The tall chef’s toque makes a stiff frame for chef Alon Hirtenstien’s baby face. But behind the appearance of a youngster is a mature determination to create wonderful food. Engaging and enthusiastic, Hirtenstien, 31, says he’s really quite shy. But on the topic of cooking gourmet kosher food, there’s no holding him back.

“My family keeps kosher, and although we’re not strictly religious, we keep a very traditional house,” he says in his eager way. “I’ve never eaten or cooked anything non-kosher.


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