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April 24, 7:00 P.M. Dinner: Pathways to Passover with Chefs Fany Gerson, Alex Raij, and Hillary Sterling

April 24, 2024 07:00 PM

A Mexican, Spanish, and Italian Interpretation of the Seder   

25 11th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA

James Beard Award–nominated chefs Fany Gerson, Alex Raij, and Hillary Sterling come from different backgrounds but connect over the ways they use food to express their identities. Born to Argentine Jews, Alex Raij is a pioneering New York City chef known for introducing New Yorkers to authentic Spanish cuisine. Mexico City–born Fany Gerson can trace her lineage to Ukraine, the country her grandparents fled from in the 1920s before resettling in Mexico. Hillary Sterling was born and raised in Brooklyn, but her experience of cooking in Italian restaurants has led her to explore the roots of Roman Jewish cuisine.
All three women incorporate aspects of their Jewish heritage into their cooking: chef Raij’s La Vara explores the Jewish and Moorish influences on Spanish cuisine; chef Gerson’s Ashkenazi-Mexican mashups like guajillo-pepper gefilte fish have been canonized in the New York Times cooking archives; and chef Sterling’s seder plate has been known in feature a roasted egg with pecorino in lieu of the traditional hardboiled egg. Join these three chefs and friends for a special collaborative “seder” dinner inspired by their common Jewish heritage, their different upbringings, and the culinary traditions of Passover. 

Dining Table $185 | Internal Chefs Counter $200


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Hors d’Oeuvre 

Whipped Eggs with Anchovy and Chervil  

Miniature Latkes with Serrano Chile, Labne, and Cashew-Pepita Salsa Macha

Contains dairy, nuts, and seeds  

Scorched Eggplant Tartlet, Barberry, Chinese Parsley, and Walnut 

Contains gluten, nuts, and seeds 

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial NV 


Mexican Matzoh Ball Soup 

Contains gluten

Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa 

Pesce Affumicato with Artichokes, Calabrian Chiles, and Mint  

Meadows Estate Viognier 2014 

Matambre > La Vara’s Rolled American Lamb Roast with Morita Chile, Moroccan Olive, and Cilantro Macho Sauce 

Contains alliums and pinenuts 

Maison Noir Gamma Ray 2022 

Assorted Sides: 

Housemade Matzoh with Ramp Butter 

Contains dairy and gluten

Charred Cactus Paddle-Tomatillo 

Salad of Bitter Greens, Lettuces, and Soft Herbs with Pomegranate, Marcona, and Citrus Vinaigrette 

Contains fish and nuts 

Corn Tortillas  



Roasted Onions 

Cheese Flan with Txakoli-Poached Prunes, Dried Apple, and Saffron 

Contains dairy

Charoset Date Balls 

Contains nuts

Caramelized Chocolate Matzoh  

Contains dairy and gluten

Weingut Josef Spreitzer 303 Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Spatlese 2019  

Lamb generously donated by American Lamb Board. 


About Fany Gerson:
As the country’s most authoritative voice on Mexican sweets, Fany Gerson has been featured in the New York Times, Food and Wine, Fine Cooking, Saveur Magazine, and New York Magazine, among others. She launched the acclaimed La Newyorkina, an artisanal Mexican frozen treats and sweets business in 2010. She is the chef and founder of Fan-Fan Doughnuts, an artisan gourmet doughnut shop and Mijo, a Mexican street food concept, both located in New York.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Fany has worked in a range of fine-dining kitchens around the world, including three-Michelin-starred Akelarre in Spain and Eleven Madison Park in New York. She is the author of three cookbooks: Paletas, Mexican Ice Cream, and the James Beard Award–nominated My Sweet Mexico.   She was a Women Entrepreneurs NYC mentor and is a graduate of the James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program.  


About Alex Raij:
Alex Raij is a first generation Argentine-American who grew up in the Midwest, attended culinary school, and lived in Milan and the Pacific Northwest before falling in love with Basque chef Eder Montero. Together they have opened five restaurants.
In 2008 Raij was included in Bon Appétit’s “Women Chefs: The Next Generation,” and soon after opened Txikito, her and Montero’s singular Basque restaurant. Txikito, which reopened post-pandemic in 2022, landed in the top 50 of the New York Times “100 best restaurants in New York City”. Their third restaurant, La Vara, opened in 2012 and explores Jewish and Moorish legacies in Southern Spain. That same year, Raij was awarded Eater’s first Chef of the Year award. La Vara went on to earn Michelin stars from 2015-2018, receive a glowing two-star review from the New York Times, and was named one of the 12 most outstanding restaurants of 2013 by GQ. Most recently in 2019 Raij and Montero opened Saint Julivert, a small fish restaurant informed by travel and ports of call that earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand and Le Fooding’s Best New Bistro award within its first year of operation. Raij and Montero are six-time James Beard Award semifinalists for Best Chef: New York City and were nominees in the 2019 Outstanding Restaurateur category. The Basque Book: A Love Story in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito, is Raij’s deeply personal writer’s debut inspired by home cooking traditions of the Basque country. 


About Hillary Sterling:
Hillary Sterling is the executive chef of Ci Siamo, a Union Square Hospitality Group restaurant located in the Manhattan West neighborhood. Sterling began her career in the kitchen of Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill where she learned the critical balance between spice, heat, and acid. Sterling continued working with Flay, joining the team at the acclaimed Spanish restaurant Bolo, furthering her appreciation for Mediterranean cuisine and culture. She then turned her attention to Italy, working in the salumi and butchery department at Lupa Osteria Romana. In 2010, she shifted her focus to the fine-dining world, assuming the role of chef de cuisine at Michelin-starred A Voce. Working under chef Missy Robbins, Sterling fell in love with the regionality and traditions of Italian cuisine. Most recently, Sterling returned to her domestic roots as the executive chef and partner of Vic’s, where her menu of thoughtfully prepared dishes gained a loyal following. At Ci Siamo, Sterling has created an ambitious restaurant centered around live-fire cooking and the understated excellence of seasonal ingredients. The culmination of her diverse culinary training and extensive travels, Ci Siamo is Sterling’s most personal project to date and celebrates the power of simplicity. 


Tickets to events held at Platform at Pier 57 by the James Beard Foundation cover the cost of food, education and a unique dining experience. Meals are prepared by culinary masters from all regions of the United States and around the world. Unless otherwise stated, alcoholic beverages are provided on a complimentary basis and are not included in the ticket price.

James Beard Foundation events permit guests age 21 years and older to attend events where alcoholic beverages are served.

Event Policy

Reservation Policy:

All reservations are non-refundable and must be made in advance. Should the event be cancelled due to any unforeseen circumstances, including COVID-19, JBF will offer a range of options, including ticket exchanges, the option to donate tickets, or a full refund. For more information, contact

Alcohol Disclaimer:

James Beard Foundation events permit guests age 21 years and older to attend events where alcoholic beverages are served. 

Dietary/Food Restrictions Policy:

Events at Platform by JBF are special one-night-only menus and we do not offer a la carte menus. If you have serious food allergies, we will work with the visiting chef team to do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee that alternate options will be available for every course.

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