Celebrating our 11th Annual Latke Festival

By Great Performances

Our 11th Annual Latke Festival benefiting The Sylvia Center proved to be even more exciting than previous years’ festivals! With 25 latkes spanning the globe of flavors from Colombian to Vietnamese and toppings ranging from the traditional apple to the innovative—and timely—Impossible Burger, our guests were dazzled and our judges were challenged to select the best offerings. After much tasting and deliberation, the judges announced eight winners across six categories.

Most Creative Latke (tie)

  • Chef Bao Bao, Baoburg: Okonomiyaki Latke, Japanese style octopus potato pancake topped with sweet soy sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes

  • Jewish Food Society contest winner, Sasha Shorr: Russian Latke, smoked white fish and potato latke, horseradish sour cream, caviar

Best Vegetarian Latke

  • Chef Dima Martseniuk, Veselka: Veggie Reuben Latke / Smoked Ham Reuben Latke, homemade sauerkraut, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese

Best Traditional Latke

  • Chef Sarah Flynn, Yellow Magnolia Cafe and Patina Events at Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The Classic Potato Latke, whiskey braised apples, horseradish creme fraiche, chives

Best Newcomer Latke

People’s Choice Best Latke (tie)

  • Chef Dima Martseniuk, Veselka: Veggie Reuben Latke / Smoked Ham Reuben Latke, homemade sauerkraut, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese

  • Chef Vanay Coffey, The Bankers Club at 120 Broadway: Sweet Potato Latke, marshmallow brulee

Overall Best Latke

  • Chef Albert Nguyen, Hanoi House: Sweet Potato and Shrimp Fritter

Complementing these delicious and often-fried variations on the traditional Hanukkah dish were a number of other delightful treats including Jacob’s Pickles and Orwasher’s sufganiyot, two perennial favorites; Pearl Street Caviar; and My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. Guests washed down the food with GuS’ Soda, wines provided by City Winery, and specialty cocktails featuring Angel’s Envy Bourbon and Grey Goose Vodka.

Although the food was a large part of the event, the main focus was raising money for The Sylvia Center. This year, we raised the more money at the Latke Festival than we had in previous years, with five times the amount of text-to-donate donations from the previous year!

Check out the Latke Festival website for more information including photos, press, and the full list of sponsors, participants and judges. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our 2020 Latke Festival scheduled for Monday, December 14!


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