads (ahh, the heavenly scent of Shabbat baking), traditional cooked gefilte fish (“not in the same world” as the petrified-jelly ones in the jar), and steaming savory chicken soup (like Grandma’s). Rochel also shared her secret shortcut to delectable sweet sesame-schnitzel, tips for quick and delicious dips and salads, and memories and stories galore.

The rest of the evening was filled with great mingling and socializing over a buffet of classic appetizers, an insightful discussion into the powerful and personally relevant message of Shabbat, and much laughter and fun. Many thanks to committee and dedicated volunteers Sue Koenig, Harriet Beauchemin, Charlene Sandler, Mira Marciano, and Jackie Gokkes-Vining.

For information on the Jewish Women’s Circle of RSM log on to, where you can also sign up to receive updates on next year’s schedule.