Kwon Benowtiz (Age 44)
Chevy Chase, MD
· Chef Kwon was raised Christian but converted to Judaism.
· Not being raised Jewish gives her a unique approach to flavor profile and technique. She doesn’t have biased because she wasn’t raised with engrained traditions surrounding Jewish cuisine.
· Kwon was raised in a Christian household in Philadelphia to a loving, middle-class African American family of 6. Her dad was a firefighter and mom was a stay at home mom- the two have been married for 50 years. She learned to cook and bake by observing her Mom, Dad, and grandmother since she was only five years old.
· Kwon converted to Judaism when she married her husband in 2013.
· Kwon has a special connection with Hanukkah because it signifies the beginning of her relationship with her boyfriend-now husband. Kwon wants to share her culinary perspective of traditional Hanukkah.
· He was raised Jewish and over time Kwon has adopted many of his family's traditions. Her relationship with his family was challenging in the beginning because of ethnic and cultural differences but things ultimately changed for the better.
· Together with their two young children, Kwon and her husband are starting to create their own Hanukkah traditions and memories.
· Kwon specializes in brisket, russet and sweet potato latkes, noodle kugel, salted chocolate pecan macaroons, Matzo ball soup, challah, gefilte fish and Kreplach.
· Chef Kwon attended the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu. She also has an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts and Bachelor's Degree in Culinary Management.
· She apprenticed with Alice Waters, David Tanis, and Amy Dencler at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA and staged at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, NY. She is a classically trained in French cooking but is influenced by cooking styles from around the world.