Jewish food festival, featuring Claudia Roden, makes a return to Hampstead

A festival celebrating Jewish food will return for a third year.

Gefiltefest 2012 will be at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in Hampstead on May 20.

It will feature an entire day of events devoted to food and Judaism including demonstrations, lectures, debates and workshops.

The festival was set up in 2010 by Michael Leventhal, 39, of Trinity Walk, East Finchley. A history book publisher, he ended up organising the festival by “accident”.

After winning an online competition to have a cook give a lesson, he tried to give the prize to his girlfriend.

Mr Leventhal said: “She said she did not need a lesson, so I asked the cook to give a lesson to me and my friends.”

Afterwards, people started to offer lectures on food and it took off from there.

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He believes the festival’s success is attributable to the fact that “within the Jewish community, there’s an interest in food. Food is central to identity”.

Describing this year’s event, he said: “The line-up is my ideal list of people who I would want to be there.”

One of the highlights is an interview with cookery writer Claudia Roden, well-known for her books on Middle Eastern and Jewish food.

There will be cookery demonstrations by Linda Dangoor, who has written Flavours of Babylon, featuring recipes from the Babylonian Jewish community; Denise Philips, who runs a kosher cookery school; Date on a Plate events for singles, and Silvia Nacamulli, an Italian-Jewish cooking expert.

The festival will raise money for charities including Gift, Leket Israel, Meir Panim and myisrael’s Bet Shean Food Bank. The event will be under Kashrut supervision.

n Early bird adult tickets cost �20 and children’s tickets are �12.50. Visit and