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Chef Allen's Passover Interview

Chef Allen is a good Jew, the type of dude who throws a gourmet Seder for 15 years and invites everybody to try his kitchen's New World takes on, this year, Sephardic and Ashkenazi classics.

I recently spoke to Chef Allen by phone. He spoke about matzah, bitter herbs, and whether Jesus ate Mahi. Here's what Chef Allen had to say.

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At the Seder, families get together and eat a traditional meal that has a symbolism (for each food)... the matzah and bitter herbs tell stories about the times when Jews were slaves in Egypt and the freeing of the slaves by Moses.

At the restaurant, we have these family meals, kind of a twist on the foods that were served then, some things like sweetened nuts and fruit as well as bitter herbs and then a great menu crossed between Sephardic and Ashkenazi type foods.

Instead of gefilte fish, we do a mahi-mahi cake with Moroccan carrot-almond relish and fresh horseradish.

Instead of old-fashioned matzo-ball soup, we do it instead with chicken feet -- they got a lotta flavor -- and parsnips, green onions, and matzo balls.

It carries the tradition of the holiday and gives you a sense of place. Everybody is more than welcome. The Last Supper of Jesus is a Seder; you see him with his 12 people around. It goes back to his time and well before, so we share some like type of things, and that's why I think we have Easter around the same time of year, spring holidays -- it's sharing, and I think that's a really cool thing.

New Times: You think Jesus ate gefilte fish or mahi-mahi?
HAHAHAHAHAHA! He'd probably be having St Peter's fish. The bread is the tradition on this holiday. Unleavened bread symbolizes the Jews leaving Egypt; it has been eaten traditionally for thousands of years.

We're gonna spill some wine. We have really wonderful wines out of California and Israel. For the plagues, you definitely have to use red wine. Gotta get that blood and gore.

The people love it. We have a full house tonight, and we've been doing this here for bout 15 years. I know a number of people that have done this five or eight times if not more.

Click here for the official menu from Chef Allen's website.

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